Most of these attacks, Poodle Bitch will admit, were from small human children attempting to pet her. Poodle Bitch does not like to be petted, most of the time. She prefers proximity to actual touching.
The one time she ever felt truly threatened, when a boorish "great" dane bit her on the bottom and lifted her bodily into the air, Poodle Bitch squealed, growled, called the creature a filthy name, and she was released.
Poodle Bitch was thinking of her rather harrowing encounter when she read of a massage therapist's claim that former vice president Al Gore had attacked her.
In her detailed Jan. 8, 2009, statement to a Portland sexual assault investigator, the woman said she was called to the hotel about 10:30 p.m. Oct. 24, 2006, to provide a massage for Gore, who was registered under the name "Mr. Stone." Once inside his ninth-floor suite, she said he pushed her hand to his groin, fondled her buttocks and breasts, tongue-kissed her and threw her down on the bed as she tried to thwart his advances.
Poodle Bitch wonders if Mr. Gore's full nom de hotel is "Dick Stone". Otherwise she will not make light of this situation. Anyone who has been attacked knows that it is an unnerving and difficult experience. We also know that politicians attack human women on occasion.
Poodle Bitch has no idea if Mr. Stone is guilty of the crime of which he has been accused, she hastens to add.
Portland police spokeswoman Detective Mary Wheat said police didn't go to the hotel or talk to the woman's friends because it wouldn't help prove or disprove the woman's allegations.
"We're not disputing Al Gore was in the hotel room with this woman," Wheat said. "The two people in that room were Mr. Gore and this woman. If a bellhop came in and saw something, that would be different."
Poodle Bitch now has to wonder if this is standard operating procedure in any case of an alleged attack on a human woman. Do police not investigate when a human woman claims to be a victim of unwanted fondling and throwing upon a bed?
Poodle Bitch wonders, since the police do not dispute that Mr. Stone, who was apparently Mr. Gore, was in the room with the massage therapist, did any of them talk to Mr. Gore about the allegations?
From her own experience dealing with "law enforcement authorities" after her attack at the maw of the "great" dane, Poodle Bitch can tell you that they can often be unresponsive and disbelieving.
In other words, although Poodle Bitch has already hastened to add that she has no way of knowing what happened in that hotel room, Poodle Bitch's sympathies were with the human woman.
That's when, she says, Gore wrapped her in an "inescapable embrace" and fondled her back, buttocks and breasts as she was trying to break down her massage table.
She called him a "crazed sex poodle" and tried to distract him, pointing out a box of Moonstruck chocolates on a nearby table. He went for the chocolates and then offered her some, cornering her, fondling her and shoving his tongue in her mouth to french kiss as he pressed against her.
Poodle Bitch likes the turn of phrase "inescapable embrace," she might use it in a poem. What she does not like is the phrase "crazed sex poodle."
Poodle Bitch wonders if this is intended to be an insult?
She understands that, during an attack (and if such an attack occurred), the victim often responds not with cold logic but with uncontrollable emotions. You don't have time to think, merely to react. As the massage therapist says later in her statement, "I was distressed, shocked and terrified."
"Crazed sex poodle"?
Not a poodle.
Poodle Bitch cannot understand why the human massage therapist came up with that. To her knowledge, poodles are not known for their particular sexual proclivities. They are certainly not golden retrievers (yes, "crazed sex golden retriever" would have been a much more appropriate insult). Poodles are known for their intellect.
Perhaps the woman was praising Mr. Gore's intelligence, while at the same time chastising him for the sexual assault?
Poodle Bitch finds this difficult to believe given the rest of that sentence: "and tried to distract him, pointing out a box of Moonstruck chocolates on a nearby table." She believed (and if her statement is to be believed, rightly so) that Mr. Gore could be distracted from committing sexual assault by chocolates.
Does that sound like a smart man -- a man with the intellect of a poodle -- to you?
Poodle Bitch also notes that the massage therapist's statement contains at least two examples of product placement (Grand Marnier, Moonstruck chocolates). Then, there was the mention of the singer Pink.
Later, she said, he tried to lure her into the bedroom to hear pop star Pink's "Dear Mr. President" on his iPod dock. She said Gore sat on one end of the bed and motioned for her to join him.
Poodle Bitch could be acerbic here and state that this is further proof that Mr. Gore is no poodle. Anyone with taste and intelligence would not like Pink, and certainly wouldn't use her music as a lure for anything other than, perhaps, "great" danes.
But Poodle Bitch is not acerbic.
She does not know what to think about the entire episode. She did find something especially sad in the woman's statement, however:
The therapist later told detectives she did not call the police because she was afraid she wouldn't be believed. "I deeply feared being made into a public spectacle and my work reputation being destroyed," she said.
As it was, she said, even friends of hers who had voted for Gore didn't necessarily support her. She did call the Portland Women's Crisis Line, which encouraged her to call police.
Poodle Bitch has nothing particular to say about the accuser being made a public spectacle. She understands that there are false accusations of sexual assault made against human men on a troublingly regular basis.
What bothers Poodle Bitch is that the massage therapist's friends didn't support her. Poodle Bitch (who admits once again that she has had a relatively sheltered life) had come to believe that that was what friends were for. Support.
One needs support from friends, because those who don't know you in the media can and will attack you in such a case. As the website Jezebel points out,
We're all for the benefit of the doubt, and no doubt about it, the new allegations against Al Gore are weird. But when you see blame-gaming reactions, is it any wonder why so many victims don't want to come forward?
Jezebel notes that tired novelist and boring npr host Kurt Andersen has already taken to attacking the accuser in a particularly heartless way. At twitter, no less, he offered the following wisdom:
You professionally rub naked flesh & call the *cops* about an untoward request? Then clam up--but call the cops again 2 years later? Cuckoo.
Poodle Bitch did not realize that massage therapists were sex workers who were expected to provide "happy endings" to all their clients. She also didn't realize that there was generally a time table for claims of sexual assault ("untoward request"), and that waiting too long to report such a crime was considered by humans to be "cuckoo." Or, as the author at Jezebel puts it:
This is, of course, the appropriate reaction: out of hand dismissal, besmirching of accuser's character and a scramble for reasons to not believe that a man whose environmental policy you admire is capable of such actions.
Poodle Bitch cannot stress this enough: She has no way of knowing what happened in that hotel room. She knows that famous and even non-famous human men can and have been wrongly accused of sexual assault, and those allegations can devastate their lives. But she wonders why it should be that for some people, the first response is to attack the accuser before all, or indeed any, facts are in.
And, poodles are not sex-crazed.
Al Gore photo source.