All of us psycho dog people with blogs have an obligatory First Dog post to make at some point, so here is mine. My psycho dog person credentials: 15 years in Rottweilers, show occasionally, trial infrequently, training is lifelong, health testing is done as appropriate for my breed, not currently a member of any clubs but my personal code of ethics would meet or exceed that of the clubs, have not bred a litter.
Shortly after TMZ broke the news about Tuesday’s upcoming arrival of the First Dog, the mainstream media picked up on it and a few different versions of the story have been reported. However, everyone seems to be in agreement that the pup is a male Portuguese water dog, six months old, from a breeder in Texas who is also the breeder of Senator Ted Kennedy’s dogs. Some are reporting that the pup is in fact Senator Kennedy’s youngest PWD Cappy. Other sources are reporting that the pup is one that was returned to the breeder for rehoming, and is from the same or similar bloodlines as Cappy.
As a psycho dog person, I have very mixed feelings about the whole First Dog thing.
I never had a dog or cat as a youngster, and when I hear my husband and friends talk about their childhood pets, I feel I missed something important by not having that experience. Nothing that permanently scarred me, of course, but if the Obama kids don’t have to miss out on it, good for them.
I didn’t live in the limelight as a child, nor do I now. The Obama family does. Celebrity pets (and I would argue that all of the recent presidents are just as much celebrities as politicians or statesmen) are another thing I have mixed feelings about. They will obviously have all of their material needs taken care of, but in many cases, it won’t be a typical family life they get to live.
The Portuguese Water Dog community is wary of the fallout that the sudden attention to their breed will bring. It’s the same fallout that is familiar to anyone in a breed that has been popularized by a movie or television show: overbreeding, people buying or adopting a pup “like the one in the movie” and between six to twelve months later, an influx of that breed to rescues and shelters because people didn’t research the breed and expected it to be “just like the one in the movie.” You know, the one that some professional trained, and that was performing according to a script.
Since the Obamas and the media have referred to the faux breed name “Labradoodle” whenever the First Dog subject came up, I am glad they did not pick one. I have nothing against mixed breed dogs in general. I have everything and then some against purposely bred faux breed mixes with dumbass cutesy names and inflated price tags.
I’m not surprised at the comments at TMZ and other media sites from people who are unhappy that the Obamas are not adopting a shelter dog. I am slightly surprised at the pure hate in some of those comments, and the ones that say that now they cannot support Obama because he is getting a dog from a breeder. Ummm. There are valid reasons for a person to not support Obama, but his dog source would be a real reach for being any kind of reason at all.
Of course it would be a much better feel good story if a homeless dog went from shelter to White House, but I don’t feel the Obamas are being irresponsible to get a dog from a reputable breeder, especially in light of Malia’s allergies. I really don’t know how many purebred dogs of the so-called hypoallergenic breeds turn up in shelters each year. I don’t think it is many compared to the more common breeds and mixes.
The breeder is a member of a Code of Ethics club, and their breeding dogs appear to be Champions and health tested. If the news reports are true and the almost-First Dog was returned to the breeder by the original owner, the breeder is one of the good ones that take responsibility for a dog for its entire life, and the original owner is honoring a contract that undoubtedly requires them to contact the breeder if they cannot keep the dog for any reason.
So that’s what this psycho dog person thinks. What about you?