9-year-old makes case for Nevada state dog
April 2, 2013
A 9-year-old boy says his dog epitomizes the beauty and fortitude of Nevada and its residents, attributes that make the blue Weimaraner an ideal choice to be named Nevada's official state dog.
"My blue Weimaraner is 'Cheeto,' named after my favorite snack," Brenlon Dillard told members of the Senate Government Affairs Committee.
Dressed smartly in a suit and tie, the Reno third-grader said 11 states have an official state dog, and the long-legged, droopy-eared hunting breed would be a perfect symbol for Nevada.
"They are great family dogs and love kids," he said.
"They are beautiful like our state. They are strong and independent just like people in Nevada," Brenlon said. "Plus, the color blue is our state color."
The committee took no action on SB225, sponsored by Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno.
Brenlon's school principal supported the effort, and several of his classmates attended the hearing. They brought banners to the committee room, urging support for the blue Weimaraner.
But one member of a long-time Nevada family whose grandfather was a sheepherder testified against the bill.
Neena Laxalt proposed an amendment to make the border collie, instead of the Weimaraner, the state dog.
The daughter of former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt said sheepherders are part of Nevada's culture, and the familiar black and white breed has earned the distinction should a state dog be named.
"As you know I come from a Basque heritage," Laxalt said, noting her grandfather came to American about 100 years ago and would herd sheep from Dayton to Sparks.
Sheepherders and border collies, she said, are part of Nevada's culture.
"They protected the sheep, they found the strays, they fought out against the coyotes and mountain lions," she said. Border collies, she went on, "have earned distinction to be Nevada state dog."
Margaret Flint, a dog rescue volunteer, appreciated what Brenlon was trying to do but said she knows "a lot of dogs that would crave the love that Brenlon is showing to Cheeto."
Whether red, white or blue, "all dogs are Nevada dogs, loyal and true," Flint said.