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The Obamas and the goldendoodle

June 17, 2008 |  1:09 pm

We received a number of comments from readers of L.A. Unleashed on the possibility of Barack Obama and his family acquiring a goldendoodle (part poodle, part golden retriever). Several folks urged the Obamas (including daughters Sasha and Malia) to consider the merits of a rescue dog, or one from the pound. A few others had some different priorities. Consider:

A goldendoodle in the White House? What a great idea! It can chew up Michelle's shoes, repeatedly jump on visiting dignitaries and run away from the secret service when someone opens the back door... fun for the whole family and staff!

If the Obamas want an affectionate, devoted, intelligent, compliant, allergy-friendly companion for the White House, they should go "old school" and get a standard poodle.

--Carol

I hope this does not mean that suddenly the goldendoodle will become the "in dog" and then consequently show up in shelters just as the beagle is now populating all animal shelters.

--Mary Ellen

Good researching Malia! I am impressed with the current trend to seek out dogs that are selectively bred as a superior companion to man...not as bird dogs, not as pit dogs, not as pursuers of vermin or to win blue ribbons in the conformation show ring, but dogs that embody qualities most appropriate for becoming a treasured part of one's family...affectionate, devoted, intelligent, compliant, allergy-friendly (if that is an issue for your family), with the good health and sound conformation to sustain them. ...

I notice another comment posted here voices the complaint that Malia and others should rescue the animals in shelters rather than considering the purchase of a dog from a breeder. While deeply disturbed by the plight of shelter dogs, there has never been a time when the practice of "rescue" has been more risky. The purchase price of the most expensive purebred is quickly dwarfed by the cost of modern veterinary treatment when a dog proves to be unhealthy or unsound...or the tragedy of an innate temperament that is not conducive, or in some cases even safe, to being an integral part of ones family...

I have adopted many pets from shelters in my long life, and most have enriched my life experience in spite of the unexpected veterinary bills and character flaws that sometimes accompanied the unknowable aspects of that method of acquisition. ...but... it's never been as risky a proposition as it is now.

Even with the most well-planned matings, nature sometimes throws in an unexpected disappointing surprise, but with no plan or knowledge of an animals innate pre-dispositions...the potential for problems is myriad. Your study of the nature of the breeds is smart, admirable and sensible. Just check the reliability of the breeder, ask the right questions and add lots of love and good training. Those are a winning combination. I hope you find the dog of your dreams!

--Susan Christen

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