Thursday, November 6, 2008

Our President-Elect’s Promises

Our country is set to have lots of changes in the White House. We have a new president-elect, who’ll move in there in January with his wife and two young daughters.

And a puppy.

I’d heard during President-Elect Barack Obama’s campaign that his daughters had requested, and he had promised, a new puppy once the campaign was over. Obama has won the presidency. And it’s great to learn that he does, indeed, keep his promises. Or at least he mentioned this one in his acceptance speech. I’ve seen that part of his speech reported quite a few times in the news, too.

So what kind of a puppy will the Obama family adopt? Ah, that is an interesting question. A controversial one.

News has reported that his 10-year-old daughter Malia, who has allergies, has requested a "goldendoodle," a hypoallergenic hybrid of a golden retriever and a standard poodle. In a poll taken by the AKC, the public has voted on a purebred poodle instead. But will the Obamas alienate a lot of other members of the American public by adopting a purebred or designer dog instead of rescuing a mixed breed? Undoubtedly.

But at least they have a logical reason behind it: Malia’s allergies. Without being certain of a mixed breed’s heritage, they couldn’t be certain it was as hypoallergenic as some known purebreds.

My opinion? They should do what they want. I love all dogs, hate the idea of so many being housed, or euthanized, in shelters. On the other hand, I fell in love with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels many years ago. Each one who’s adopted me has had a different personality, including my current loves, my dearly adored Lexie, whose counterpart is the star of my Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter Mysteries, and her nutty puppy friend Mystie. Their basic characteristics and, in general, their kinds of health concerns, are a known quantity. That’s one advantage of purebreds, at least as long as they are acquired from reputable breeders and not pet stores that get their pups from puppy mills.

Sounds to me as if the Obamas have excellent reason to choose a purebred, or a designer dog of known heritage like a goldendoodle. I’m sure, if that’s their choice, there will be plenty of people who object to it. But if that’s the worst controversy that occurs during Barack Obama’s administration, we’ll all be better off!

Dare I ask your opinion on what kind of puppy should be the White House’s newest canine occupant?



Peter Rozovsky said...

Maybe in a spirit of bipartisanship, because Americans are tired of business as usual in Washington, he should get a dog and a cat.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I think it should definitely be a mixed-breed pup (which could include a Labra-doodle or whatever), in keeping not only with the President's background, but also in the new spirit of reaching across the aisles and working together as a nation no longer fettered by our differences. We are one nation, under God, bound by our ideals not our differences.

And I had to laugh because when we moved to the UK, we slowly discovered that nearly EVERY family had offered some sort of bribe to their kids as part of the move. Usually a pet!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Just to clarify that, since sometimes emails are dad used to brag that he was a "Heinz 57" of a person. A mixture of all sorts of backgrounds. I think that's one of our strengths as a country...that mix. Just like all mutts, that makes us stronger than a purebred. We've taken the best that the world has to offer, and we've said, "That's who we are." We may not look like each other, or come from the same native country, but we share the common believe, the ideal of the United States of America as e pluribus unam.

Linda O. Johnston said...

More than one pet sounds good to me, Peter--dog and cat and maybe something else, too. And, Joanna, I like your way of looking at this. There have been numerous stories in the papers and on TV about the potential first puppy. I don't know if anyone is asking the Obamas anything else about their current leanings, but there are a lot of people out there giving advice!

Monica Ferris said...

I, too, like the idea of both a dog and a cat, but that's because I'm a cat person myself. It will make a nice test of bi-partisanship, making the two get along!

caryn said...

I don't care what sort they get but I do hope someone takes the time to match them with the dog. Labadoodles and golden doodles are great dogs, but they get quite large and have TONS of energy, are not the easiest dogs in the world to leash train. They have been known to drag even large men down stairs as well as knocking them over with their affectionate leaps-especially golden doodles.

Kathryn Lilley said...

I did a search on goldendoodle rescue and came up with some links. Even purebreds, it seems, are not immune from being abandoned and in need of adoption.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I hope that whichever pet or pets they wind up with (which of course can include cats, Monica!) they do their homework and pick an addition to the family that's compatible with all of them, and their new lifestyle. They'll probably have help in training, but even so may not want a pup who's too hard to handle, Caryn. And that's really interesting, Kathryn--that there are specific organizations for goldendoodle rescue. That might be the way for the Obamas to go!

Anonymous said...

Why on earth should anyone care what kind of dog someone else adopts? Or what brand of cologne or tea or cereal they buy?

Linda O. Johnston said...

Perhaps you're right, anonymous. But people who put themselves in the public spotlight, like politicians and film stars, wind up having everything about them discussed!

Betty Hechtman said...

I am kind of late to comment. I'm sure the Obama's aren't going to do this, but I wish they would adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue organization. Since people copy everything those in the public eye do, suddenly rescued pets would become the in thing.

Kathryn Lilley said...

Good point, Betty! And if Paris Hilton and Angelina Jolie would also adopt shelter animals, that might take care of the homeless pet population in a jiffy!

Linda O. Johnston said...

And since Kathryn found some goldendoodle rescue organizations, there's no reason the Obamas can't do so, too, Betty and Kathryn!

Anonymous said...

How about getting a service puppy?

Janie Emaus said...

Having allergies myself and a granddaughter with them, I understand the necessity in getting a pet that won't cause any allergic reactions to flare up. All puppies need good homes and what better place than the White House.


Kate said...

As for labra and golden-doodles being hypoallergenic - ha, ha, ha! If they don't get a first-generation cross (and sometimes even if they do) all bets are off. I've met a good number of theses dogs who shed like crazy. Since dander is more often the real culprit, not the actual fur, it might be best if they went with a short-haired dog or cat and bathed it in special dander-reducing shampoos on a regular basis. I also think that unless the Obamas are going to bring a dog trainer to the White House on a daily basis for the first six months, a puppy 'doodle' is going to be a big problem. No offence (I wanted him to be Pres), but these are people who probably have never had a dog, who are going to be incredibly busy, and really won't have the time and knowledge to work with a dog. While I'd like for the girls to get their promised pet, it would be much better if they talked it over and admitted that an older dog would be better for them. I'd like to suggest a greyhound or whippet, at least 3 years old.

Linda O. Johnston said...

The allergy thing does put a different spin on what kind of dog might be most appropriate. It'll be interesting to see what they ultimately choose. I gather the pup won't be adopted until the Obamas have already moved into the White House.