(image: Pistol-packin' Mamma/flickr)

Mitt and Ann Romney want Americans to think that their dog Seamus lived a long and happy life after his harrowing 12-hour ride atop the wood-paneled station wagon.

Mr. Romney’s wife, Ann, has previously said Seamus survived the trip and went on to live to a “ripe old age.”

They embellished the story of Seamus to prove that he wasn’t harmed by Mitt’s callous treatment of him with a hose, leaving him cold and sick atop the car:

“Mitt and I love our dogs,” she said. “Seamus was our first — an Irish setter. When I wasn’t at home, Mitt let him sleep on the bed. And usually when he was riding in the car, his head was out the window. Seamus lived to a ripe old age, basking in the affection of a large family.”

So what happened to the dearly departed Seamus? The dog, which had a penchant for wandering away from the Romneys’ Boston home, ended up retiring to California with Romney’s sister, Jane, who had space for him to roam freely.

Jane Romney referred to him as “Mr. Personality.” She said he arrived at her home detesting cats and later turned into the loving protector of a litter of kittens.

But, apparently some Romney Bros are having a hard time sticking to the story their Auntie Jane has been corralled into supporting:

According to a trusted Politicker tipster, two of Mr. Romney’s sons had an off-record conversation with reporters where they revealed the dog ran away when they reached their destination on that infamous journey in 1983.

The dog is long gone, and we’ll probably never know how, where, or when Seamus passed to that Rainbow Bridge. But I bet Seamus isn’t waiting patiently there for Mitt.