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The President-Elect’s Dog Search

OK, the election’s over. Some of our readers are undoubtedly disappointed that McCain lost, while others (including ourselves) are very happy that Obama won. Regardless of our differences, I hope that we can all be Americans and not impede our incoming President’s efforts to help our country recover from its many problems.

But that’s not what I really wanted to talk about. Some of you may be aware that Obama promised his daughters that, win or lose, he would get them a puppy when the election was over. So, I’m sure that somebody in his staff is trying to figure out what dog to get the girls. One of the girls, I have heard, has serious allergies, so they need a dog who is (relatively) hypoallergenic. The AKC site (sorry, but I’ve lose the specific URL) has suggested a list of five breeds, including Poodles and Wheaten Terriers. Shelties, alas, are out of the running.

The Humane Society of the United States (a close ally of PETA that simply does not do any humane work such as running shelters, but merely raises money to use for advertising and lobbying to eliminate all human use of animals) has stuck its evil nose into the discussion and is urging Obama to adopt some random-bred dog from a shelter. I have very mixed feelings about that, for reasons that you’ll see below. On the one hand, all dogs — whether random-bred or purebred — have the right to be loved and properly cared for. On the other hand, though…we are talking about a dog that will be incredibly visible to the public and reporters, especially if there are any problems!

I intend (time will tell whether I succeed or not) to write a letter to Obama recommending two things. First, whatever he gets, he should select a purebred dog whose background is fairly well known. He might get his daughters’ dog from a breeder, in which case he should seek out the best breeder of his chosen breed and get the best pet-quality dog he can find. Or he might choose to adopt the dog from a rescue group, in which case he must be certain that he’s dealing with a reputable, respected rescue group and that he adopts a dog that the rescue group has thoroughly vetted for health and temperament.

Second, I would personally recommend a standard (or, if absolutely necessary, miniature) poodle for the very simple reason that poodles are well known as very trainable. While I adore Wheaten Terriers, they are, after all, terriers. And, although they can be wonderful dogs, I’m not sure that a house filled with people who don’t have the time to do training is the right environment for a terrier. What we don’t want is for the Obamas to have to get rid of the dog because it’s digging holes in the carpet, chewing up the furniture (or visitors’ pantlegs), barking ceaselessly, etc.

There’s nothing I’d like better than seeing a very high quality, well trained, goreous Sheltie in the White House. But the allergy situation proscribes that possibility. (The shedding issue, not to mention the fact that Shelties are famous for loving the sounds of their own voices, would also likely be problematic.)

What do you think? What criteria would you use if you were going to advise the Obama family about getting a dog for their girls?

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3 comments to The President-Elect’s Dog Search

  • cindy colbert

    Is’nt it funny how the Obamas search for a dog has captured everyones imagination. A White House dog is’nt left alone. The White House has trainers and kennel staff to take care of the first pet, I’m sure the current staff was delighted to hear that their jobs are secure. The only President that has’nt had a dog in the last 100 years or so was probaly Eisenhower but I think he may have had a hunting dog that stayed at Gettysburg. TR had a housefull of assorted critters and children to keep them occupied, but even there I think I read he had a kennel staff. Is’nt history fun?!
    At any rate I am not sure I would trust a President that did’nt have a dog somewhere. :O)

    Cindy

  • hypo allergenic dog breeds…

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  • I am wary of anyone who has never had a dog. I am glad Pres. Obama has decided to get his daughters a dog, I am sure this lucky dog will certainly be one pampered pooch.

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