Sir Bayard Orange of Warwick goes to Washington

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:50

Warwick — It’s probably a stretch to compare this story with the classic Jimmy Stewart film, “Mr. Smith goes to Washington.” But like Stewart’s character, Sir Bayard Orange, a six-year resident of Warwick, never expected to be hanging out at the nation’s capitol every day. Stewart played an interim U.S. Senator appointed, much to his surprise, by his state governor. Sir Bayard Orange is an Airedale Terrier mix who was relinquished by his family to the Warwick Valley Humane Society last March because of repeated escapes from his yard. “This is one of those surrenders with a great happy ending,” said Suzyn Barron, president of the Warwick Valley Humane Society. Six months later, however, a woman who works at the U.S. House of Representatives, was searching on the Internet. She was looking to adopt an Airedale and found the Warwick Shelter dog’s picture and bio on the Web site. It’s the policy of the Humane Society not to identify the people who adopt pets. But Barron noted: “It was love at first sight at her end. She immediately sent in an application which was processed and approved. She and a friend then made the five-hour trip from Washington, D.C., to Warwick to meet him in person. Now, it was love at first sight on his end.” It took six more hours that same day to return to Washington D.C. with the large, sleeping dog sprawled out on the back seat. The new owner re-named him Sir Bayard Orange of Warwick to pay tribute to his life in New York. She also affectionately nicknamed him Rocco because, she reported, “He knocks his big ol’ head against my kitchen cabinets.” Sir Bayard’s new lifetime companion sent the Warwick Animal Shelter a photograph of the dog relaxing on the West Lawn of the Capitol building. The new owner wrote: “So far Rocco has wandered through the Capitol, gone for runs on the Mall, wrestled live crabs on the waterfront, picnicked on the West Lawn of the Capitol and visited the Hirshorn Sculpture Garden. He has had a microchip implanted, met his dog cousin (Simon the Foxhound), goes to the dog park and has a personal trainer.... He’s a great watchdog whose full of kisses for kids of all ages, especially his three-year-old human cousin. He’s the biggest goofball in the world and I am totally in love with him.” For additional information about the Warwick Valley Humane Society call 986-2473 or visit: