Mitt Romney deflected reporters' incessant questions about Seamus, the family dog that he strapped to the car roof for a family vacation in 1983, by pointing out that he tied "Flatfoot" the family pet turtle under the sole of his shoe for the duration of a 12 hour family hike in Maine "just last summer".
"Heh...Heh," Romney chuckled awkwardly before adding that Flatfoot loved it under the arch and often went down under there. "We knew Flatfoot wouldn't keep up with our pace unless we gave him a lift," Romney explained.
Romney pointed out that it was as uncomfortable for him as it may have been for the turtle. "It was akin to walking with a large rock in your shoe except he was outside of it."
"When we reached Mt. Katahdin one of the kids noticed a brown substance in my footstep and yelled 'Gross... Dad'; and so we stopped at a creek and washed it off."
"We knew Flatfoot would have scampered away and we would never see him again... If he was in any shape to do that when we got back home. So we brought a new turtle Flatfoot II, who lasted at least 24 hours with us."
Shocked reporters started to ask what happened to Flatfoot II before catching themselves in mid sentence as Romney interrupted to tell them about the family pet hamster "Roadkill".
"Roadkill loved racing on his little wheel for hours at a time. We just knew that little guy would love racing around the station wagon's left front wheel during our trip to Canada last fall."
"We are baptizing him posthumously next week."