Tag: first dog
Our answer is a qualified “yes” — but based on far different reasons than those being hammered away on by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and other Republicans.
The former presidential candidate from Minnesota said she thinks having a caretaker/dogwalker assigned to Bo is one example of lavish and excessive spending at the White House.
“We are also the ones who are paying for someone to walk the president’s dog — paying for someone to walk the president’s dog,” she said over the weekend (serving as her own echo).
Bachman, who has a beagle named Boomer, made the remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, held just outside Washington .
We, too, think the president should walk his dog — not as a money-saving measure, but because we think those peaceful moments of solace and reflection (assuming Bo is not a tugger) will make him a better president.
Walking the dog not only clears the head, it reminds one of what’s important in life. It’s good for the brain, it keeps the blood circulating, it lets you smell the roses and it calms the soul. I want a president with a calm soul, or at least as calm as the office permits.
While I think Obama and family should walk their own dog at every opportunity, I find nothing wrong with the White House having a full time dog walker on staff — even if, as some not 100 percent confirmed reports suggest, it”s a $100,000- a-year position.
(Also, I offer to fill that position should it ever become vacated — or even on a fill-in basis.)
As reported on the CNN blog, Political Ticker, Bachman, in her speech, blasted what she called “a lifestyle that is one of excess.”
“Now we find out that there are five chefs on Air Force One. There are two projectionists who operate the White House movie theater … They regularly sleep at the White House in order to be regularly available in case the first family wants a really, really late show. And I don’t mean to be petty here, but can’t they just push the play button?”
The Obamas, though always very well dressed, don’t strike me as lavish, and I don’t think Bo experiences the same amenities of, say, Queen Elizabeth’s corgis.
Our nation’s First Dog deserves, at least in some ways, royal treatment — even amid all the fiscal cliffs and sequesters that, dramatic as they are, were created by lavishly living (often) politicians out of touch with the real world.
Dogs help keep the word real. I want my president to keep it real. So I want my president to walk the dog whenever possible.
If it comes down to tending to a world crisis and taking Bo outside to pee, by all means, tend to the world crisis, and let the highly paid dogwalker handle the duty, as well as the doody.
(My far bigger questions about all this are whether the Obamas personally scoop Bo’s poop from the White House lawn, and whether Bachmann picks up Boomer’s droppings at her home, valued at $1.27 million, on the 18th hole of the Stoneridge Golf Course.)
Grabbing and bagging a handful of feces is how you keep it really, really real.
But back to our main point. Routine and mundane as the task might seem, there is much to be gained from time spent walking your own dog. (Just ask Leon Panetta.)
In trying times, when the head gets too clogged by all the stress, there is no better way to return it to a state of reason and clarity than the simple pleasure of walking the dog – whether you’re a queen, a president, an assembly line worker, or even unemployed.
(Photos: Bo and the president, official White House photo by Pete Souza; Michele and Marcus Bachmann, with Boomer, AP photo by Craig Lassig)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack, bo, bo obama, dog, dog walker, dog walking, dogs, first dog, first family, fiscal cliff, lavish, lifestyle, michele bachmann, obama, pets, politics, poop, president, republicans, scoop, sequester, spending, taxes, taxpayers, walking, white house, who walks bo
The 7-½-year-old Tibetan terrier had been diagnosed with lymphoma. The former governor’s husband, Bob Eaves, said Zipper died after suffering a stroke.
Zipper and her mother, Dosie, lived in the Executive Mansion in Raleigh during Perdue’s four-year term.
Her death came just a few days after that of Barney, a Scottish terrier — also suffering from lymphoma — belonging to former President George W. Bush.
“When we took her to the Veterinary School at N.C. State, they also diagnosed her with lymphoma,” Eaves told the New Bern Sun Journal. “They gave her only two months to live.”
Zipper surpassed that prognosis by nearly two months.
Over Christmas, Perdue stayed in Raleigh with her ailing dog. She plans to go to Harvard University later this month to teach public policy for the spring semester.
Eaves said Zipper enjoyed a last visit to the Trent River on Tuesday evening.
“She raced out to the river like she had all the energy in the world,” he said. On Wednesday, he said, she was listless and barely moving. “…The vet came and said she wouldn’t make it through the night and he helped her go.”
(Photo: N.C. Cultural Resources Commission)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bev perdue, bob eaves, dead, death, dies, dog, dogs, first dog, governor, lymphoma, new bern, north carolina, pet, pets, stroke, tibetan terrier, zipper
Bush broke the news on his Facebook page, where he also made public a recent oil painting he did of his dog.
“After twelve and a half years of life, his body could not fight off the illness,” Bush said in the post.
Barney had lymphoma.
Barney was born Sept. 30, 2000 — two months before Bush was elected to his first term.
In his Facebook post, Bush wrote, “Barney greeted Queens, Heads of State, and Prime Ministers. He was always polite and never jumped in their laps. Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.”
Barney’s mother was Coors, a Scottish terrier owned by former Environmental Protection Agency Director Christine Todd Whitman, and his father was Kelly of Champion Motherwell Stormwarning.
Barney had his own section on the Bush administration’s official White House website, starred in numerous videos and was a fixture at the White House, the Bushes’ Crawford ranch and Camp David, where Barney’s favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green.
He was a “fierce armadillo hunter,” Bush wrote, who loved going along when he fished for bass at the ranch.
“Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent. He wandered the halls of the West Wing looking for treats from his many friends. He starred in Barney Cam and gave the American people Christmas tours of the White House.”
Barney also once bit a reporter who got too close.
The president, who has taken up painting since leaving the White House, also released a portrait he did of Barney. It is signed “43.” Bush was the nation’s 43rd president.
Barney is survived by Miss Beazley, another Scottish terrier who lives with the ex-president, and Bob, a cat.
(Photo: Bush’s portrait of Barney, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barney, bush, death, died, dogs, first dog, first dogs, former, george, lymphoma, news, passed away, pets, presidency, president, president bush, presidents, scottish terrier, texas, w, white house
California’s first dog now has a page on the governor’s official website.
Gov. Jerry Brown has added a biography of his Pembroke Welsh corgi, Sutter, to the website, alongside his own bio, and that of his wife, Anne Gust Brown
It’s basically the same information that was on Sutter Brown’s Facebook page, created not long after the governor became the dog’s guardian.
Gov. Brown lists the first dog’s hometown as Ketchum, Idaho, the dog’s religious views as Zen Jesuit and his political affiliation as Whig.
The website describes Sutter as “practical and not carried away by the barking constituencies.”
Sutter belonged to Brown’s sister, Kathleen, a Goldman Sachs executive who moved from San Francisco to Chicago last year.
The governor’s longtime pet, a black Lab named Dharma, died last year.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 19th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bio, biography, brown, california, dharma, dogs, facebook, first dog, governor, jerry brown, pembroke welsh corgi, pets, politics, profile, sacramento, state, sutter, sutter brown, web page, website
Here he is in an official White House photo, sitting nicely in front of a glowing fireplace, upon which the Obama family’s stockings, or reasonable facsimiles thereof, are hung by the chimney with care.
Two potted poinsettias are also featured (a plant that, while not likely to kill your dog if they eat one, can irritate their mouths and stomachs and result in vomiting, according to the ASPCA.)
Rather than focusing, Grinch-like, on that, though, we’ll tell you that Bo – he’s two now — has become an integral part of the Obama family and their White House Christmas traditions.
This week, Michelle Obama and Bo visited the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. , where the First Lady, as she did last year, read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
And the official White House Christmas card this year comes with the signatures, or reasonable facsimiles thereof, of all the Obamas, and includes a paw print from Bo.
For more photos of Bo and Christmas at the White House, visit PeoplePets.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bo, bo obama, card, christmas, dog, dogs, first dog, first family, first lady, holidays, obama, pets, president, traditions, white house
Lady, who had been on medication for the past three years for a bad hip, was recently diagnosed with cancer, at 13.
The governor took the dog to a vet last month, after she became unable to climb the stairs to the bedroom, where she commonly slept on the floor on the governor’s side of the bed.
He shared the diagnosis with his wife, District Court Judge Katie O’Malley, who was at a conference in Russia.
They discussed waiting until the first lady’s return five days later but decided against that. Lady was put down the following day, May 14.
“It would have been unfair to Lady,” Katie O’Malley told the Baltimore Sun. “Martin had to go all by himself and hold her in his arms while she went to sleep. It was very, very sad for the kids.”
Lady, whose image graced state highway maps and the governor’s Christmas cards, was taken in by the O’Malley family ten years ago when her owner, a friend of a friend, had to giver her up due to health problems.
But the governor’s mansion is still home to Rex, a cocker spaniel; Winston, a Yorkshire terrier-poodle mix; and two cats.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 3rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cancer, dead, death, dies, dog, dogs, first dog, golden retriever, governor, katie o'malley, lady, martin, martin o'malley, maryland, news, o'malley, ohmidog!, pets
The First Dog has completed his first year in office, and, as far as we can tell, he has performed his duties (that’s duties, with a “T”) admirably.
Bo has been cute, playful and photogenic, and he has made the Obamas, who can come across as a little robotic at times, appear a little more down to earth and, though they live in that big white house, a little more like the rest of us.
(You can view a nice Washington Post photo gallery of Bo — it comes up after the annoying advertisement – here.)
There are those who say the White House could be reaping more benefits from Bo, but in our opinion, it’s not about what your dog can do for you, but about what you can do for your dog.
The Obamas held off on getting a dog until they were settled in the White House. Obama was, in fact, the first pet-less president ever elected — a fact some say cost him pet-lover support during the campaign.
Once in office, the family’s scientific — some might say emotionless — approach to getting a dog, one they could be assured wouldn’t trigger their daughter’s allergies, and the fact they didn’t get a dog in need of rescue, may have taken away some of the moment’s charm as well, but not much.
All of this was studied by Diana C. Mutz — yes, Mutz – the Samuel A. Stouffer Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania who, according to Daniel Rubin in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer column, studied the electoral appeal of Barack Obama in the fall.
Her conclusion, says Rubin: “Dude could have used a dog.”
All of Obama’s pre-election talk about how they were going to get a dog underscored the fact that the presidential contender did not have one, according to Mutz’s research.
Mutz says Obama was the first pet-less elected president (Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st president, didn’t have one, but he was appointed after James Garfield was shot.)
More than 400 pets have occupied the White House, she says, and dog lovers represent a huge chunk of the electorate, with about half of U.S. households owning dogs (Republicans more so than Democrats, by 6 percent.)
Mutz, who has two dogs, three cats and runs an animal rescue out of her home, concluded that the probability of voting for Obama went down 16 percent if one owned a dog.
Quite possibly, she says, dog owners identify with other dog owners, and a sort of projection occurs where dog owners prefer the more “doglike” candidate.
I know I do; and by doglike, I mean honest.
As much as Bo — a Portuguese water dog that was a gift to the First Family from the late Ted Kennedy — might have helped in the campaign, the Obama family getting a dog then would have smacked of exploitation. I respect the fact they waited, and that, in the year since his arrival, he has not been overly-foisted on the public.
So keep up the good work, Bo, and just be a dog.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bo, bobama, diana c. mutz, dog, dog vote, doglike, dogs, election, first dog, first family, news, obama, ohmidog!, pets, political science, portuguese water dog, president, research, study, ted kennedy, university of pennsylvania, voter appeal, white house
The White House released an official photo of Bo playing in the record snow that pounded the Mid-Atlantic states. On Tuesday, when this photo was taken, it came up to the chest of the First Family’s Portuguese water dog. After Wednesday, it must be at least up to his neck. We’d show you where Bo peed, but that would be yellow journalism.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack obama, bo, bo obama, dog, first dog, first family, news, pets, portuguese water dog, president, snow, white house
In honor of the one year anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration, Michelle Obama signaled their commitment to creating a more accessible White House by surprising visitors attending public tours.
That included access to Bo, as well — though he’s barely visible in this clip. We’ll just have to assume that he does indeed have a tongue.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, barack obama, bo, bo obama, cbs, dog, first dog, first family, meeting, michelle obama, obama, pets, portuguese water dog, surprise, tongue, tour, tourists, visitors, white house
First Lady Michelle Obama, along with daughters Malia and Sasha and first dog Bo, made an appearance at the Children’s National Medical Center Tuesday. Mrs. Obama, once Bo made sure Santa kept his distance, read “The Night Before Christmas” to the children.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: barack obama, barking, barks, bo, bo obama, children's national medical center, dog, first dog, malia, michelle obama, obama, portuguese water dog, president, santa, sasha