Presidential pets

On 20th January, the reins of power at the White House get handed over from Barack Obama to Donald Trump.  With the departure of the Obamas from the White House, Donald Trump is set to become the first U.S. President in a 150 years who does not include a pet as part of his family.

For me, that’s a real shame and a bit depressing, too.

Pets are something that bonds us – a shared love for a creature that offers affection unconditionally and depends on us for their care and welfare.   This role enhances our humanity.

The Obamas have done a great job at making Sunny and Bo part of the First Family.  So much so that Michelle Obama has had to approve official schedules for both Portuguese Water Dogs.

Barack Obama and family

President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia, left, and Sasha pose for a family portrait with dogs Bo and Sunny on Easter Sunday. (Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

Lauren Wright of The Washington Post has recently written about why Donald Trump really needs to get a dog

There’s a whole museum – The Presidential Pet Museum dedicated to documenting the history of U.S. Presidents and their pets.  (The Museum is currently in limbo awaiting a new owner, but – for now – it operates online only.)

I hope that Mr Trump and his wife and son choose to include a dog at the White House; they will certainly need the stress relief that a dog can provide – and it will show us a side of humanity that so far has been lacking.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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