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Occupiers Agree on One Thing: Dogs Rule
Shelby voted leader of Denver protest

The Occupy movement can be divisive, even among its supporters, but the Denver crew of Occupiers have agreed on one thing: They have a leader—a Border Collie/Cattle Dog mix named Shelby.

On Sunday night, an assembly of Occupy Denver protesters voted in three-year-old Shelby as their new boss. She accepted the mantle with good grace and set about her first task, an early evening nap.

Then, on Tuesday, Occupiers sat in at Colorado governor John Hickenlooper’s office, requesting a future meeting with him on Shelby’s behalf. The list of her concerns included unemployment rates, government spending, and budgets for law enforcement and education. There’s no word yet from the Governor’s office on setting up a meeting.

Shelby’s been visiting the Occupy camp in downtown Denver every other day for about a month with her owner, Boulder resident Peter John Jentsch. (He calls himself her “bodyguard.”) Shelby refuses to talk about her political leanings, but Jentsch says she’s an independent voter.

Jentsch recognizes that, as a canine citizen, Shelby’s a little impartial. “She has yet to come by herself,” he told Denver’s Westword, “so she’s only as passionate as I am.”

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Kathleen St. John is a freelance writer for target The Denver Post and The Onion's A.V. Club, and a lifelong dog lover. She lives in Denver, Colo., with her husband, John, and her dog, Daisy, who's a mix of just about everything. avclub.com

Photo of Shelby by Kelsey Whipple/Westword.

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