One of the reasons I voted for Obama was something most would probably deem insignificant in the big picture, however, it was important to me. Obama promised that if he won the election, his daughters (Sasha and Malia) would be able to get a new puppy to take to the White House. What was important though, was that he said they would pick a puppy from a humane society. Personally, that said something to me about what kind of person I was voting for. More so than the debates and speeches on economic reform and environmental improvements and international relations. I thought if this person takes his good deeds down to the details like that, that is the man I want running my country. Silly me thinking that ANY politician was trustworthy in any sense of the word.
The Obamas did indeed get a dog for their kids, but it was a pure-bred Portuguese water dog - a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy, NOT a pound puppy. You can read the Chicago Tribune article here, confirming that the dog is not, in fact, a rescue case.
They say it's the dog's fourth home as if that's supposed to make up for something. Let's count these homes: 1. The Breeder; 2. A Family That Didn't Keep Their Commitment To The Dog; 3. A Trainer Related To The Breeder; 4. The White House. I hardly classify that as a hardship case or anything close to a good mutt about to be put down because there are ALREADY TOO MANY PETS ON THE PLANET, thanks to selfish people that breed animals for profit. What kind of messed up society cringes at the thought of selling babies on a black market, but thinks the same transaction is ok if you have four legs? I believe I smell a pile of poop. Not that I have a strong opinion on this or anything.
To most Americans, this will seem the very least of sins when talking about broken campaign promises. To me though, this says something huge about a) his character and/or b) his inability to make his own decisions, either because he's really just a media puppet or because he simply didn't care enough to stand up for what he originally wanted. I honestly don't know which scenario offends me most.
I understand the dog was a gift, and not only is it rude to refuse a gift, but had he done so it would've been a different kind of media circus altogether - especially since it concerns the Kennedys. On the other hand, I have NEVER believed it is a good idea to give animals as gifts (what were the Kennedys thinking?). Animals are not gifts, they are living beings that should be as carefully considered as if you were having a child. Would you give a child as a gift to a couple who mentioned they were trying to have one? I think not. (And considering the original family that returned the dog to the breeder, would you return an adopted child just because he/she didn't live up to your expectations? Please.)
Obama had the opportunity to change THOUSANDS of animals' lives by following through with his promise to get a pound dog. Such is celebrity. He totally blew it. The fact that they made a contribution to a local shelter does not bring the type of media that adopting a shelter animal would have. (Not to mention the media mostly glossed over that donation - I have yet to find out exactly how much they contributed, but my guess is that even if it was truly significant, it will never have the impact an adoption would've had.)
Let's not even talk about how this will jack up the demand for that particular breed, probably causing another "Dalmation Sensation" like what happened after 101 Dalmations was released. (Months after the release of the movie, hundreds of Dalmations turned up in shelters as unwanted pets. Guess no one did their research and read about how hyper they are, or how hard they are to train due to hearing difficulties before running right out to get that puppy for their kids, who lost interest about 10 seconds after they named the pup.) CNN's article here mentioned how the hits to the Portuguese Water Dog Club's web site went up to a million hits an hour after the announcement. A MILLION HITS AN HOUR. Most were probably only looking for info on the breed because it is not widely known, but if even one percent of those people end up buying a dog from a breeder - DO THE MATH, then watch the shelters in 6-12 months.
I said before he was elected that I knew I would not agree with everything he did, and that you don't get to be a politician in that position without having some skeletons in your closet, but I really didn't see this one coming.
HUGE HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT.
In happier news, Hopi has decided to stick with us. A few days after I posted about her lethargy and lack of appetite, she turned it around and came all the way back to normal. She's a tough fuzzy cookie and I'm glad she decided to stay awhile longer. :)
More news: Apparently even tho I ran all the way across the country as fast as I could, the economy has caught up with me. I was laid off two weeks ago from my job, so now I have the opportunity to find something I really enjoy doing. Trouble is, searching for that something ranks right up there with visits to the dentist in my book. I suppose this is my next lesson in Acceptance, not only of the situation, but of myself. Quiz on Friday.
I feel like this is a crappy post and not as well thought out as usual - certainly not as amusing and witty - but there it is. It is still gorgeous here in San Diego every day. It still smells like vacation to me. And I am still super lucky to live here. I mean if I have to go find a job and subject myself to the critical eye of those that I could probably run circles around (Hey! Who let Ego out of Its box?!), at least I'll be knocking on doors in Paradise.
Hmmm... I wonder if that snake needs any help talking people into eating apples? That would be fun.