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The rumors had been circulating for weeks about Sutter, the corgi that Gov. Jerry Brown has been watching for his sister Kathleen Brown. This afternoon on the east steps of the state Capitol, Brown's wife Anne Gust Brown put the rumors to rest: Sutter is officially the "first dog."

Gust Brown, Brown strategist Steve Glazer and a fair share of the Sacramento press corps analyzed the news in great detail with Sutter, who rolled on the lawn and sniffed well-wishers. At about the same time, the governor's press office announced via e-mail a statewide hiring freeze, which went unremarked on during Sutter's event.

Glazer has been tweeting about Sutter for weeks, and someone (presumably not the dog himself) has been tweeting under the handle SutterBrown since early-January. Sutter had belonged to Kathleen Brown, who relocated to Chicago to take a different position with investment firm Goldman Sachs.

Gust Brown said she and the governor settled the first dog issue on Valentine's Day. It marks the first time since at least before Brown's first two terms, from 1975-1983, that a governor has announced a first pet of any kind.

"He finds all the extra food lying on the floor in the office," Gust Brown said about Sutter's privileges as first dog. "He barks at anyone, he gives snuggles, he warms up the Republicans. As you see, Sen. (Bob) Dutton's very fond of him."


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