As reported on the basis of inside accounts by all the major cable news networks, the Obama's tentative pick for a White House puppy is going to be a Portuguese Water Dog. This may seem like a good choice for the Obamas, given the allergies the girls suffer from (PWDs do not shed and are considered to be hypoallergenic), the fact that PWDs are generally very friendly and personable, and certainly are attractive looking dogs, especially as puppies. However, although I have been an unwavering supporter of President Obama, I must be honest that I disagree with his choice of dog for the first family.
To begin with, President Obama has been candid about his preference to set a good example by rescuing a dog. While there may well be some PWDs out there for rescue, being a fairly non-mainstream breed makes them very hard to come by. One would be hard pressed to find a PWD in a shelter for certain. While I am certain the President has much greater resources at his disposal to mount a search for a PWD needing rescue than would the rest of us, I still think there is a fair chance that he may find himself having to ultimately purchase one, a breed that tends to be very expensive. To be sure, the President can likely afford an expensive dog, but to buy one would seem irresponsible of our leader given the enormity of dogs in need of good homes. If rescue is the President's goal, alternative breeds that share similar traits to PWDs, including the tendency to be hypoallergenic, that many indeed are frequently in need of rescue, are Standard Poodles and Labradoodles (Labrador Retriever/Standard Poodle cross breed).
Another reason President Obama should reconsider his choice of PWD is the fact that they are rabid water dogs! While Standard Poodles and Labradoodles certainly have an affinity for the water, they do just fine with lifestyles that do not include regular access to swimming. PWDs, on the other hand, seem to NEED frequent access to swimming, sometimes making the lives of the their family quite difficult without it. Not being able to regularly fulfill their natural passion for swimming and the intense exertion of energy associated with it, some PWDs can become rather destructive, excessively hyper, and frequently vocalizing dogs. I am not certain about this, but I am not aware of the White House having any sort of pool, lake, or river that the first dog could frequent, so for now, I assume there is none. To my readers, feel free to correct me if I am wrong about this.
These are indeed quite valid reasons the first family really should reconsider their choice of Portuguese Water Dog for their first pet. While in the correct environment, PWDs make lovely, gentle, and fun family pets, I think Standard Poodle or Labradoodle in genuine need of rescue would be a much better choice.
In the off chance you happen to be one of my readers, Mr. President, I would be happy to direct you toward some excellent and reputable Standard Poodle and Labradoodle rescue groups, so feel free to e-mail or call me.