October 7, 2008
Pioneer Press article by Molly Millett
Boise, a year-old black Lab, is available for adoption from the Animal Humane Society in Woodbury. When President-elect Barack Obama announced during his acceptance speech that his young daughters will get to bring a new puppy to the White House, Stacy Arvidson wished she could be one of his advisers.
"I know he will have a lot of help, but he's got a pretty big job in front of him, and trying to juggle the free world with potty training a puppy is a lot," said Arvidson, site manager of the Woodbury location of the Animal Humane Society. "I'd rather take on comprehensive health care before I take on potty training."
With that, Mr. President-elect, Arvidson has a suggestion:
"I would really recommend he look into adopting an older dog — and I just happen to have the perfect one available," she said. "Her name is Boise, and she is a year-old black Lab. We've had her spayed and microchipped and vaccinated, and she is just one of the sweetest dogs we've seen in a long time."
If Boise is lucky enough to become first dog, she would join a long line of first pets that, according to Wikipedia, began with George Washington's staghounds and coonhounds — Sweet Lips, Scentwell, Vulcan, Drunkard, Taster, Tipler and Tipsy — and has continued through George W. Bush's Scottish terriers — Miss Beazley and Barney — and cat, India "Willie" Bush (the pets even have their own space on the official White House Web site, which includes professional-looking portraits, "films" and biographies: whitehouse.gov/barney).
The nation is involved in offering opinions about the potential White House pet this time around, because during the campaign, the Obamas have talked about how their daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, want a dog. In August, more than 42,000 Americans cast their vote in the American Kennel Club's poll to determine the best breed for the Obamas at presidentialpup.com. The poodle won, chosen from a list of five hypoallergenic breeds, since Malia suffers from allergies.
While first dogs historically have been purebreds, with the papers to prove it, there's a call for change: Last summer, after launching ObamaFamilyDog.com, the Best Friends Network soon gathered 50,000 signatures from dog lovers for a petition urging the Obamas to adopt from a shelter. And Michelle Obama has said the family wants to do that instead of buying a puppy from a pet store or breeder.
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