Monday, September 20, 2010

Precious: The Bitch Is Back...Sort Of

Having been involved in politics for a fairly long time, rarely do things surprise me anymore. However, recently I was surprised by news of a reconciliation occurring between two formidable veterans of Baltimore County politics.

No, I’m not talking about Joe Bartenfelder and Kevin Kamenetz. I’m talking about Bob Ehrlich and Don Crockett.

For those of you who’ve never heard of him, Crockett is a political activist from Eastern Baltimore County, as well as a member of the Battle Grove Democratic Club. But, Crockett’s notoriety stems mainly from the fact that he was the owner of “Precious the Skateboard Dog.”

If you’ve ever attended a parade in Baltimore County during the past two decades, you probably know who I’m talking about.

Precious was a sweaty mutt who Crockett attired in oversized sunglasses and outrageous Lady Gagaesque doggy outfits. He then stationed the dog onto a skateboard and dragged it around in parades, at community festivals, and other high profile events. Precious’s endorsement was highly coveted by political candidates because the dog – and whichever candidate’s bumper stickers happened to adorn its makeshift chariot – inevitably received media coverage.

Precious was an early and enthusiastic backer of Ehrlich’s campaigns for Congress. I can still remember driving Ehrlich in one of the local parades in 1995, Precious and Crockett walking ahead of us. Watching kids pelt the dog with snap-and-pops was disturbing. But the dog’s surreally inanimate nature, even in the face of these attacks, was downright creepy.

My coworkers in Ehrlich’s congressional office were not fans of the dog, either. I remember one of them referring to Precious as an “oversized rat in a dress.”

Eventually, Precious and Ehrlich had a falling out. Part of the reason was the dog’s shameless willingness to hop across the political fence for the sake of self-promotion. I even remember watching election night coverage in 1995, and seeing Precious and Crockett at a Kurt Schmoke victory party. Both were wearing those signature yellow and black “Reelect Mayor Schmoke” tee shirts.  

But the main reason for the falling out occurred in 1998, when Precious supported incumbent state Senator Mike Collins against the Ehrlich-backed candidate, then-state Delegate Ken Holt. The bitch’s candidate prevailed, and an estrangement between Team Ehrlich and Team Precious began that lasted more than a decade.

This year, however, Ehrlich and the hydrant sniffer’s dad decided to let bygones be bygones. Citing an aversion to Governor O’Malley, Don Crockett has climbed back onboard the Ehrlich volunteer bandwagon.

However, Precious did not join him. Sadly, the original Precious entered the flea bath in the sky in 2006.

Precious II has ably taken the original's place. Still, given breakthroughs in taxidermy and animatronics, I’m surprised Crockett didn’t decide to keep the original Precious around on its bewheeled perch indefinitely. The dog seemed barely alive to begin with. With the application of some creativity and innovative use of technology, getting a new dog might not even have been necessary.


  1. Does Precious being lady gaga before lady gaga was lady gaga actually mean you are a fan of precious?

  2. Hi Anon: Lady Gaga can sing. I don't think I ever even heard Precious bark.