The First Dog – A Promise Kept and A Promise Broken
Well, finally the Obama girls will have their long awaited and much anticipated puppy as promised by Barak Obama but it’s not a rescue or a shelter dog, which was also promised. It’s a male, 6-month-old Portuguese Water Dog and it’s a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy. The Obama girls have chosen the name Bo for the cute little black and white puppy.
The dog, which is from the same litter as one of Kennedy’s Porties was returned to the breeder because for some reason it didn’t fit in its new home so Kennedy arranged to get the dog and is gifting it to the Obama family. In an attempt to mollify animal, shelter and rescue advocates as well as all those who were praising his pledge to get a shelter or rescue dog, Obama has said he will make a donation to the District of Columbia Humane Society.
While I don’t have a problem with reputable breeders, which are few and far between, like many others, I am saddened and dismayed over the Obama’s dog choice. Adopting a shelter or rescue dog would have sent a strong and important message and really encouraged people to make a choice to adopt. Now that is lost.
“This is a missed opportunity to set a pet-adoption trend among Americans,” says Abbie Moore, executive director of Adopt-a-Pet.com. “With pet relinquishment up 20 to 30 percent due to the poor economy, pets in shelters can use all the help they can get.”
What is even more worrisome is that now that the First Family has a Portie, there are many, many people who are also going to want to follow in their footsteps and have one too. Greedy, disreputable breeders are going to try to capitalize on this and Porties, which are now a relatively uncommon breed, are going to turn into the next “must have” dog.
Actually my guess is that shortly after the announcement that a Portie might be the dog of choice, some breeders started trying to acquire Porties for breeding to fill the much anticipated rush if the Obamas did get a Portie.
So, while it’s a cute puppy and I’m sure it will have a wonderful home I just wish that first, the promise of a rescue or shelter dog had never been made and second, that so much attention was not given to this because I think there was be some sad ramification for yet more dogs.
What are your thoughts? Are you disappointed too?
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