Blonde on the Prairie: A Dog Barks the Bill of Rights

I am just a humble dog. My name is Shya Ingstad. My home dog country is America. I will defend her.

I look out on my prairie-past the farm yards of plenty. Through the lush cow pastures and from the banks of each river I swim I see an America founded on core values my foredoggers put in place for me.

I see an America where I’m free to be me, Shya Ingstad-an imperfect hound of mixed breed.

I see an America that because of the rights my foredoggers locked in for me, I can bark loud and proud. I jump up on my hind legs and raise my paws to the sky in honor of other rights likes freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government!

I have the right to bare my teeth. No soldier canine or human shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Because of my foredoggers, all men are prohibited to the unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause of anything in my doghouse or in the holes I dig.

When I mess up and commit a bite I am protected! Doggy court has set out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy. Guilty or innocent I have the right to have a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the right to be notified of the accusations, to bark confrontationally at the accuser, to obtain cat, squirrel and skunk witnesses and to retain counsel.

My rights provide for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common puppy law. You know, if I piddle on the neighbors leg or something.

I do not have to fear excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as, not having to endure cruel and unusual punishment like listening to my owner sing. My foredoggers asserted the existence of unenumerated rights retained by the dog community. But most importantly I love the wise foredoggers of my past that very clearly put into action the LIMITED powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the doggy Constitution!

I am,after all, an American dog. I live here, because I can. Free to be me. You’re free to be you too. You have rights. Save the date to vote in November. I’ll remind you with a mark on the fire hydrant or hay bale. I must run now. It’s time to go bark up another tree! Until you hear from me again, lick each other often, share your kibble and give thanks you were born in the mighty U.S.A.!

My name is Shya Ingstad and I approve this message.

Ingstad lives on the prairie near Valley City and writes this column for the Times-Record.