Every Dog Has Its Day: Occupy Denver Elects a Canine Leader

Shelby the dog promises to equally distribute smiles and tail wags among 100% of the protesters.

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It’s one small step for a canine, one giant leap for canine-kind.

Occupy Denver’s newly elected official leader is young, politically independent and has mixed ancestry. If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it almost is: that leader is a dog.

Shelby, a three-and-a-half year-old Border collie/cattle-dog mix, was elected leader of Occupy Denver in an astonishing five minutes when she earned more than the required majority of votes.

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Aaron “Al” Nesby, Shelby’s owner, is a 27-year-old filmmaker who has brought his faithful pet to the protests every day for a month now. The repeat visits endeared the crowd to her, which ultimately secured her the win.

“She’s the youngest leader of a revolution in history and the first of any occupation so far, but she’s smart, so people know she won’t make any situations,” protester Peter John Jentsch told the Denver Westword. “We just have to make sure she doesn’t get arrested.”

Nesby decided to throw his furry friend’s proverbial hat in the ring after Michael Moore visited Occupy Denver and captivated him with the possibility of a symbolic leader.

“(Moore) walked in with security and made everyone listen to him in the center of the circle with a bullhorn like he was our leader, even though he said out loud it’s a leaderless movement,” told the Denver Westword.

Nesby is confident in Shelby’s abilities, although he refutes misconception that the group needs an end-all representative.

“Shelby has more human traits than any corporation: She can bleed, she can breed and she can show emotion. If this is the way the corporate world chooses to do business, let’s apply the same rule.”

Shelby remained calm despite her newfound prominence. She sprung into action immediately, flaunting her strong anti-leash views, before spending much of the rest of her first night in office celebrating (read: napping). Video of the vote below.


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