Tag Archives: Bo

It’s a sunny day at the (rented) White House

The White House’s latest edition, Sunny, appears to be settling in well as the nation’s Second Dog (the title of First Dog belongs to Bo).

Official White House photo by Pete Souza, taken 19 August 2013

Official White House photo by Pete Souza, taken 19 August 2013

When interviewed about the new addition, President Obama said that he and his wife are seeing less of their daughters now that they are growing up with active lives of their own.  “I think there is an element for Michelle and me of, you know, we see what’s coming and we need to make sure that we got somebody who greets us at the door when we get home.”

Sunny, who is a year old, is a Portuguese water dog like Bo and will be a companion for the First Dog, who is also feeling the need for company since Malia (15) and Sasha (12) are busier.  President Obama said, “Bo was getting a little down in the dumps inside the house.”

But what I really liked about the interview, and this will resonate with Christchurch dog owners who are really suffering from high rentals and pet bonds (see A mixed news week for dogs in Christchurch), was President Obama’s admission that Sunny had had a few accidents.

“We live in rental housing. We didn’t have to put down a deposit, but we are making sure that it gets cleaned up for the next occupant.”

Congratulations to the Obamas for becoming another well-adjusted multiple dog household!

(And in case you missed it, here’s the official White House video announcing Sunny’s arrival)

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Bo inspects the 2012 White House holiday decorations

If your dog voted for President

The philosopher Immanuel Kant once said, “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”  If dogs were allowed to vote in the upcoming US presidential election, I believe that this would be their main criteria for voting.

US President Barack Obama kept his promise to his daughters when he was elected to the US presidency and the family adopted Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog.  Bo currently features in the President’s commemorative photo issued by the Democratic National Committee:

The official photo issued by the Democratic National Committee

In stark contrast is presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s reputation for caring for the family’s dog, Seamus.  Romney placed Seamus into a dog crate on top of the family’s car in 1983 for a long car trip from Boston to Ontario, Canada.  Romney defended his actions by saying that he outfitted the crate with a ‘modified’ windshield.   When Seamus soiled the crate and the rear window of the car, Romney calmly stopped the car and used a hose on Seamus.  (Romney’s team has commended his approach, citing it as an example of his emotion-free crisis management.)  (You can read more about Romney’s treatment of Seamus and others in this Vanity Fair article.)

When interviewed by ABC’s Diane Sawyer, she asked Romney if he would do it again.  He replied, “Certainly not with the attention it’s received.”  (No comment about the appropriateness of his actions, just the attention).

This act of cruelty has been described by Scott Crider as a ‘deal-breaker’ for Romney’s candidacy.  Crider has started the Dogs Against Romney movement which includes a Facebook page.

Supporters can also buy various Dogs Against Romney merchandise from the movement’s website.  For example, your dog can wear a bandana that says “I ride inside” or you can use a coffee mug at the office “Dogs aren’t luggage”

So, who would your dog vote for?  Romney or Obama?

I leave you with the words of Mahatma Gandhi:

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated.”


First dog Bo features prominently this Christmas

Well done to the White House!

Not for any policy platform or new piece of legislation, but for their Christmas decorations this year.  The First Dog features in almost every room of the White House along with 37 Christmas trees.  Tributes to military personnel who have been lost in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts also feature – something I think is really important to recognise the families who have lost loved ones.

The Daily Mail provided some really good coverage and photos of the different models of Bo.  Check out their article here.