Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pet-People for President!

Okay, I know it’s not a great idea to talk politics on a blog devoted to mysteries, especially cozy mysteries involving hobbies.

But I happened to see some interesting commentary on how pet lovers are likely to vote for the presidential candidates. Supposedly, they will prefer John McCain over Barack Obama. McCain is said to own a couple of dogs, two turtles, a cat, a ferret, three parakeets and some saltwater fish. Obama supposedly has no pets.

On the other hand, I also saw an interview with Obama’s family. One of his daughters was asked what the big event in November would be. She said that they would be getting a dog. Sure, that’s not as many pets as the McCains have. But it also indicates to voters that the Obamas aren’t pet haters.

I’ve also seen that the American Kennel Club is giving Obama advice on the type of dog his family should adopt. The frontrunners? Bichon Frise, Chinese crested, poodle, soft coated Wheaten Terrier or miniature Schnauzer.

Why these breeds, you ask? So did I. I consequently went to the website where the American public can vote for one of these for the Obamas, by August 19 (although I’m not sure of the significance of the date, if no dog will be adopted by the family until November):
The criteria: hypoallergenic coat; child-friendly; a good travel companion (aboard Air Force One); moderate energy level; and a stable and social temperament - meaning, visitor-friendly.

I suspect that my older son’s Puli would have fit these criteria, too, since her coat is also hypoallergenic, and she’s an absolute sweetheart--although, as a Hungarian sheepdog, she might herd children and the press corps. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not hypoallergenic but would otherwise fit as well.

I don’t think I’ll base my vote on who appears to be the best pet-lover, although I’d most likely vote against anyone who clearly hated pets.

How about you? Are you going to vote for which dog the Obamas should adopt? Will you consider pet-affinity as a criterion about casting your presidential vote?

I suspect that Kendra Ballantyne, my pet-sitting, pet-loving mystery protagonist, would at least consider dog-friendliness as a consideration for the chief executive of our country...



Sheila Connolly said...

Oh, dear, what a problem. A political analyst would no doubt counsel against those effete exotic dogs, no matter how hypoallergenic, and would recommend a true-blue all-American dog like a beagle or a retriever.

The Obama family's choice should be revealing. Better they should go to the pound or SPCA and pick out a dog who really needs a good home, and who the kids fall in love with (shucks--good photo ops).

Kathryn Lilley said...

I agree. I think they'd show an excellent example by adopting a rescued dog or dog from the shelter. Maybe Mrs. Obama could take on the abandoned pet population issue as one of her First Lady causes.

Linda O. Johnston said...

You're both right, of course. To be most politically correct, the Obamas should rescue a poor, homeless puppy. And how wonderful that would be for the pet they choose! The ASPCA is running a TV ad requesting contributions that makes my eyes tear every time I see it--those sweet, sad doggies and kitties!

caryn said...

Those ads...such tear jerkers! We are animal people, but we give money and wish list stuff to the shelter our pets have come from rather than volunteering there-I just could not handle leaving the dogs and cats behind! We volunteer at the zoo-no question there! Tigers and lions can't come home!
I'm all for Obama getting a pound puppiy. The "first dog" gets alot of press-or has in the past. It could help raise awareness of the need. Shoot they might even find one of the breeds on their list in the shelter!

Linda O. Johnston said...

How do you help at the zoo, Caryn? That must be fun... and exciting! And looking for a member of the favored breeds to rescue would be a fabulous compromise. I'll bet PetFinder could help!

Betty Hechtman said...

I agree that the Obama's should get a rescue dog. They live (for the moment, anyway) in my neighborhood in Chicago and most the people are socially conscious about human and animal issues. Have they actually said what kind of dog they want to get?

Linda O. Johnston said...

I'm not sure the Obamas have expressed an opinion, Betty, at least not publicly--unless I've missed it. The American Kennel Club has suggested the breeds on the presidentialpup survey.
Interesting neighbors you have...!