I started into thinking up an Inaugural fantasy this afternoon.
I'm in the crowd, waiting for the big moment. There's a delay. Obama has not appeared at the podium to take The Oath. Suddenly, a voice booms over the speakers: "Is there a veterinarian in the crowd?" I wriggle my way to the fence. A Capitol police officer asks for my veterinary license. I show him, he nods and two tall guys wearing sunglasses and little plastic thingies in their ears ease me into a black car. We race off towards the Capitol. I'm ushered into a quiet room, past numerous guards and paintings of pompous old men. In the room are the Obama's. The girls are in tears. Mrs Obama is wringing her hands. Mr Obama has a concerned look on his face, trying to reason with his girls. "Kids, I've GOT to go out there, I'm sorry, but I'm going to become the president! I promise that we will take Ralphie to the vet as SOON as I'm done out there". The secret service guy says "Um, Mr Almost President, we've found a veterinarian." The whole family looks at me. Ralphie the Standard Poodle puppy looks at me. I take a quick history. Just some puppy diarrhea. I tell them not to worry and how to treat the diarrhea. Ralphie licks my hand. He's fine. The Almost President shakes mine and says "Follow me". I walk out the door behind him and am ushered into a chair. I look out onto the Mall below and see millions and millions of people who really care. Who love life. And I DO feel hopeful.