by Fran Jurga | Updated 13 April 2009 | The Jurga Report
President Obama introduces his daughter to the family's new puppy, Bo. Or could it possibly have been the other way around? The First Daughters have a soft spot for ponies, too; their aunt made sure a copy of Molly the Pony's book about the rescued amputee Katrina survivor went to the White House with Malia and Sasha. Someone should tell them that Caroline Kennedy kept a pony named Macaroni on the White House lawn! By the way, Bo, a six-month old Portuguese water dog, is a gift from Senator and Mrs. Edward Kennedy to Sasha and Malia. (Pete Souza photo courtesy of Whitehouse.gov blog)
President Obama got off pretty easily; surely Senator Kennedy remembers Macaroni the Pony's time at the White House. That's Caroline Kennedy asking her dad to hold the reins for a minute. (White House Historical Society photo)
My computer was smoking when I turned it on this morning. Humane organizations are disappointed, to say the least, in the Obama family's acceptance of the Kennedy gift puppy, which is a purebred dog from a breeder who has bred some of the Kennedys' own dogs.
I am sure the puppy mills around the country have been preparing for this moment, when the tousled-top rasta Bo would be unveiled. Portuguese water spaniels are popular around here, and I know quite a few. They're great dogs, especially if you have a boat or live near the beach. I guess the Obamas are coming here this summer for a vacation on Martha's Vineyard, so Bo might get to see some water then.
In the meantime, if the White House gardens have a water garden, this pup will be in it, you can bet on that. One of Senator Kennedy's dogs is named "Splash" for a reason!
Because of the allergy problem, there was no easy answer for the Obamas, and I think they should be let off the hook this time. I don't think that a cash donation to a Washington shelter will do much good. Their clout as new dog owners, asking people to look for their next dogs at shelters and rescue organizations, might be more helpful.
I just hope Bo is neutered! Bob Barker would probably march on the White House if he's not. Publicly announcing that Bo has been neutered might also help raise a lot of awareness and spur more people to action.
Jackie Kennedy (Onassis) rode in Middleburg during her years at the White House. Let's hope the Obamas find their way to that horsey edge of Washington's world. We'll greet them with open arms, and a leg up.
"A lot of shelter dogs are mutts--like me," President Obama said when he announced that the family would be getting a dog and that he preferred a shelter dog, but had concerns about his daughter's allergies. This pro-adoption poster was designed after Obama's "Hope" campaign poster.