Tuesday, April 14, 2009

First Dog Scandal?

The Obamas finally have their new pet, Bo, a purebred Portuguese water dog. Though Mr. Obama would have preferred a mutt (because it would be like him), they needed to get a purebred because of Malia Obama's allergies. Throughout the campaign, the first family said that the wanted to adopt a shelter dog, which pleased many animal activists.

However, there is somewhat of a dispute over whether or not Bo is really a "rescued" dog. We do know that he came from a breeder. He was put into a home that did not work for him, and was given back to the breeder. Then he was adopted by the Obamas. The dispute lies in that Bo never spent time in a shelter or with a rescue group. He was still taken out of a poorly-fit home and given a new lease on life.

Bo's breeders also bred the Portuguese water dogs of Massachusetts Senator Kennedy. The Kennedys actually gave Bo to the Obamas as a present, knowing that they needed an allergen-free purebred dog, and that there was a dog in need of a good home.

So what do you think? Did the Obamas do the right thing or did they skimp on their campaign promise?

Personally, I 100% support what the Obamas did. It is hard to find an allergy-safe purebred in a shelter, especially one with good temperament (for living in the White House. If the presidential shelter dog ever bit someone, what would that do for the reputation rescued dog adoptions?) Second, Bo was a gift from the Kennedys. If someone gives you a gift, it's kind of rude to refuse it, especially when it (or he) is something that you are looking for. Third, the dog wasn't just bought from a breeder, it had been in a home that was not a good fit. They did not go to a puppy mill or high-end breeder specifically to get a brand spankin' new puppy.

Though they did not end up adopting a shelter dog, they still donated money to the places that they were looking at. My only concern is that Portuguese water dog puppy mills will increase "production" in hopes of fans wanting to purchase the same breed as the First Family. However, we no longer live in the era of idolization, such as 50 years ago when our society was enthralled with the DiMaggios, Monroes, Ruths, and FDRS, etc of the time.

I'd like to say congratulations to the Obama's on their new family member, and that I am very pleased that they took in a "quasi-rescued" dog, considering they had to make sure it would be okay for Malia.

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