This missed opportunity by the Obamas to lead by example will be felt in the rescue world ["The Wrong First Dog: Obama Should Have Gotten the Puppy From a Rescue," usnews.com]. If they had adopted a rescue dog many people would consider adopting a dog from a rescue group or a shelter. Instead, there will be a run on Portuguese water dogs and puppy mills and backyard breeders will step up to meet the demand as they have whenever a dog has become the latest "have to have" dog. So, instead of becoming part of the solution in reducing the millions of dogs killed every year in shelters because there aren't enough homes, they have become part of the problem. What a shame.
Comment by Cathy Scarano of NJ
Rescuing a dog is not always the best answer for a first dog, especially with smaller children. Rescue dogs take a lot of work and a lot of attention, training, and patience. My dad was always able to take the time to train our rescue pets. The issue with rescue animals is that you never know what the animal has had to go through. I think people throw around the idea that it's so easy to adopt a pet if you're a first time dog owner. It's not! So, leave the Obama family alone! This dog has been "re-homed" to them and they are donating money to their local shelter. No matter their public image, it's still a family decision to choose who joins their family. It's none of our business!
Comment by Nicole of CA
Geesh, we complain about Michelle Obama for not going with only American designers, then we complain that she wears too much J. Crew and doesn't give other American designers a chance, then we complain that the Obama family took a dog that needed a home but wasn't a shelter dog ... what's next? Are we checking to see what country his shoes were made in? Give me a break. As someone with allergies who attempted to adopt a shelter dog but couldn't stand being in the shelter because it gave me an allergic reaction within six minutes of stepping foot in the place, I do have to say it is their choice, and while it may have been nice to some if they adopted a shelter dog, this is not up for national debate. We are in a war, we have a bad economy, and we're in the middle of a housing crisis. Let Obama work on these issues.
Comment by A . McMillan of GA
While President Obama did promise to get a rescue dog, he did not renege on the promise. Sen. Ted Kennedy gave the girls a Portie puppy that was in need of a new home because the original owners could no longer keep him. Yes, Obama is president. However, every step he takes and every move he makes should not be expected to set precedent. Let the man live as close to a normal family life as possible. I find it interesting and unfair that Obama is held to a higher standard than any other president. By the way, in keeping with President Obama's original commitment, he and the first lady are donating the money they would have paid for a Portie to a D.C. shelter.
Comment by Rev. Joyce Irvin Harris of MI
We can vote for president, but we don't get to vote for first dog! Yes, if they had adopted a shelter dog that would have been nice. But we must remember that this is not our call. These two little girls are thrilled about this new puppy and it will be their dog more than anyone's. If this is the dog they want and love, that's what counts.
Comment by Tamara Fisher of OR
I don't remember Obama ever making a "promise" to get a shelter dog. He said they would like to get a shelter dog. Ideally but not necessarily. The final decision has to be a dog that the family likes and that will be suitable for the White House. Would you prefer it if he got a shelter dog and then had to return it to the shelter because it had behavior problems? The negative publicity wouldn't help out shelter dogs in general. Give the Obamas a break.
Comment by Sarah of CA
Of course the Obamas are too good for a shelter dog. I saw this coming a mile away. Their attempt at making up for it by donating to the Humane Society is sadly reminiscent of Al Gore living in 10,000-square-foot house and purchasing carbon credits. You can't always buy your way out of setting a good example.
Comment by J. Stewart of NH