Conrad’s dog, Dakota, in remission four months after diagnosis

Conrad holds his dog Dakota during a break between the two Red River diversion meetings held in July 2010 on Capitol Hill. Kristen Daum / The Forum

FARGO – North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad had some optimistic news to share over the holidays: His popular dog, Dakota, is in remission after a four-month battle with cancer.

Dakota, a bichon frise, was diagnosed with lymphoma in early September and has been undergoing medical treatments since, Conrad said.

The odds of Dakota seeing a complete cure from the cancer are slim, about 1 in 7 chance, he said.

But the disease is treatable, and Conrad and his wife, Lucy, remain hopeful of Dakota’s recovery.

“He’s such a good little guy and he’s handled this very well,” Conrad said Friday.

He said Dakota continues chemotherapy treatments and regular visits to the animal hospital.

“He’s lost a lot of his hair, so he has little sweatshirts and sweaters that he wears, but he’s really done very well,” Conrad said. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

True to the dog’s renowned friendly nature, Dakota is popular with the medical staff treating him, Conrad added.

Dakota also continues to join Conrad at work, he said, where the dog has become quite a celebrity on the Capitol Hill.

The Conrads adopted Dakota in the spring of 2009 from a shelter in Maryland. The dog was found starving to death after being abandoned.

Because of that trauma, Dakota needs extra care and attention, so the dog often accompanies Conrad around Capitol Hill, attending committee hearings or waiting in the office while Conrad casts votes on the Senate floor.

On the Hill, most everyone – lawmakers, aides, staff and Capitol Security – know who Dakota is, Conrad said, and the dog’s friendly, lovable personality can’t help but attract adoring fans.

Last summer, MSNBC Anchor Brian Williams even introduced Dakota as “the Senate’s unofficial 101st member” in a documentary report on Congress.


11 thoughts on “Conrad’s dog, Dakota, in remission four months after diagnosis

    • selfish???? he is actually taking care of that dog unlike its previous owners. Good for him for being a decent pet owner instead of just “putting them down” when the going gets tough!

    • Ryan, how is this selfish? The dog’s cancer is treatable and he is responding well to treatments? My dogs have health insurance, and one thing it covers is cancer treatment. I realize some people are born ignorant and some learn that trait, which one are you?

  1. Thank you for such a heart warming story! I personally prefer to hear stories regarding good things over bombings and political scandals. Keep the good news coming! A North Dakota Girl!

  2. Kudos to Sen.Conrad for his care to “Dakota”. Both are fortunate to have each other. Love and compassion are the bonds of friendship.

  3. Jean, you are just as arrogant as Ryan. I hope, for your dogs concern, you rehome them to someone who cares.

  4. My Mom died of stomach cancer in 09, and there was nothing they could do. It was heart breaking. So hearing about Conrad’s mutt which is in remission makes me want to puke.

  5. Always good to see people who can take a positive news story and make it angry.

    And, as Kaley mentioned hopefully any dogs you have are rehomed. Quickly.

  6. I am a North Dakotan and animal lover. I am proud to have Kent Conrad on Capitol Hill. I agree with Sam-the world needs more warm, fuzzy news.

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