You don’t know the face, but you may know the leg: A khaki-clad hunk of it often shows up — generally from the knee down — in photographs of Bo Obama.
The leg belongs to Dale Haney, who, when the First Family is too busy to walk the dog, assumes the duty.
As a keeper of the White House grounds for nearly 40 years, Haney has managed to cultivate relationships with the presidential pups — all the way back to Richard Nixon’s Irish setter, King Timahoe.
“They heard about me and they called me to come over here for an interview and I came and here I still am,” he told the Associated Press during a tour of the gardens on a rainy morning when first lady Michelle Obama — Bo’s primary walker — was out of town.
“I have him a little bit more” when she’s traveling, said Haney.
Before Bo came along, Haney had walked and played with President George W. Bush’s Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley. But he says he was most fond of Spot, an English springer spaniel whose mother, Millie, belonged to Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush.
“I do have a soft spot for Spot,” he said in an online chat in 2003. “I was there when she was born and now she’s back.” Millie gave birth to Spot at the White House in 1989; the younger Bush and his wife, Laura, put Spot to sleep in 2004 after she’d had several strokes.
Haney began at the White House as a gardener, then was supervisor of grounds maintenance and lead horticulturist before becoming superintendent of all the grounds last fall.
Besides helping out with Bo, Haney tends to the nearly 19 acres of lawns, trees and gardens around the White House.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 4th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: barney, bo, bo obama, dale haney, dogs, first dog, first family, george bush, grounds, groundskeeper, horticulture, horticulturist, king timahoe, michelle obama, millie, miss beazley, obama, president, presidential, pup, richard nixon, spot, superintendent, walker, walks, white house
In case you get tired of watching your own dog — and if you ‘re like me, you never do — there’s always the Internet, where a visit to Ustream.tv will hook you up with a live cam show of these Jack Russell puppies, and much more.
You can check in with Madi, a sick Havanese (her temperature has dropped), a litter of Shiba Inus from San Francisco, some mastiff pups from Idaho, a gaggle of Chihuahuas in San Antonio and, of course, Grandma Beth’s bulldogs, who, I can report, made quick work of their dinner last night.
In addition to watching, you can also chat with fellow dog watchers.
All in all, as of last night anyway, there were 41 dog cams to choose from — many, if not most, of which seem aimed at selling pups, as opposed to just warming the cockles of your heart.
The Jack Russell show takes place just north of Syracuse, New York, and features a mom and her five pups. The father, Ollie, makes an occasional appearance.
The website offers about 75 other animal cams — everything from birds and fish to goats and squirrels.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: breeders, cams, dog, doggie, dogs, internet, live cams, pup, puppy, sales, selling, streamed, streams, tv, ustream, view, watch, website
A week-old cocker spaniel was trapped in a waste pipe for almost four hours after twin boys decided he need a bath — and opted to give him one in the toilet.
Four-year-olds Daniel and Nicky Blair had taken the pup for a walk in the garden, according to Alison Blair, the mother of the twins and five other children.
“About an hour later I realized the dog was missing and asked the boys where he was, Alison told the Daily Mirror. “Daniel told me it had got muddy so they put it in the toilet and pulled the chain to give it a wash. I ran into the bathroom but the dog was nowhere to be seen. I assumed it was dead.”
Alison decided to check the drain outside. When she lifted the cover, the dog couldn’t be seen, but he could be heard whimpering.
Firefighters were the first to respond to the home in Northolt, Middlesex, but were unable to reach the pup. The Royal SPCA sent a representative as well. But it took a plumber to perform the rescue.
Will Craig, 22, a plumbing specialist for Dyno-Rod used a special camera to locate the pup – wedged in the pipe 20 yards away under a neighbour’s house. Then, apparently using the camera, on a telescoping rod, they gently nudged him towards the nearest manhole cover where a firefighter pulled him to safety.
After a night at the local vets, named “Dyno,” after his rescuers, was given a clean bill of health.
“I never thought a dog could survive being flushed down the loo.” Alison said. “He’s a real little fighter.” As for Nicky and Daniel, they’ve promised not to give the dog a bath in the loo again.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 15th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: bath, cocker spaniel, dog, drain, dyno, dyno-rod, firefighters, flush, flushed, loo, news, ohmidog!, pipe, plumber, plumbing, pup, puppy, rescue, saved, toilet, twins, video, waste
A puppy dumped on the side of a road in Alvin, Texas, is now enjoying life with the elephants at a Houston Zoo.
It was Christmas Eve when Alicia Kemery’s neighbor saw someone in a truck dump the pup, a terrier mix only about two months old. The neighbor called Kemery, a keeper at the Houston Zoo, who provided the dog with shelter at her home. Two weeks later — already having five dogs of her own — Kemery sent a zoo-wide e-mail asking if anyone wanted to adopt the black-and-white pup.
Daryl Hoffman, large mammals curator, replied, saying he’d been thinking about adding a dog to the elephant barn — an increasingly popular practice at zoos. Max was an instant hit as soon as he walked into the McNair Asian Elephant Habitat.
Only a few of the elephants were a bit apprehensive when the dog first joined the keepers. “It was this new small thing around, and they didn’t really know what a dog was,” said Dan Calarco, part-time elephant keeper.
But since then Max has settled into a routine with the elephants, the Houston Chronicle reports. After breakfast, he sniffs around the compound until it’s time for the keepers to clean the elephant yard. That signals playtime for Max who loves to fetch, roll and chase the ball that keepers toss for him while they work.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 21st, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abandoned, adopt, adopted, alicia kemery, alvin, animals, daryl hoffman, dog, dogs, elephants, houston, inter-species, max, mcnair asian elephant habitat, pup, puppy, relationships, rescue, rescued, texas, zoo, zoos
The American Kennel Club has — no surprise here — congratulated the Obama family on the anticipated arrival of their purebred 6-month-old Portuguese water dog, Bo.
And they’ve filled us in on his pedigree as well: the dog’s official name is Amigo’s New Hope, and he was bred by Art and Martha Stern, long-time breeders who reside near Dallas.
Bo is indeed a littermate of Senator Ted Kennedy’s pup Cappy, the AKC confirms.
The organization believes the dog will not only leave “a good mark” on the Obamas (but preferably no stains) and will “shine a spotlight on dogs and the importance of responsible dog ownership around the world.”
“With one of the American Kennel Club’s primary missions being the encouragement of responsible dog ownership, we are delighted with the wonderful example you have already set in researching the right breed for your family and obtaining a dog through a reputable breeder who is a member of the AKC parent club, The Portugese Water Dog Club of America,” said AKC President and CEO Dennis Sprung in a letter to the Obama family today.
Of the breed, the AKC says PWDs possess a lot of energy, and a predictable temperament. They are loyal and loving companions, but require daily vigorous exercise. Historically, the breed spent most of its day swimming, assisting its fisherman owner by retrieving broken nets, diving for fish and delivering messages between ships.
Although currently only the 64th most popular breed in the United States according to 2008 AKC registration statistics, the Portuguese Water Dog’s popularity is likely to rise due to its appointment as First Pup.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advice, akc, american kennel club, amigo's new hope, bo, breed, breeder, dallas, dog, first family, news, obama, obama dog, obamas dog, portuguese water dog, praise, presidency, pup, puppy, pwd, stern, video, white house
President Obama and family — while selecting a majorly cute dog — missed out on a chance to further the cause of animal adoption worldwide by opting for a breeder-produced purebred.
Bo, the six-month-old Portuguese water dog gifted to the Obama’s by Sen. Edward Kennedy, was proving an unpopular choice among animal welfare advocates, though some tempered their remarks by pointing out that, while not a shelter or rescue dog, Bo had been rejected by a previous owner.
A litter mate of the Kennedy’s newest dog, Cappy, Bo apparently had a previous owner, but was returned to the breeder because he didn’t get along well with the owner’s other dogs.
On the bright side, that means it was a breeder responsible enough to insist on reclaiming dogs whose placements don’t work out.
“They were looking at shelters but in the end the Kennedys learned of this litter mate of their dog who needed a home, and they wanted to give the girls a gift – and here we are,” Catherine McCormick-Lelyveld, a spokesman for the First Lady, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He moves in Tuesday.”
President Obama had expressed a preference for a shelter dog, but the family also needed a “hypo-allergenic dog because of daughter Malia’s allergies.
“…Our preference would be to get a shelter dog, but, obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me … So whether we’re going to be able to balance those two things I think is a pressing issue on the Obama household,” the president said shortly after taking office.
“This is a missed opportunity to set a pet-adoption trend among Americans,” said Abbie Moore, executive director of Adopt-a-Pet.com. “With pet relinquishment up 20 to 30 percent due to the poor economy, pets in shelters can use all the help they can get.”
Since the Obama’s did not get the dog from a shelter, the Sun-Times reported, the Obamas will instead made a donation to a humane society.
(White House photos)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 13th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoptions, barack, bo, breeder, cappy, choice, dog, donation, gift, homeless, humane society, hypo-allergenic, kennedy, malia, missed opportunity, obama, obama dog, obamas, pet, photos, portuguese water dog, presidency, president, pup, puppy, sasha, selection, shelter, shelters, white house
President Barack Obama’s daughters have settled on a pup — a six-month-old Portuguese water dog they’ve named Bo.
The dog is a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, who owns several Portuguese water dogs. The Washington Post reported the story first in its online editions Saturday night.
“Bo’s a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he’s got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee,” the Post reported.
The black-and-white puppy is is scheduled to make his public debut Tuesday.
Obama’s daughters chose the name Bo because first lady Michelle Obama’s father was nicknamed Diddley, after singer Bo Diddley, the Post said.
White House aides told The Associated Press that the office of the first lady arranged an exlusive deal on the dog story with the Post. They said the dog was not in the White House as of Saturday evening.
Celebrity Web site TMZ.com also reported Saturday that the Obamas would get a black-and-white Portuguese Water Dog from the same lineage as Sen. Ted Kennedy’s pets. TMZ said the six-month-old pet was named Charlie. Instantly, FirstDogCharlie.com went online.
Obama promised his daughters, 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha, a puppy during the campaign.
According to the Washington Post report — you can find a version of it here — the family met the dog a few weeks ago at a secret White House session:
“The visit, known around the White House as ‘The Meeting,’ was a surprise for the girls. Bo charmed the first family, a source who was there said. He sat when the girls sat, stood when the girls stood. He made no toilet errors and did not gnaw on the furniture. Bo has, after all, been receiving lessons in good behavior from the Kennedys’ dog trainers. These lessons have been taking place at a secret, undisclosed location outside Washington.
“When the president walked across the room during the visit, Bo followed obediently.”
Posted by John Woestendiek April 12th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: barack, bo, charlie, dog, first dog, first family, kennedy, labradoodle, malia, michelle, obama, obama dog, portuguese water dog, president, pup, puppy, sasha, white house