Apr 14 2009

PWD Is the Presidential Pup

Six-month-old Bo is a PWD like this one. (Photo courtesy of puppydogweb.com)

Six-month-old Bo is a PWD like this one. (Photo courtesy of puppydogweb.com)

The Washington Post  reports that after months of promises and weeks of secrecy, the First Family has officially adopted Bo, a Portuguese water dog (PWD), a gift from Senator Edward Kennedy.

Portuguese water dogs, according to the PWD Club of America, have a colorful history dating back to the thirteenth century. They are working dogs, aiding Portuguese fishermen in herding fish into nets and retrieving lost tackle. The Obamas chose this breed, a “single-coated dog,” based on its hypoallergenic properties as well as its playful nature and good reputation with children. (First daughter Malia is allergic to dogs.)

President Obama was lauded by the Humane Society Legislative Fund during his campaign for his stand on animal rights, prompting the Fund to endorse a presidential candidate for the first time in its history. As both a state and U.S. senator, Obama co-sponsored or backed several animal-welfare bills, including those that promoted spaying/neutering and combated animal cruelty. While First Puppy Bo did not come from a rescue or shelter, he did come from a family who was unable to keep him, not directly from a breeder. Portuguese water dogs are said to be tough to find at shelters.

The Obamas have said that in lieu of adopting their puppy from a rescue, they will make a donation to the District of Columbia Humane Society. For more info about PWDs, check out the FAQ page on the PWDCA website.

posted by Claire M. Caterer

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