Patty Hearst with her bulldog.
"As my life goes on I believe
Somehow something's changed
Something deep inside
Ooh a part of me"
Chicago, "(I've Been) Searching for So Long."
I did a post a short while back talking about the dashshunds at this
year's Westminster Dog Show. The other day I ran into some supplemental
information from the show that I didn't know at that time — mainly, that
Hearst heiress Patty Hearst had a French Bulldog entered at Westminster.
In fact, her tough-jawed canine took Best Opposite Sex in the Breed category,
or in a sense second place in Best of Breed. At Westminster, where just being
there counts you among the canine world's elite, that's a very good showing.
It was odd to see Patty Hearst again. For those too young to remember,
Patty Hearst came into U.S. national fame in the early 70s when she was
kidnapped by a radical group called the Symbionese Liberation Army, or
SLA. In 1974 the SLA planned and executed a bank robbery in San Francisco.
Hearst was caught on film as being with the SLA during the heist. In 1975
she was arrested with other members of the SLA, and was subsequently
charged with participating in the robbery. Hearst's defense was that she
had been brainwashed during her time with the SLA. But jurors didn't see
it that way, and she was found guilty. Her seven year prison sentence was
eventually commuted to two years by President Jimmy Carter.
Patty's history made the cover of Newsweek magazine. The photo of
her standing in front of a Symbionese Liberation Army flag holding an
AK-47 became a cultural icon. All of this took place when I was a senior
in high school and a freshman in college. She was only one year older
than I was at the time — barley twenty years old.
I sometimes wonder how much of my self is the same after all the years
and how much I've changed. But that's not a question that I can answer.
I am very well aware these days of my own individual karma in this
lifetime. It is something that I am aware of both intellectually and
How odd it was then to see Patty today showing her dog, Shann's Legally
Blonde, at Westminster — a continent and three decades removed, living
out her own karma, from turbulent beginning to seemingly peaceful end,
on the surface of this tiny planet.
Patty, give your dog a kiss for me.