The President's Dog
TheDogPlace Staff - January 2009
Did the Politics behind Animal Rights factor into the 2008 Presidential race? We can’t deny that animal rights legislation swept the country after that election.
Does the President's choice of a personal pet or lack of family pet reveal Presidential personality? One study revealed that people with no solid roots, especially during childhood, were less likely to own a dog as adults.
The Veterinary Behavior Society ponders: "What Type of Leader Will Barack Obama be for His Future Pooch?" but the question is, how will the President lead the country?
The Veterinary think tank wrestled with “Will he follow the militaristic model of imposing his will through domination and showing the pooch who is “boss?" and the biggies "Or will he choose a more nuanced approach to train and motivate the first pup, recognizing that leadership is not synonymous with dominance?”
The rest of the interesting article can be found at: www.avsabonline.org but politically speaking, it read like stretching for "current affairs" mileage. Our new President has a lot more on his plate than training the family dog.
Assuming the "President's Dog" is indeed the President's own choice for his best friend, the dog fancy is laying odds on what that will be. Purebred? Shelter dog? (That would be democratic enough and might be interpreted as proving he's for the middle class.) Most usually the family breed's personality and characteristics are a reflection of presidential personality.
Kennedy has gotten another Portuguese Water Dog, which the Fox commentator called a “hound.” No matter, the point is, Porties are affable but spirited, highly intelligent non-stop workers, able to paddle their way out of the deepest water or muck. The Kennedy boys had dogs but John wasn't much of a keeper and his dogs were mostly gifts from Ireland. His father gave John a Welsh terrier that stayed around long enough to breed Pushinka, a gift from Premier Khrushchev. The litter was given away within two months except for two that lived at the Kennedy home on Squaw Island but they were eventually given away too.
Ted Kennedy seems to be the real dog lover. In fact, the first thing he did after getting home from the hospital was take his two Porties outside. Fox News got in on the President’s Dog coverage with a controversial clip of Ted Kennedy disputing Henry (The Fonz) Winkler’s claim that the Labradoodle doesn’t shed.
But back to Winkler. He’s no dummy so his Labradoodle is probably an outside dog. If it was in his living room, he’d know it sheds and he wouldn’t be quoting the designer dog "no-shed" marketing hype. But we do agree, either breed would be great for the President’s family.
President Obama appears to have never had a dog, so if he does follow Presidential tradition and get a dog, will he share that remarkable one-on-relationship that President Lyndon Johnson shared with his Beagles and President Bush so clearly enjoys with his Scottie Barney?
Actually, the whole Bush family seems to love dogs, Scotties in particular. One might surmise that the terrier's resilient, rough and ready nature suits them well.
When Barney bit a reporter in November, the groundskeeper reported the incident to G.W. We’re told President Bush laughed and said “good!” He didn’t have to see the video clip to know the reporter had no business poking and grabbing at Barney. President Bush knows his breed choice. The Scottie is a happy-go-lucky, self-possessed, determined little dog. Just like his owner.
No matter one's political affiliation, the country is thankful for President Bush's terrier single-mindedness to keep us safe, even when it hurt his legacy. Hopefully, President Obama will be as totally committed to the country. Will he have time or inclination to deal with the emerging issue of "animal rights", learn about the ii Animal Rights Origin & History, or will it be smooth sailing for him among dog owners?
The saga of Obama’s Breed Choice has proven interesting. Breeders of purebred dogs hope it will be a purebred and not a shelter dog as recommended by the Animal Rights crowd. Whatever. It makes better news than what color drapes Michelle Obama will choose for the White House dining room.
Update: President Obama has chosen the Portuguese Water Dog which may have been inspired by a beloved Democratic President, President Kennedy.
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