Dog Days And Dog Nights Time was when blue-chip lawyer George Allen had a life. After he retired last year from Shaw, Pittman--the Washington law firm where he was a partner--his days were chockablock with excitement and travel. When he stopped practicing civil and environmental law, Allen, 63, immediately went on a turkey shoot in Alabama, followed by a cruise of the Bering Sea to Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands, a jaunt to the Florida Everglades, a meeting of the nonprofit Population Institute (of which he's chairman) in Costa Rica, a pleasure trip to Belize, skiing in Beaver Creek, Colo., and finally a bicycle ride through Holland. He even started working on a mystery novel.
But then, four months ago, Allen acquired an 8-week-old Brittany spaniel named Jack. And now he doesn't go anywhere. Other than time off for food and exercise, his schedule is totally booked. "My life," he told us, "is squashed. I'm soaking wet from walking my dog in Battery Kemble Park, and muddy because he pulled me down into the mud twice. Everybody told me that raising a pup is a full-time job--and they were right." Allen added: "I've really fallen for this dog."
His wife, U.S. News & World Report writer Jodie Allen, says Jack now sleeps with them in the master bedroom of their Foxhall Road house. "I don't recall that George was anywhere as tender with our son Ted"--now a 30-year-old industrial engineering professor--"as he is with Jack."
* In case Vice President Gore's just-fired campaign pollster Mark Penn wasn't already having a tough week, Reason magazine is piling on with an article alleging bad bathroom behavior by the Democratic strategist and his D.C. staff. Michael W. Lynch, the libertarian journal's Washington editor, writes that after Penn's firm, Penn Schoen Berland, began renting second-floor office space next to Reason's bureau at 1717 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, "the floor's bathrooms became disaster areas."
Lynch details harrowing breaches of men's-room etiquette. The circumstances became so dire that the building's general manager, William Panzer, issued a memo noting "numerous reports of papers in an untidy fashion, toilets remaining unflushed, sinks clogged with paper, etc. The situation makes the use of the rest rooms uncomfortable for everyone."
Our own investigation of the situation--which seems to have improved since Panzer's Aug. 18 memo--suggests that other tenants are also pointing fingers at the polling firm. "It's just disgusting," said one, who claims to have personally witnessed several untoward incidents. "If this is the way they're running their personal life, I don't want them running the country."
We left several messages for Penn about all this, but he didn't return our calls. However, his spokesman called and denied the story. In his article, Lynch theorizes: "Perhaps the reluctance to flush is an attempt to make up for the 97 million gallons of water Gore wasted on his photo-op canoeing trip on the Connecticut River earlier this year."
THIS JUST IN . . .
* Grip and grimace? On tonight's "Dateline NBC," germ-obsessed presidential possibility Donald Trump confides to Stone Phillips: "I'm not a big fan of the handshake. I think it's barbaric and especially in our times, and especially with medical reports, I mean they have medical reports all the time. Shaking hands, you catch colds, you catch the flu, you catch this, you catch all sorts of things, who knows what you don't catch."
* Actress and model Karen Duffy, who used to be MTV's "Duff" and suffers from sarco- idosis, a rare disease of the central nervous system requiring chemotherapy, is touting cancer research and prevention for women on Capitol Hill today.
* Burned by rumors about his behind-closed-doors sessions with a female campaign aide, GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer tells America's Voice TV host Cal Thomas on tomorrow's show: "I just ordered a glass door, in order that there will not be a glass ceiling in my campaign about how far a woman can go."
* The legendary Wayne Newton--who was in town yesterday to pick up an American Legends award from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (he's part Native American)--laughed uproariously when we asked if he had any presidential yearnings. "I've got to tell you, I'm afraid I'm too thin-skinned to be president," the 57-year-old Las Vegas crooner said after recovering his composure. "Even if I were to run for politics, I don't know anything people could dig up that hasn't been said."
Newton--who instructed us: "You can call me Wayne"--said he's plenty busy with his current career. Wayne performed 46 weeks last year, mostly in Vegas, the shining city in the desert, and he's recording his 150th album, "King of the Nightlife," due out next spring. As for presidential politics, Wayne is backing George W. Bush. "I'm basically a Republican," he said. "I believe in the things he believes in, and I liked his father." So is George W. a fan? "I don't know. I'd frankly rather not find out."