We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When people move into the White House, they get a dog. Sometimes a cat too. Some of them actually had dogs before the White House, which is a different matter. It's about Pet Politics. (As you may recall, the Clinton's Lab was promptly run over by a car after leaving the WH, and Hillary dumped her famous cat on the secretary. I suspect the Bush's still have their dogs.)
The breed the Obamas decided to exploit is the Portuguese Water Dog. It's probably a breed ancestor of the Poodle. They need more daily exercise than any White House pet is likely to get.
I don't know how anybody can live without dogs around the place.
How you treat your pet is a good guide to how you deal with people. Animal lovers, by and large, love people (unless they take it to the extreme and put animals first - PETA).
Clinton's lack of interaction with animals give lie to his innate lack of real care for people. Bush's frequent interactions with his animals, who he clearly loved, showed him as a very deeply emotional person.
Dogs rule. Because they NEED human interaction and require love. If you can't love a dog, you can't love.
Going into semi retirement at home--most of you folks have guessed where that is. We have always had dogs. Have an allergy issue and discovered that it is possible to be more comfortable with some dogs than with others. What we need now is: good watchdog--that won't be upset by numerous wild grass eaters--but one that will understand the danger of the grizzly come through the yard. Also, this time our canine friend must be of good intelligence--likes water is a good thing too. Would love it if he could warn off rattlers (do Rhodesians really do that?) We are well past the jogging several miles every day exercise routine--but a good two mile walk in the fields and forests would be the daily exercise. Finally, should have a good instinct as to who is friend and who is SOB! All suggestions will be carefully considered and welcome!
Forgot to mention--I have been thinking about the Portuguese before they came into the public eye. I have also been thinking about Irish terrier--but my beloved tells me he already has to live with one--that is enough!
We took a long look at Porties before getting a Standard Poodle. They have many fine qualities -- bright, good playful personality, no shedding or excessive coat odor (important to my wife), but these are very high energy dogs which really need lots of space, and are almost impossible to tire out. They were used by fisherman in Portugal to swim between boats with nets, and sometimes for rescue work.
It is really an injustice to the dog to lock it up in the White House. Hopefully it will drive the Obamas stark raving mad... but I still feel sorry for the dog.
Methinks Ted Kennedy was the source of this idea (Ted has one now -- if he'd had one at Chappaquiddick, he might have become president...)
Totally agree with Dr. Bob. Our neighbor and two other friends purchased these beautiful dogs about 10-12 years ago when they suddenly gained popularity among the ??? crowd. All three were resold or adopted out after a few months as, for all their wonderful qualities, they wore out their owners with non-stop activity. They are far too eager/headstong for a youngster.
Apple Pie, our policeman friend had both a Doberman and, through marriage, acquired a mid-sized poodle. He said the later was much more aggressive at protecting his home and, in his case, ruled the roost over the Dobie. In his words, a good watch dog does not necessarily have to be large...just trained to respect the master's commands while having an inbred need to protect. Two generations of our family have had both mid-sized poodle-and various terrier-mixes with excellent results. I would highly recommend looking at your local shelter where we have found GREAT dogs with, often, fewer inbred heathcare problems. Good luck!
I have a cat. Being single and working a full time job, I couldn't properly care for a dog.
I'm doing the best I can for my feline. She has pet door access to my fenced-in back yard. Also, there is another pet door connecting the laundry room to the garage --- where I keep her litter box. A third door connects the garage to the front yard.
I love my cat, but I think that you dog owners are lucky.
The Obama kids are 7 and 10 and no dogs were here to fore pooping on the Obama's carpet . Dogs take commitment, they need fed, housebroke, exercise, someone needs to clean up the yard, and they need medical care. In short you have to be a dog person. The Obamas of course want to maximize the happiness of thier children and their ideology says that the best way to do that is through some sort of government intervention. In this case they now have access to the White House dog handlers to handle all those puppy dog inconveniences and the kids get thier puppy. Nice.