Obama & Lincoln: How should we regard the new First Dog?

Bo Runs with the President “I CARE NOT MUCH for a man’s religion—whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”
(President Abraham Lincoln)

Bo the Portugese water dog with Obamas President Obama looks to Abraham Lincoln as a beacon in many ways—and apparently, now, he also looks to Honest Abe for pointers on canine values as well. The 16th president had a high regard for animals.
    Now, In keeping his campaign promise to get a puppy with his family—Obama has invited a Portuguese water dog to join the family in their new home. The Obama girls named the new dog Bo.

    Bo is a second-chance dog, and the Humane Society congratulated the first family on the choice: “The Humane Society of the United States congratulates the Obamas on bringing a new dog, Bo, into their family, and thanks them for taking in a second-chance dog. Bo is a Portuguese water dog who was apparently returned by the family that originally purchased him.”
    Others, however, felt that the Obamas’ choice should have been a shelter dog, a homeless canine. “I think all of us who work trying to place homeless animals had hoped that they would choose a shelter dog,” said a spokesman for the New York City Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals quoted by Reuters.

    Yesterday, I mentioned the problem of puppy mills, inhumane factory-like settings. You can see what a puppy mill looks like here.

    Do you care about the Obamas’ choice?
    What does this moment in the public spotlight represent in terms of animal rights?
    What choices have you made that take animal rights into account?


    The White House has been careful to label the First Dog announcement as a “fun” element in White House lore—and has added several intriguing sets of photos to its official Web site. One is a slide show of 9 Presidential Pets. The other is a trio of high-resolution images of Bo, suitable for downloading and apparently using to decorate your computer screen or classroom.

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