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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

2013 Official Christmas Card Only Features the Four-Legged Obamas

White House Christmas cardiLoveDogs: You won’t see a picture of Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha smiling beside a tree on the official 2013 White House Christmas card.

No… just as last year and in 2011, the only Obama family members on this year’s card are those with four legs – and this time, it’s Bo and his new friend, Sunny; a bit odd!

The pop-up card, designed by Michigan artist Chris Hankinson of PopUpCards.com, features the two Portuguese Water Dogs walking in front of a 3D White House.

“As we gather around this season, may the warmth and joy of the holidays fill your home,” the card says. All six Obamas have signed the card – Bo and Sunny’s signatures include their (faux) paw prints.

Speaking of “gather around,” that happens to be the holiday theme this year at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“It celebrates the stories and traditions that bring us together this special time of year,” says the White House website. “As members of one American family, we are united in a story built over the course of two centuries.”

During a holiday decorating party at the White House earlier this month, Sunny made headlines when she bumped noses with 2-year-old Ashtyn Gardner, causing the little girl to fall to the ground.

Although the news media painted Sunny as a bit of a monster (“Sunny Obama: Terror of Toddlers” was the U.S. News and World Report headline), a video showed that the incident was simply an accident… and no big deal.

“If Ashtyn remembers anything from the event, it’s getting that big hug from the first lady and playing with the dogs,” her dad told CBS News.

Replicas of a more subdued Sunny alongside Bo are also featured on the 2013 gingerbread White House. You can watch it being created in this official video:

Video: Holidays at the White House – Building the 2013 Gingerbread White House

December 18, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Portuguese Water Dogs & Pit Bulls: The Politics of the President’s Pets

By Edie Jarolim | Published: August 26, 2013

Will My Dog Hate Me?:  Anything that President Obama does is news, which goes with the Leader of the Free World territory. And when the President does something warm and fuzzy, like getting a pet for his family — as opposed, to say making recess appointments of agency heads – more sections of the blogosphere than just the usual political ones pay attention.

Bo and Sunny

Bo and Sunny, First Dogs (actually, first and second ‘First Dogs’)

The official announcement on the White House blog on August 19 read:

Today the Obamas welcomed the newest member of their family – a little girl (puppy) named Sunny!

Sunny was born in Michigan in June 2012, and arrived at the White House today. Just like Bo, she’s a Portuguese Water Dog, which works great for the Obamas because of allergies in their family.

Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo – full of energy and very affectionate – and the First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality.

In honor of Sunny, the Obamas are making a donation to the Washington Humane Society.

Lots of people had something to say about this. 

Normal people’s reactions

Here is the typical normal pet lover’s reaction to the following film, released by the White House along with the article:

Awww!! She’s so cute! She plays so well with Bo, who was lonely for doggie company before Sunny came along. It’s nice that the family got a breed that Melia, who has allergies, could enjoy. It’s nice that the Obamas donated money to a shelter.

Awwww!! Ooooh! 

Reasonable and useful reactions from the pet community

This is a teachable moment. The Daily Beast had a sensible article by a veterinarian that includes information about whether you should get a second dog, introducing the second dog to the first dog, etc.

All good things to know. 

Well intended but misguided reactions from the pet community

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled New White House pup Sunny: Why not a rescue dog? is typical of the reactions of the “should have adopted” community. After a feel-good introduction, so as not to antagonize everyone who had the above-mentioned “awwww” reaction, such pieces cite a well-known figure in the animal welfare community to make the case.

Cue Wayne Pacelle, director of the Humane Society of the United States:

[Pacelle] noted on his blog Tuesday that the Obamas made little reference to exactly where Sunny came from, other than to note that it’s the Great Lakes State.

But given her pure-bred status, it’s unlikely that Sunny came from a rescue organization or a shelter. [emphasis mine, and not sourced to Pacelle]

“As we always say in such circumstances, we hope the Obamas considered adoption or rescue as the first choice in obtaining a pet,” wrote Mr. Pacelle.

Like all the other should-have-rescued articles I came across, this one misrepresents or ignores one bit of important information: That about 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred. There is a breed rescue for Portuguese water dogs, as there is for most breeds.

The fact is, the Obamas went through a reputable breeder for both Bo and Sunny. If they had ordered Sunny over the internet or bought her at a pet store, the pet community would have something to squawk about. But reputable breeders play an essential role in the world of animal lovers. It would be a good thing to emphasize that more, and scold less. 

Off-the-wall reactions from the pet community (or an ostensible member)

Yes, pit bulls can be sweethearts

Yes, pit bulls can be sweethearts

This article from Salon.com titled Another Portuguese Water Dog? The Obamas Should Have Made A Different Statement is likely just link/click bait because it is both ill-informed and wildly off kilter. It starts:

Bo Obama, America’s first dog, has a new playmate named Sunny and the first family is getting criticized for not adopting a mutt from the animal shelter. If the Obamas had gone to their local shelter, the Washington Humane Society, they wouldn’t have found a purebred Portuguese water dog. Instead, they might have come home with a pit bull — and that would have been a good thing.

There are three problems right off the bat.

  • The link in “the first family is getting criticized” clause directs us to PETA. A writer who knew anything about animal welfare would know that criticism from PETA means diddly squat — and especially in the context of an article related to pit bulls. PETA advocates that all pit bulls that turn up in shelters be put down.
  • What part of “the Obamas need a certain breed of dog because Melia has allergies” doesn’t the author understand?
  • As I noted above, 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred. You cannot say with authority that the Obamas would not have found a purebred Portuguese water dog at the Washington Humane Society.

I have written often here about how pit bulls are unfairly demonized. But bringing a rescued one into the White House is a ludicrous idea, for many reasons; they are detailed in the 300 plus comments that this piece drew. I couldn’t have summed it up better, however, than commenter “Schmoopi”:

You are fucking kidding me, right? You want the president who can’t do anything without it being made political and a “Black thing”… to adopt a dog that is the stereotyped official dog breed of the ‘hood?…

I like pits. They are a much maligned breed. They are naturally sweet-natured, loyal and affectionate….Pitbulls are also heavily abused and over bred by idiots…. Nevertheless, I find the suggestion that my President, our first Black president, a man who spends every day being “nibbled to death by ducks,” should deliberately do something that would enable the racist trolls of our country to hit new heights of asshattery to be the dumbest thing I have heard all summer.

This leads me to…

Bat-shit crazy political reactions

The supposition that the name Sunny was chosen because it’s close to Sunni, the sect of Islam to which Obama purportedly belongs, may be a joke, but the observation made by the right wing Daily Caller wasn’t:

With the addition of Sunny, the Obamas now have two black Portuguese water dogs.

The Obamas do not have any white dogs.

As for more comments about how diabolical the decision to get Sunny was, see Atlantic.com’s Best Conspiracy Theories About the Obamas’ New Dog, Sunny., and you be the judge…

Boring but important political pet news that got lost in the Sunny fuss

While the President was busy not adopting a pit bull, he did something much more important. The White House responded to a petition asking it to “Ban and outlaw Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in the United States of America on a Federal level!” with the following statement:

We don’t support breed-specific legislation — research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.

In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds.

The CDC also noted that the types of people who look to exploit dogs aren’t deterred by breed regulations — when their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out new, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.

For all those reasons, the CDC officially recommends against breed-specific legislation — which they call inappropriate. You can read more from them here.

As an alternative to breed-specific policies, the CDC recommends a community-based approach to prevent dog bites. And ultimately, we think that’s a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.

That’s a far better use of the President’s bully pulpit — pun intended — than making the family dog into a political statement rather than a pet.

What I would add is that at least the next time Bo gets to go on vacation on his own jet… he will have a four-legged companion to travel with… JOMP~

You be the judge…

Related:

Yet Another Taxpayer Paid Luxury Vacation For The Obamas, Including a Private Jet For The First Dog… Again

Obama admits to eating dog … fur finally flies

Bo Obama’s dog trainer dies at age 52 (Jan. 2011)

Bo the First Dog and His Trainer Arrive in Martha’s Vineyard… – Bo travelled on his own jet on the taxpayer’s nickel in 2011 as well. I’m as big of a pet advocate as anyone… but really? Guess we are off the green kick and global warming???

The mystery of Bo’s ‘Hawaii trip’ is solved: White House says he stayed in Washington and never went on holiday with First Family

President Bush and His Pets

Arrival of New First Pooch Imminent

Bush and Barney, Just Like Old Times

Busts of presidential pets Barney and Miss Beazley at George W. Bush Library

Presidential Pet Museum.com

August 28, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Yet Another Taxpayer Paid Luxury Vacation For The Obamas, Including a Private Jet For The First Dog… Again

JoshuaPundit:  You can’t make this stuff up.

Our president and the First lady are enjoying the president’s fourth luxury vacation this year, at the ultra-pricey Martha’s Vineyard.

Like many of us, the Obamas will unfortunately be downsizing their vacation this time. Their normal rental, the 28-acre Blue Heron Farm has been sold, so they will be reduced to making do at a $7.6 million, 5,000-square foot retreat on nine acres located in Chilmark on the western tip of the island that includes its own basketball court. They’ll be there eight days, so the American taxpayer will probably be picking up the tab for a full two weeks. Martha’s Vineyard in season is extremely pricey.

Now, no details of what that’s costing us, but we do know that over 70 rooms have been booked for the Secret Service and the rest of the entourage not deemed worthy to spend the night on call at the estate. Each room costs $345 per night. mere hovels by Martha’s Vineyard standards. The Secret Service normally gets there a few days before the First Family, so let’s figure ten days. That works out to well over $240,000, just for lodging for the help. With food and incidentals, we’re probably talking around $300,000 plus on the conservative side, not counting transportation and fuel.

And speaking of transportation, President Obama decided to commandeer two MV-22 Ospreys, military aircraft that carry 24 passengers each and cost $11,000 per hour to fly. One of them held the first family, its luggage and some of their more favored servants. The other one was – wait for it – a dog taxi used to fly in the First Dog, Bo.  So what is up with that?  Why can’t Bo travel with the family?  Any guesses??

Round trip cost for two MV-22 Ospreys, about $88,000, not including maintenance.

This also doesn’t include the cost of transporting the president and his wife’s entourage who didn’t manage to hitch a ride in the ospreys. Or any additional Cadillac Escalades or other vehicles they required.

Another little item we have to account for is construction costs for each one of the president’s little idylls. Whenever the president travels, extensive renovations have to be performed for the length of his stay to deal with things like security, advanced communication networks and the like. And then these renovations have to be removed and the house returned to its original condition when he leaves. This can cost anywhere up to several hundred thousand dollars.

I’ve never had much good to say about President George W. Bush, but because he made a point of vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, the American taxpayer only had to do this once. We’ve already had to do it four times this year alone for President Obama.

Our final tab for President Obama and his family’s little taste of the sweet life? Probably around a million dollars, give or take a few greens fees or the odd less than four star meal. That comes out to about $125,000 per day…a lot more than the majority of families in America live on for a full year.

President Obama ‘gets’ the middle class, all right. Good and hard, and without any lubrication…

You be the judge…

Related Articles:

Obama admits to eating dog … fur finally flies

Bo Obama’s dog trainer dies at age 52 (Jan. 2011)

Bo the First Dog and His Trainer Arrive in Martha’s Vineyard…  -  Bo travelled on his own jet on the taxpayer’s nickel in 2011 as well. I’m as big of a pet advocate as anyone… but really? Guess we are off the green kick and global warming???

The mystery of Bo’s ‘Hawaii trip’ is solved: White House says he stayed in Washington and never went on holiday with First Family

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Arrival of New First Pooch Imminent

Bush and Barney, Just Like Old Times

Busts of presidential pets Barney and Miss Beazley at George W. Bush Library

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August 15, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Obama admits to eating dog … fur finally flies

Nate Beeler, The Dog Issue, mitt romney, barack obama, dog, campaign, 2012, politics, election, presidential, president, doggie, bag, roof, car, ate, barack obama, conservative, election 2012, mitt romney, obama, politics

©2012 Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

Much has been made over the years about Mitt Romney’s decision to place the family dog Seamus in a pet carrier and strap him to the top of the family’s car during a 12-hour drive from Boston to Canada in 1983.

The story was discussed again Monday when Ann Romney told ABC’s Diane Sawyer “the dog loved” traveling that way. “He would see that crate and, you know, he would, like, go crazy because he was going with us on vacation. It was to me a kinder thing to bring him along than to leave him in the kennel for two weeks.”

Democrats haven’t been shy about reminding the American people of the tale to stir the pot and work up the pet and animal people.

Then in January, Obama adviser David Axelrod tweeted a picture of the president with first dog Bo in a car and talked about how “loving owners transport their dogs.”

And now the Romney campaign has signaled it’s not about to cede any ground when it comes to a candidate’s prowess as a pet owner.

Top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, re-tweeted Axelrod’s original message with a different take on Obama petting Bo.

“In hindsight, a chilling photo.”

It all began, according to ABC News’ Jake Tapper, with a Daily Caller story about the dog-eating: Obama Bites Dog, which Obama wrote about in his book “Dreams from My Father.” The president recalls being fed dog meat as a young boy in Indonesia with his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.

Lolo-StanleyAnn-Barry-and-Maya-Soetoro

Lolo Soetoro, Stanley Ann Dunham-Obama-Soetoro, Barry Soetoro, and little sister Maya Soetoro

“With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy),” the president wrote. “Like many Indonesians, Lolo followed a brand of Islam that could make room for the remnants of more ancient animist and Hindu faiths. He explained that a man took on the powers of whatever he ate (I believe it is still the excuse they use both under Islam and in many Asian countries, including China, for killing and eating domesticated animals, pets and endangered species… like elephants where they only use and take the tusks). One day soon, he promised, he would bring home a piece of tiger meat for us to share.”

The Obama campaign shot back, saying the Romney team was attacking a child, since the president was a kid when he ate the dog meat.

“What’s the next attack @EricFehrn and the RNC will surface on a 6-10 year old?” Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt tweeted.

The media has been all too eager to share the story of how Romney put his pet carrier on the roof of the car during a family vacation in an attempt to paint the GOP candidate as heartless. But did Romney ever eat dog? No. Who did? President Obama! Someone decided to do a little homework and finally found the passage in Obama’s book where he revealed that he ate dog meat as a child. Ok media…we’re are patiently waiting for the righteous and hypocritical outrage…

In Dreams from My Father, President Obama wrote, “With Lolo I have learned how to eat small green chili peppers raw with dinner, plenty of rice, and away from the dinner people I was introduced to dog meat, tough, snake meat, tougher, and roasted grasshopper.” and then went on to write:

“This is a very low standard for me. This is a very low standard, but I think – I think it’s one that we can all get behind.

I don’t want a President who knowingly ate dog,” Glenn joked.  Most people don’t!!

“The Democrats have been bashing Romney on the car carrier incident in 1983 where he left his dog on his roof,” Stu said. “This is from ABC News. Democrats have signaled that they have every intention of making sure the American people, especially dog lovers, know the tale.”

“In January senior Obama campaign strategist David Axlerod tweeted a photo of the President and Bo, his dog, in a car with the observation, ‘This is how loving dog owners transport their dogs.’”

“I would like to ask David Axlerod how do loving dog owners transport their dogs? In their bellies?” Stu said.

After Stu mentioned the tweet above, Glenn challenged viewers to submit their own photos interpreting Obama’s claim to have eaten dog.

The results?

I can only say that no matter how old you were, once you have eaten an animal that is a pet, no matter what your age you have no right to attack someone for putting his pet’s carrier on top of the car because there is no room in the car with 7-people.  And you need to stop your team from attacking your opponent for doing such.

Secondly… I do not condone, in anyway, putting your dog or cat in their carrier, strapped to the top of your car.  I would never do it. But believe it or not, (some) people did that in the 1950’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s. And it was reported that Romney constructed a special windshield for the carrier, “to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.”   Also how many people do you see every day in 2012 with dogs in the back of their pick-up trucks untethered in all kinds of weather and on all kinds of roads? Do you speak up?

And no matter what… transporting your dog on top of your car so he can go along instead of staying at the kennel is not the same as eating a dog… Period!!

How many of you protested the China Olympics because of their poor human rights record and their record for cruelty to animals and people, which includes both dogs and cats?

My husband spent a year in South Korea and they eat a lot of odd, different down right offensive things.  He refused to eat animals like dogs, cats, monkeys and any animals that were prepared inhumanely.  And I can tell you that even at age 6, I would not have knowingly eaten dog or cat meat!

With all the problems we have, this issue is just another created distraction that backfired on Team Obama who was again trying to create a big issue over the Romneys transporting their dog, like the issues they tried to create over Ann Romney being a stay at home mom and changing the conversation from ObamaCare paying for abortions with taxpayer funds and requiring religious institutions who are employers to pay for them into a war on women and an attack campaign on Rush Limbaugh. Obama’s record is abysmal and he has fires burning all around him… so Team Obama’s focus is creating distractions and diverting the conversation.

Related:

April 19, 2012 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Bo Obama’s dog trainer dies at age 52 (Jan. 2011)

obama_boThe woman who helped the Obama family train their Portuguese water dog, Bo, has died. (And the coverage has been virtually non-existent.)

According to the Washington Post, Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, a dog trainer whose well-behaved subjects lived among Washington, D.C.’s political elite, including the families of the late senator Edward Kennedy, died Jan. 12 at Fauquier Hospital in Virginia. She was 52.

Sylvia-Stasiewicz was leading dog-training classes days before her death. After being admitted to the hospital, she went into a coma and died of respiratory distress, her friends said.

Sylvia-Stasiewicz started training Bo at the suggestion of Vicki Kennedy, the wife of the late Massachusetts Democratic senator. The Kennedy family had sent its three dogs, Splash, Sunny and Cappy, to be trained by her and had been pleased with the results.

“She had a wonderful presence,” Vicki Kennedy said Friday. “They would instantly look up to her.”

As for her most well-known pupil, Bo recently spent a quiet Christmas with the president and his daughters in Hawaii. He joined in signing the family’s official Christmas card with his paw print.

“I got a little teary-eyed when he left,” Sylvia-Stasiewicz told St. Louis Magazine after Bo’s debut. “You get attached. I drove him to the White House and just stayed in the background, because it was their moment.”

Source:  OCPets – OCRegister

Related:

The Obama Dead Pool – More and more people are starting to ask questions and starting to compare the Clinton Body Count vs. the Obama Dead Pool

Obama’s Dog Trainer Earns $102,000/Year

Some say life is for the dogs. So in that regards, President Barack Obama has used taxpayers’ money to pay the salary of a dog trainer , who doesn’t even work full-time, but is just on retainer in case of so-called ‘dog-training’ emergencies. The part-time dog trainer generates $102,000 of yearly income.

Interesting facts about Obama were compiled by Rich Carroll, who had written an article entitled, “Barack Obama’s 32 Month Report Card.” He obtained information by citing from U.S. Energy Information, Wall Street Journal, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Standard & Poor’s Case Schiller, Federal Reserve, US Treasury, and Heritage Foundation.

by Tom McGregor –  Tmcgregordallas@yahoo.com –  Sun, Dec 11, 2011, 09:04 PM

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President Bush and His Pets

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Bush and Barney, Just Like Old Times

Arrival of New First Pooch Imminent

March 16, 2012 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bo the First Dog and His Trainer Arrive in Martha’s Vineyard…

clip_image001

September 27, 2011 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets | , , , | 4 Comments

Re-Assigned

Although the actual plane has not been re-painted like the one above, Bo is travelling on his own jet these days on the taxpayer’s nickel.  All I can says is really??  I’m as big of a pet advocate as anyone… but really?  Guess we are off the green kick and global warming???

January 1, 2011 Posted by | Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , | Leave a comment

Bush and Barney, Just Like Old Times

Bush and Barney

You may have already read Bill Minutaglio’s piece about George Bush’s post-presidential life in this week’s dead tree issue of Newsweek, but you won’t see this quote in it: “And there I was, former president of the United States of America, with a plastic bag on my hand.” That’s what the former President told some graduating high school seniors in New Mexico Thursday, referring to some quality time he’s been spending with former first dog Barney. “Life is returning back to normal,” he added. He also told the graduates that he’d been relieved of the great sense of responsibility he’d had when in office. “And frankly, it’s a liberating feeling,” he said.

By: Katie Connolly

Source:  The Gaggle

Posted:  Just One More Pet  

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May 23, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Arrival of New First Pooch Imminent

Obama family dog

A portuguese water dog Photo: GETTY

 

TMZ  reported yesterday that the appearance of the new White House dog is on schedule and that the suspense is finally over.  It has been confirmed that the first pooch will be a Portuguese Water Dog and will be presented by Senator Ted Kennedy who has two himself and had recommended the breed to the Obama’s.

The word on the arrival date is ‘imminent’ rather than “soon… so soon” but nothing definite as Michelle told reporters last week, or “Oh, man, now, that’s top secret,” as the President said to laughter last week. “That’s top secret.”  

 

TMZ reported that the chosen pooch comes from a prominent Texas kennel with the help of Senator Ted Kennedy’s family and that Michele and Barack intend to introduce their girls to their new dog to be  named Bo, on Tuesday. 

“The black dog,  a male,  is approximately six months old,” it reports. “We’ve learned it was bred at the kennel and sold to someone who gave it back. The kennel is now “re-homing” the dog to the Obamas.”  

The dog was named Charlie, but the Obamas will rename it, Bo.  The girls chose that name for their grandfather, Michelle’s dad.  His nickname was Diddly, as in Bo Diddly.

“Now here’s where the Kennedys come into play. The kennel has sold the Kennedys three Portuguese Water Dogs in the past, all from the same lineage.

The dog the Obamas will be getting is from the same lineage as the Kennedy dogs. The Kennedy family will be presenting the new dog to the Obamas, but it’s really coming from the kennel.”

The reason this all sounds a bit odd or technical is that there are issues regarding gifts to the President. The fact that the pup is being re-homed makes it all ‘kosher’.

 

 

Senator Dick Durbin, Mr Obama’s fellow Illinois politician, said the dog had been going through training while the president and the first lady were on their recent travels in Europe.  And, according to another report, the dog has already been to the White House for a “familiarisation” visit.

white-house-dog-2Reported Actual Foto of Obama Dog from FirstDogCharlie.com

By:  Marion Algier/Ask MarionJust One More Pet

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April 12, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Just One More Pet, Pets, Success Stories, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

New First Pooch Is Arriving Soon

harding-and-laddie-boy_0818

Warren Harding with Laddie Boy Library Of Congress / Getty ENLARGE + Print EmailShare ReprintsRelated

During the dog days of last summer, perhaps the most important looming decision facing Barack Obama was choosing a dog for his girls.  Way back, as he set out on this quest for the Presidency, he made the one campaign promise he absolutely could not break: that when it was all over, whatever the outcome, his daughters could get a dog.  And if they ended up at Pennsylvannia Avenue the pup would certainly not be the first dog or pet in the White House so would have a long legacy of presidential pets to follow and live up to.

Things have changed since the days when George Washington could name his hounds Drunkard, Tipler and Tipsy. Warren Harding’s Airedale Laddie Boy had a valet and occupied a hand-carved chair at Cabinet meetings. Ulysses S. Grant told his White House staff that if anything happened to his son’s beloved Newfoundland, they’d all be fired. Teddy Roosevelt had, along with a badger, a toad, some snakes and a pig, a bull terrier named Pete who once ripped the pants of a French ambassador. Cousin Franklin’s dog Fala had a press secretary, starred in a movie and was named an honorary private in the Army. George H.W. Bush’s springer spaniel Millie wrote a book, which sold more copies than the President’s autobiography. And then, of course, there was Checkers. Harry Truman supposedly once said, You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog. ( By Nancy Gibbs/TIME)

It’s hard enough to pick the right dog.  But adding the fact that you may be the First Family and need a hypoallergenic breed increases the difficulty of the process.  So the American Kennel Club (AKC), hoping to help ensure the 23rd purebred dog into the White House, conducted a survey. The public could even vote online for the type of dog they thought the Obamas should get for the AKC survey, and other groups sponsored similar surveys. Since first daughter Malia has allergies, the AKC limited the ballot choice to five hypoallergenic breeds. It suggested the bichon frise with its history as a companion to French noblemen implying qualification of the breed for the White House. But perhaps it was not the exact image the Obamas were looking for. It recommended the miniature schnauzer as an excellent watchdog, for a little added security (although probably not needed), and the soft-coated wheaten terrior with its sweet-temperament as a positive goodwill ambassador, though it “must be handled firmly and with consistency,” which also may not have been the ideal characteristic choice for the candidate of Change.

The AKC’s preference for purebreds, however, missed the obvious stellar opportunity for the Obamapup. Surely a self-proclaimed postpartisan reformer, who promised to ‘reach across the aisle’,  would lean toward some stunningly blended mutt, a rescued shelter dog or at least one of the American Canine Hybrid Club’s 500 plus registered hybrids. Afterall, the hybrid pooch or designer dog was bred to give you the best of both breeds: a Labradoodle, a Peke-a-Poo, a Bagle (half basset, half beagle) or a Chiweenie (half chihuahua, half dachshund). A bully pulpit seeking candidate might like the Bullypit (a bulldog-pit-bull mix), or he could go for a Sharmatian–part Chinese Shar-Pei, part Dalmatian–and get the whole East-and-West, black-and-white thing going in one single pooch.

There was even a suggestion during the campaign, that their decision for a type of dog, if not actually getting one before the election,  should be moved up, given the competition from the ‘McCainines’. An AP–Yahoo News poll last June (2008) found that pet owners favored John McCain over Obama, 42% to 37%, with an even bigger margin among dog owners. One participant explained that it “tells you that they’re responsible at least for something, for the care of something.” Or, in the McCains’ case, “many somethings”:  their menagerie includes a slew of fish, some parakeets, turtles Cuff and Link, Oreo the cat and four dogs, including terriers Lucy and Desi. Obama could take comfort in his 14-point lead among non–pet owners, except that they form a definate minority of U.S. households.

The Obamas were pre-warned, that although a good one, they were definitely looking at another major life change by getting a dog for the first time. “A dog was never an option in the apartment where I grew up”, said Obama, “and my daughters knew that training the dog they so desperately wanted was nothing compared with training me to accept one”.

portuguese_water_dogWell it is now two and a half months into the presidency and still no first dog, and it seems like the whole world, at least the pet loving world, is waiting for their choice and the arrival of the first pooch.  The word from First Lady Michelle is April, after their Spring Break family vacation, and possibly a Portuguese Water Dog…  and not a puppy (which could mean that in the end the AKC got their next purebred into the White House afterall).  Senator Ted Kennedy, whose neice Caroline got a pony while in the White House, highly recommended the breed.  He has two.  Their coat is a single layer and does not shed. In most cases, these dogs are hypo- allergenic, making them a good choice for those that have allergies.

So, there will be a new pooch frolicking on the South Lawn by the end of this month.

The next obvious question for speculation, of course, is the perfect name for the next first dog. Some suggest the Obamas should just get two, one for each of the girls, and call them Hope and Change.  Of course there are others that suggest getting two dogs but calling them Smoke and Mirror or Fear and “Quo”, for Status Quo, would be the best call, but that would be a subject for another type of blog or article.

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By Marion Algier/Ask Marion – Posted – Just One More Pet

April 3, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments