Shelter Dogs

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.

Sydney, our first shelter dog
Sydney, our first shelter dog

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.

Ka$h, our new shelter dog
Ka$h, our new shelter dog

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

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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5 thoughts on “Shelter Dogs

  1. I really hope they adopt a shelter dog as well! We have a shelter dog living in our household as well. Her name is Maggie and she is so well mannered that people are in awe that she came from a shelter. She looks very similar to your Sidney, but she has floppy ears. Shelter dogs really just want your love and respect and if you give it to them, they will return the favor!

  2. Shelter Dogs ROCK!!! Our little Bandit is proof. We have the greatest little mutt and couldn’t be happier with our choice to adopt this little guy from a shelter. I’m sure Ka$h is a great addition to your household. Obama should absolutely adopt a shelter dog and set the example for all Americans to reach out to our furry friends in need and give them the love and support they so deserve.

  3. Kash looks just like our shelter dog, Hank. We have always wondered what breeds he has in him, assuming chow (black spotted tongue) and German shepherd, but also looks a lot like a toller retriever. Does Kash have black spots on his tongue?

  4. Hi Megan, Thanks for reading my blog. She does have black spots on her tongue. Now that she is getting older she looks like she has some golden retriever in her too. She is beautiful with a great smile and silky soft fur.

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