Gov's residence goes to the dogs



The Pennsylvania Governor's Residence goes to the dogs Sunday.

First Lady Susan Corbett invites the public to see first-rate canine art and live dogs in action. as part of Harrisburg's annual Gallery Walk.

Visitors can see the latest art exhibition, “If You Want a Friend in Politics, Get a Dog,” on loan from the American Kennel Club. The art exhibition is the largest public display of AKC art in the organization’s history.

Special programming will be throughout the afternoon including demonstrations by trained search and rescue, explosives, drug and service dogs. Information will be available on adoptable dogs in the community, dog licensing, creating a pet-friendly garden and more. Winning artwork from the 2013 “Lucky Dog Art Contest” will also be on display.

“The governor and I look forward to welcoming the community back to the Governor’s Residence for the last ‘Second Sunday’ event of the summer,” Susan Corbett said. “It is our hope that visitors will enjoy this unique art exhibition as well as the special programming that highlights why dogs truly are ‘man’s best friend.’”

Participating organizations will include the Art Association of Harrisburg, Capitol Police, Humane Society of Harrisburg Area, Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania State Police, Susquehanna Service Dogs and the Red Rose K-9 Search and Rescue Team.

The Corbetts are longtime dog lovers. Their two-year-old Airedale siblings Harry and Penny, (pictured above.), may make an appearance Sunday too. 

The AKC collection is one of the largest collections of purebred dog art in the world. We don't know which of the many pieces will grace the walls of the residence but we have to guess that an Airedale portrait may be among them.

We can't ignore though the fact the AKC has been no friend of needy animals in Pennsylvania, opposing virtually every piece of animal welfare legislation in recent years including the "cost of care" bill to force those charged with animal abuse to forfeit their animals or pay for their care.

That legislation, signed by Gov. Corbett in July, goes into effect Monday.

Dogs have been fixtures at the Governor's Residence for decades from Gov. Shafer's basset hound, Alec, to Gov. Rendell's "golden girls" - three Golden Retrievers - all former breeding dogs in Pennsylvania puppy mills.

For a brief history of Pennsylvania's First Dogs click here.

The exhibit will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Special programming, including all dog demonstrations, will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and reservations are not required.The Governor's Residence is located at 2035 N. Front St. (Entrance is on 3rd St. at Maclay St. in downtown Harrisburg.)