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First Dog Set To Lead California

California has a new first dog in Sutter, a 7-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi recently adopted by Gov. Jerry Brown and First Lady Anne Gust Brown.

The Times' California state politics blog PolitiCal reported in early January that the corgi was being considered for a top spot in the governor's administration. The Browns' previous pet, a dog named Dharma, passed away in 2010.

Sutter had belonged to Gov. Brown's sister Kathleen, a Goldman Sachs executive and former state treasurer who recently moved to Chicago. The governor and first lady had been caring for Sutter since Kathleen Brown's departure.


"He finds all the extra food lying on the floor in the office," Gust Brown told the Sacramento Bee of Sutter's job duties. "He barks at anyone, he gives snuggles, he warms up the Republicans." Beyond Republican-warming, his hobbies include herding and accompanying the Browns on jogs.

The Humane Society of the United States was quick to praise the Browns' decision to adopt Sutter; Wayne Pacelle, the group's president and chief executive, wrote on his blog that "we're excited whenever the cause of companion animal adoption gets a boost."

"At the moment, Sacramento's leaders are making tough decisions about the state's budget, and Sutter's presence in the building is a welcome morale boost for everyone," said Jennifer Fearing, the Humane Society's California state director and the author of a book about dogs in the workplace.

Pembroke Welsh corgis and their cousins, Cardigan Welsh corgis, are small, sturdy herding dogs that specialized in keeping cattle in line in their native Wales. Queen Elizabeth II has a well-publicized love of the Pembroke and bred the dogs for many years; she has reportedly owned about 30 corgis and corgi mixes since she was given her first Pembroke, a female named Susan, as a gift for her 18th birthday.