Reno boy, 9, calls for state dog

CARSON CITY— A 9-year-old Reno boy asked legislators Monday to name the Blue Weimaraner as Nevada’s state dog.

“Its temperament is friendly and fearless and so are people in Nevada,” said Brenlon, a student at a Montessori School in Reno. “It’s a hunting dog and many people in Nevada hunt.”

His Blue Weimaraner is named “Cheeto” after his favorite food.

But members of the Senate Government Affairs Committee didn’t act on Brenlon’s request. Chairman David Parks, D-Las Vegas, said the bill will be considered at a future work session. The committee has until April 12 to pass the bill, or it will be declared dead.

Because many people emailed legislators that they want their own breed of dog named the state dog, there is a good chance the bill will die.

At the hearing, Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas, placed two stuffed animals on his desk, but no live dogs were at the 20-minute hearing.

“This is Coco,” said Manendo about one of the stuffed animals named after his own dog.

Brenlon’s last name was not given at the request of his parents.

During the hearing, veteran legislative lobbyist Neena Laxalt requested that the border collie be named the state dog.

“My grandfather came here 100 years ago and worked as a shepherd with his border collies. The ‘barbos’ protected sheep and fought against mountain lions and coyotes.”

Laxalt is the daughter of former governor and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt. Her grandfather, Dominique, was the featured character in “Sweet Promised Land,” a book written by her uncle, Robert Laxalt that once was required reading in states across the nation.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, said he has been receiving a lot of flak from citizens who claim he is wasting time with a frivolous bill.

But he said that Brenlon petitioned him to name a state dog and that he could name plenty of more frivolous bills.

Eleven states now have state dogs. Nevada has many state emblems, such as the mountain bluebird as the state bird and the desert bighorn sheep as the state animal. In 2009, the Legislature named the vivid dancer damselfly as the state insect as part of a contest among fourth-graders.

Like Kieckhefer, the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, and Assemblyman Lynn Stewart, R-Henderson, came under fire from people who thought the issue was too trivial.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900.

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