My children and I were at an impasse. Our yellow lab, Rosie, died this summer, and after an appropriate period of mourning and reflection, we decided to get a new dog. Initially I wanted another Shetland Sheepdog. My first dog, Buddy, was a Sheltie and he set the bar for all dogs to come. The kids wanted a Bulldog. To them, Bulldogs are sexy and rap stars and Michael Phelps have Bulldogs. They were not going to get a girly dog like a Sheltie and I refused to get a dog that looked like a prizefighter so we headed for the Humane Society.
Several years ago after our other Sheltie, Charlie, died we decided to rescue a dog. We had never done it before and felt it was the right thing to do. We came home with Sydney, an Australian cattle dog mix who is the most well adjusted dog we ever had. She is not neurotic. She is smart and easy going. She barks when there is a reason and seems to brim with gratitude that she was picked for our family. OK. She’s a bit timid of strangers and other dogs but that’s the Aussie cattle dog in her.
This time a chow/shepherd cross picked us. My son, Kyle, named her Ka$h and once again we have a delightful member of our family who is sweet and mellow. Slowly but surely she is learning you don’t pee on the rug, growl or love with sharp little teeth. She is not pushy and cocks her head with her floppy little ears. She has wriggled into our hearts and Sydney is warming up to her too. We have two bright, cheerful dogs and they are bringing great joy to our family. I believe that homes are happier with pound puppies in them.
I say all this because I really hope President-Elect Obama gets a shelter dog for his daughters. It would be a brilliant choice and an easy decision as he embarks on a job that will be full of tough ones. On Thursday, November 6, after Barack Obama told his daughters in front of the entire world that he would let them bring a puppy to the White House, USA Today ran a full page ad by Pedigree Dog Food. It featured a shaggy little mutt looking out with sad but hopeful eyes and it read:
Dear President-elect Obama,
We’d love to help you fulfill your first campaign promise. We are thrilled that you are celebrating your victory by adopting a dog into your family. We think you’ll find that shelter dogs are among the most loyal, loving and special dogs in the world. And no dog is more in need of a little hope. You can find a great dog and learn more about responsible adoption at www.DogsRule.com.
The ad was so touching it brought a tear to my eye. Wouldn’t it be something if a dog from the pound ended up as top dog in the U.S? Wouldn’t it be amazing if a little mutt became the new American idol? Hopefully a shelter dog is in Sasha and Malia’s future. I think the Obama daughters would find just the companion they are looking for. At his first press conference Barack Obama pointed to himself as being a bit of a mutt. It’s a perfect choice. I’m campaigning for a shelter dog on the White House lawn.
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