NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – People get pets for all kinds of reasons, but a Tennessee lawmaker never imagined what would happen to the dog he brought to Nashville.
“He is someone I thank God is not running for office because he would win hands down, everybody would vote for him,” said Sen. Jon Lundberg about his white English lab.
On their 20th wedding anniversary, Sen. Lundberg’s wife got the dog to keep him company at the capitol “because I live 300 miles away from Nashville” in Bristol.
So, the lawmaker started calling the white lab “Nash.”
He seems to get in every picture with the senator, but Nash is best known as the therapy dog of capitol hill
“He has become so popular that people come in here, frankly, not to see me,” laughed Sen. Lundberg. “I have literally been in a meeting here when someone comes in and said, ‘can I just run in and pet your dog?’ It’s like sure…little weird but go ahead.”
Nash keeps his own emotions in check by often having a chewable toy car in his mouth. It must calm him as he calms others.
“Sometimes constituents would come in and say, ‘I have issues!’ and now when Nash is here…’Oh you have a dog,’” said the senator about sometimes angry constituents. “Their blood pressure, you can see it go down.”
With those kind of healing powers, Nash is in demand.
“I have had a couple of folks who will come in a say ‘Hey can I take him for a little bit’ and I say, ‘where are you going?’ They’ll just take him out and he’s fine,” added the lawmaker. “And of course, he is bribe-able with treats.”
Nash makes up for taking bribes by making everyone into a dog lover.
“Especially for people who are not used to dogs,” said the senator. “And he is very calm, not going to jump on people. He is not going to bark or whine.”
Despite those qualities, there is one place Nash is not allowed to go.
“I have not brought him on the (Senate) floor and to me that is one of those where the floor of the Senate is kind of like a special place,” said Senator Lundberg.
After all, there are plenty of other places for Nash to go as he has spent almost a decade helping others in the hallways and offices of Tennessee’s Capitol Hill.