I Hope You’re Proud Of Yourself!

September 14, 2011

Hey Blog Guy, it’s September 14th. This is the day you announce the coveted annual I Hope You’re Proud Of Yourself! award.

Yes, I’m sorry for the delay. I was all set to give this year’s trophy to the folks at that Tea Party presidential debate on Monday.

You mean those morons who shouted that an uninsured guy should just be allowed to die? Good choice, Blog Guy!

Not so fast. Then I read about Steven Levine.

Who?

Maybe you’ve heard about the various programs around the country such as Four Legged Advocates, in which very special dogs are used to comfort children who have to testify in court cases.

That sounds like a great idea. Who is Steven Levine?

You see, a courtroom is a very stressful environment for a child, and these dogs are trained to help them through it.

Blog Guy, don’t make me ask you again.

Steven Levine is a lawyer who has appealed his client’s conviction of raping and impregnating a 15-year-old girl on the grounds that a dog was used to comfort her during her testimony at trial. The girl testified with the aid of Rosie, a golden retriever.

That’s his argument? You’re making that up.

Sadly, I’m not. Levine says the use of the dogs can affect testimony.Their mere presence, he argues, could imply to a juror that a witness is telling the truth “because you don’t need to be comforted when you’re giving false testimony.”

Blog Guy. I normally attend the I Hope You’re Proud Of Yourself! awards banquet, but I don’t even want to be in the same room with that guy. I gather you agree with me that these fabulous dogs DO belong in a courtroom?

Golden retrievers? Hell yes, I think they belong on the jury!

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Top: Andrea Cardona, founder of Florida’s Four Legged Advocates, trains canines to comfort kids who have to testify in criminal cases. Photo courtesy of Four Legged Advocates.

Left: screen grab of Rosie

Right: screen grab of Steven Levine

Bottom right: screen grab of Rosie

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20 comments

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golden retrievers are wonderful. We drove all the way to Louisville to pick up our pup when he was in need of a home. He’s worth every mile :D

I can see how a dog growling at the sleaze bag…er defendant could prejudice the jury. I mean, it’s not like there was DNA evidence and an underage pregnant victim or some irrefutable proof, right?

Posted by GeorgiaPeach | Report as abusive

Isn’t Rosie adorable!! Levine is a p*g..
I am sponsoring Snowy, a labrador pup who would be trained to be a Guide Dog for the visually impaired..

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Dogs are good judges of character. Let them be the jury.

Posted by FriscoJohn | Report as abusive

Best line in the related article: “The dog is not giving the witness the answers,” said Andrew Vachss, an attorney who exclusively represents children.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Blog Guy, it is so difficult to decide who should win the coveted annual I Hope You’re Proud Of Yourself! award. How do you narrow it down to one winner?

Steven Levine is an excellent choice, but isn’t there a large pool of eligible candidates?

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

I humbly offer a haiku:

Dogs comfort children
In courtroom situations
Please don’t make them stop

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Steven Levine, Sr. Asst. Public Defender.
In addition to being a complete skank, he has problems with his spelling and punctuation…. He put an extra letter in the second word of his title.

Bless the Rosies of this world and the folks who bring them to the aid of these kids.

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

Comfort and therapy dogs:)

A feral male cat has adopted me. He’s black with a little white on the belly. He has amazing green eyes. I call him Sylvester (Sly for short). He was trapped in my garage one night. I gave him some milk and, later, some tuna. He now comes around when I’m working on our cars in the drive or, on Sunday, when I was working on a cabinetry project in my garage. He is not afraid of saws and routers. He rubs against my legs and purrs. He sits in my lap, and lets me pet him and scratch his ears. I’m a little concerned becasue I haven’t seen him since Sunday.

My helper, my friend, my sly therapy cat. :)

(Don’t tell either of my two GSDs that I’m seeing a cat on the side.)

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

@Doc: Maybe the GSDs found out about Sly, and that’s why you haven’t seen him since Sunday. You might want to ask them.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

@Moonshine: I love your “extra letter” joke.

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

@Spin, Thx…that’s just my editor instincts expressing themselves.

@Doc, I don’t know about Spin’s advice….GSDs are notoriously tight lipped (especially when trying to conceal the cat hairs caught in their teeth.) I hope they didn’t chase Sly away. Cats are just as good at therapy as the pups are.

Posted by Moonshine | Report as abusive

Spin, you may have a point about Oscar “the sociopath.” He can break into a cupboard, eat a box of cereal, and calmly look one right in the eye as if nothing happened. But Felix “the Confessor” would break down under the pressure, even without being confronted.

No, I suspect Sly got trapped in someone else’s garage for a few days. And I haven’t been working in my drive or garage since Sunday.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Come on, Mr. Levine, I beg
Don’t make me throw at you rotten eggs
For kids on the stand
Allow them a helping hand
Of solace from those with four legs

Posted by 69Spinster | Report as abusive

Canine JAGs.
Rosie wags.
Send the dog.
To OE Blog
Order (gags).

Posted by FriscoJohn | Report as abusive

Don’t be so quick to side with the dogs. An experienced Four Legged Advocate comes at a price. They can charge upwards of three packages of Beggin’ Strips an hour and very rarely do pro bone-o work. They don’t call ‘em GOLDen Retrievers for nothin’!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

@Mr. Pilot – did you call my dog a gold digger??? Mighty brave behind that keyboard, aren’t you? You’d never say that to his happy face! He’d tear you apart…meh, who am I kidding. A golden retriever’s watch dog abilities have been described as: “Goldens like everybody. If someone breaks in your home, and your golden can figure out what they want, the dog is likely to carry it to the car for the burglar (and hop in for a free ride).”

Posted by GeorgiaPeach | Report as abusive

Our first German Shepherd was like that, Georgia. My wife called her “a Golden Retriever in German Shepherd’s clothing.” That sweetie never growled at anyone, not even our (then) 4-year-old son when he jumped off the bed and onto her back. (I would have bitten him.) But boy did she tell him off without resorting to growling.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

another humble haiku

Oh Steven Levine
Approach like this for rape cover
Seems a total *#^@!

Posted by antb | Report as abusive

@Moonshine, oh I did not intend that as a jab on Goldens, just as means of making those aware to not be taken in by those happy faces. Behind the puppy-dog eyes and slobbery tongues are cunning, strategic legal minds. The law firm Woofstein, Woofstein, & Bark have a very good success rate in the courtroom and their reputation warrents the cost of their services.

Imagine how different the end of A Few Good Men would have turned out if Col. Jessup had a Four Legged Advocate by his side.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Don’t forget Dewey, Lickem, and Howe.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive