Obama Dog Coming From Breeder?

One of the reasons I was so thrilled about the outcome of last November’s elections was because I thought our new president was above being a “politician” with all the slimy connotations that word has come to assume.

But this morning I turn on the news and hey! I find out I could be wrong after all.

The buzz is, the Obamas have found their new puppy and it’s NOT coming from a shelter– it’s coming from a kennel. A kennel in Texas with Kennedy associations.

And here’s the slimy politician bit — the six-month-old Portuguese Water Dog (a truly adorable fellow named Charlie) is being “rehomed” in the kennel because he was sold to someone else, and then brought back.

Now that sounds like the Obamas, who had repeatedly said they would prefer to adopt from a shelter, are trying to get away with a technicality.

How frustrating, Mr. President, because many of us animal-lovers honestly believed you to be a man of your word.

Rehomed or not, one fact that should not escape anyone who professes to love dogs– or cats or any other animal– is that patronizing breeders, who create more puppies and kittens and add to the burden of shelters that rescue animals, is wrong, plain and simple. There is nothing like a “reputable” breeder– not when nearly 3-4 million healthy dogs and cats are killed in shelters each year because they have no homes.

Now here’s something even more priceless: this dog the Obamas may be adopting comes from the same lineage as Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Portuguese water dogs, and the Kennedy family is “presenting the new dog to the Obamas,” according to TMZ, which first broke this story.

Lineage? WHO CARES?

Honestly, Mr. President, is this the 21st century in the developed world, and are we really moving toward change?

Right now, I’m thinking, not.

Of course, part of me is still hoping this news is wrong– that some reporter jumped the gun, and the Obamas will still adopt from a shelter. Because by doing so, they would make a sea change to the jaundiced –and incorrect — view that many people hold about shelter animals. If the president adopts from the shelter, it would not be a far stretch to assume that more Americans will be drawn to taking shelter animals home, giving these innocent creatures a chance at life that they well deserve.

Update: My hometown newspaper, the Washington Post, has this story about the Obama dog with the only mention of rescue animals coming in the last graf. Apparently the Obamas are throwing some money at the problem of homeless animals by donating to the Washington Humane Society. Now I foster-volunteer for this shelter, and all my dogs and cats have come from the WHS– I know they need any money they can get. But a donation seems so lame, considering the president had a chance to lead by example.
I ran a search this morning on Petfinder to look for PWDs, since the Post story said they are not found in rescues– my search for the DC region threw up 13 PWDs or PWD mixes in nearby states, each one more adorable than the next. Maybe the Obamas and the media — that doesn’t seem to get the real story here– need to find another excuse?

Meanwhile, here are some pictures of my shelter mutts who have absolutely no lineage or pedigree whatsoever. And we couldn’t be prouder of them!

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  1. Anonymous says

    you’re right about how the obama’s are using a technicality to appear to be doing the right thing. it is really disgraceful adopting from a breeder. i find it hard to believe that a portuguse water dog rescue

  2. says

    I’m so disappointed with Obama’s choice. He had the chance to set a good example, and he didn’t. Now we have to worry about people who decide that if purchasing a pet from a breeder is okay for their president, it’s okay for them too.

  3. says

    I understand your disappointment and I was disappointed too. I was wondering if they thought of Malia’s allergies when they chose to skip the shelter to choose the dog.

  4. Anonymous says

    I disagree with you. There is such thing as reputable breeders. This dog was ultimately rejected. This reputable breeder took the dog back and was going to find it a new home – if the Obama’s are that home – what’s the big deal? The dog needed a home and now there are 4 people that will hopefully provide that loving home.

    Do a search on petfinder – good luck finding an abundance of PWD’s available. I did a search and there are only a handful.

    What I worry about are the backyard breeders that are going to jump on the “cuteness” of this dog and make money and create health issues for a relatively healthy breed.

  5. says

    I don’t really understand much about shelter and breeder animals and the differnce thereoff. But one thing that I do understand is that when you breed animals for pet, then it is perhaps no different from rearing animals for puting them on the dinner plate, or cloning humans so that you get genetically perfect human beings – the first is such a waste and the second is such as mirage! I don’t also understand what is meant by reputable breeders – if you can breed pedigree dogs for adoption and it can be such a great business proposition, then you can also clone pedigree humans for adoption – I fail to understand what could be the the difference between the two?

    And as far as your disappointement with Mr. Obama is concerned – please don’t be – he is a human being and therefore it is unwise for us to have such high expectataions from him. He will make what we think are betrayels, but if he keeps more promises than he breaks, then I think he has delivered. Else … let God give us better judgement in the future!!

  6. says

    Finding out that one’s idol has “feet of clay” is always disappointing…but at the end of the day I think we will keep getting disappointed if we forget that they are humans and will continue to behave as humans do – which means making decisions which don’t seem the right thing to do.

  7. Valerie says

    I agree with you about getting a pet from a shelter. Where I disagree with you is about breeders. Please don’t paint them all with the same brush. I know from past experience of requiring dogs bred for specific purposes that it is best to go to a “reputable breeder.” Not everybody needs a herding dog, but I do, and I go to a breeder who has a great line of herding dogs. All of my animals are free-range, aren’t killed for food or clothing, living out their days in a pastoral setting. They do, however, require herding and a dog who has been bred to protect them, if need be. I have gone to shelters in the past to find what I am looking for, but it hasn’t worked out. And … I have three shelter dogs and two shelter cats who live with me, as well as the “breeder” dogs.

  8. says

    Well they obviously needed a hypo-allergenic dog. Unfortunately, few of the dogs at the animal shelter are hypo-allergenic. If people spay and neuter their dogs, then the animal shelters wouldn’t be so crowded.

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