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The Empire State has a state flower (the Rose), a state insect (the ladybug), a state tree (Acer saccharum - the Sugar Maple), a state gem (the Garnet), a state beverage (milk), a state fish (the Brook Trout), a state shell (the Bay Scallop)... for goodness sake we even have a state muffin (the Apple Muffin)! So why not a state dog?

That's what Assemblyman Vincent Ignizio from Staten Island wants to know. And since we don't have one, Ignizio would further like to suggest the German Shepherd to fill the role. "If the dog is man's best friend," he told the Post "then clearly the German shepherd is New York's best friend."

While we suspect there are bigger things we could be worried about besides state dogs, we can't say we'd object to the German shepherd representing our fine State. They're just such loving and lovable little buggers. Anybody got any better ideas for a state dog?

Photograph of Max the German Shepherd from Mary T.'s flickr stream.