Wednesday, February 25, 2009
by Rebecca Cole
Labradoodle lovers, take heart.
After months of speculation, it appeared that the selection of a first dog was at hand. People magazine, with a fetching report on its Website today, revealed that First Lady Michelle Obama has narrowed the family's choice to a rescued Portuguese water dog. All that stands in the way now is Spring break - then comes a dog in April.
"You're getting some scoops here,'' the first lady told the magazine, People reported, and "the only thing still up in the air is the name."
But is the magazine barking up the wrong tree?
The first lady's press secretary, Katie Lelyveld, threw cold water on the report today, suggesting that a decision actually has not been made.
"They have not selected a breed," Lelyveld said. "Mrs. Obama likes the Portuguese water dog, but she is only one of four votes.''
The Obamas have not narrowed the search down to a particular breed, the spokeswoman said, but "their primary focus now is that they get a dog that works with their lifestyle." President Barack Obama had allowed in an earlier interview that the family had narrowed its search to the water dog or a Labradoodle, not a breed really, but a cross between a Labrador retriever and the Standard poodle.
(First Lady Michelle Obama may grace the cover of People magazine, with the story of the dog hunt, but President Barack Obama is featured on the cover of LA Tails, a complimentary magazine for pet lovers which dedicated a recent edition to rescue puppies.)
If the Obamas do decide on a Portuguese water dog, that might be difficult, says Mary Harkins, coordinator of rescue and relocation for the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America. A very active breed, some Portuguese water dogs "are without an off-switch - they just go all day," Harkins explains. "It might be a little bit too much for a family who has never owned a dog before, especially this family."
The No. 1 reason that Portuguese water dogs are rescued, Harkins says, is because owners who bought them as puppies didn't realize their prodigious activity levels.
Intelligent and a strong swimmer, historically used as a net-tending working dog by Portuguese fishermen, the PWD was taught to dive underwater and herd fish into nets. The relatively obscure breed is described by the American Kennel Club as providing an "indelible impression of strength, spirit, and soundness."
Finding a rescue PWD may be tough: Last year, only five PWDs were rescued , she says, and she already has a long waiting list.
"It's pretty difficult," Harkin says. "We're not that big of a breed that we would see a lot of dogs."
This just in from the Chicago Sun-Times:
Lynn Sweeton February 25, 2009
WASHINGTON--No lucky dog yet.
Just to clear the record--President Obama and First Lady Michelle have NOT YET picked a dog breed. After touching base Wednesday with Obama White House East Wing staff about a report in People Magazine that a puppy has been selected-- the word is that the final pick is likely not to come until April.
"The Obamas have not yet selected a dog," I was told. Back in January President Obama said the frontrunners were a labradoodle or a Portuguese water hound. The First Lady seemed partial to a Portuguese water hound in an interview in the new People Magazine out Friday, but one is not to read into that.
By Sandra Sobieraj Westfall
The whole world, it seems, wants to know: What kind of dog are the Obamas getting and, for goodness sake, when? Speaking to PEOPLE at the White House recently, Michelle Obama leaned in and confided: "You're getting some scoops here." So, when? In April, Mrs. Obama says – after she and the President take daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, on a vacation for spring break. Here's a sample of a typical family conversation on the matter: "So Sasha says, 'April 1st.' I said, 'April.' She says, 'April 1st.' It's, like, April!," Mrs. Obama recalls. "Got to do it after spring break. You can't get a new dog and then go away for a week." And what kind of dog will soon be frolicking on the South Lawn? Mrs. Obama says the family is looking for a rescue Portuguese Water dog who is "old enough" and a "match" for the family dynamic. "Temperamentally they're supposed to be pretty good," she says of the breed that Sen. Ted Kennedy has also lobbied for (he has two Water dogs of his own). "From the size perspective, they're sort of middle of the road – it's not small, but it's not a huge dog. And the folks that we know who own them have raved about them. So that's where we're leaning."
The Name GameThe only thing still up in the air is the name. And Mom's not feeling it with some of the names her girls have come up with. "Oh, the names are really bad. I don't even want to mention it, because there are names floating around and they're bad," Mrs. Obama says with a laugh. "You listen and you go – like, I think, Frank was one of them. Frank! Moose was another one of them. Moose. I said, well, what if the dog isn't a moose? Moose. I'm like, no, come on, let's work with the names a little bit." Asked if she can believe the public interest in her family dog search, Mrs. Obama shakes her head. "Okay, that's surprising," she says. "One of the things I didn't anticipate is the level of the excitement about the dog. I knew my kids were excited. They've been excited for years. They've even calmed down, because they feel like, 'They said we're going to get one, so let's just shut up about it.' " Diplomatically, and careful not to insult enthusiastic dog-lovers, she adds: "It's all great and gracious attention. People are just being as helpful as you can imagine. So I know that we will find the perfect breed. And we'll find people who are caring folks who will help us find the dog of our dreams." For more from this interview, including Michelle Obama's views on fashion and her family's daily White House routine, pick up the new PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday
Get up-to-the-minute celebrity news and photos on your cellphone, iPhone or Blackberry at www.people.com!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Hundreds of pets have lived at the White House, including parrots, goats, raccoons and cats. But dogs top the list as the favorite presidential pet.
A new exhibit, "First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Pets," at the Newseum, showcasing some of the top dogs who have resided at the nation’s most prestigious address.
On display are images of dogs belonging to 22 presidents. Journalists helped turn many of the pets into national celebrities, including Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Scottish terrier, Fala, who had his own press secretary, and Warren G. Harding’s Airedale, Laddie Boy, who had his own chair at Cabinet meetings. A book "written" by George H.W. Bush’s English springer spaniel, Millie, sold more copies than Bush’s own book.
President-elect Barack Obama said he intended to fulfill a very important campaign pledge to his daughters Malia and Sasha — that they would get a dog after the election. Newseum visitors can vote for their choice for the next presidential pooch while viewing the exhibit.
Some highlights of other presidents and their pets include:
• Abraham Lincoln’s dog Fido was the first presidential pet to be photographed, but it wasn’t a happy occasion. Lincoln was leaving Fido, a mongrel, in Illinois and wanted a memento for his sons before setting out for his 1861 inauguration in Washington.
• Calvin and Grace Coolidge maintained a menagerie during his 1920s presidency, including 12 dogs and a pair of raccoons. On display is a photograph of their white collie Prudence Prim showing off her Easter bonnet for Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon.
• Herbert Hoover won fans, and possibly his 1928 election, by posing with his police dog, King Tut, for campaign photos. He and his wife, Lou, kept nine dogs at the White House, including their Norwegian elkhound, Weegie.
• John F. Kennedy was allergic to dogs. Even so, the Kennedys had nine, including Clipper, Charlie, Wolf, Shannon and the mixed breed Pushinka, a gift from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.
• In April 1964, dog lovers protested after seeing front-page photos of Lyndon B. Johnson lifting his beagles, Him and Her, by the ears. Insisting to reporters that the dogs didn’t mind, Johnson demonstrated the move again days later.
• Forced to account for $18,000 in questionable gifts during the 1952 election, Republican vice presidential nominee Richard M. Nixon insisted to a television audience that the only gift he received was for his children — a cocker spaniel named Checkers. He won voters’ sympathies when he explained, "The kids love the dog … and we’re going to keep it."
• Gerald R. Ford’s photographer, David Hume Kennerly, was looking for a golden retriever for his boss in 1974 but didn’t want to reveal who the owner would be. "Do they own or rent?" the breeder asked. "I guess you could say they live in public housing," Kennerly deadpanned. Ford named the dog Liberty.
• George W. Bush joked that his Scottish terrier, Barney, was the son he never had. Bush’s "Barney Cam" videos, showing life at the White House from the dog’s view, were an Internet sensation. Barney made news again in November 2008 when he bit a reporter who tried to pet him.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Barack Obama arrives in Ottawa today and the Winnipeg Humane Society wants to mark his first foreign visit as U.S. president with a doodle — a Labradoodle.
Bill McDonald, executive director of the Winnipeg shelter, wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office last month, hoping to arrange for Obama to be presented with a Labradoodle puppy. The idea sprouted in the wake of Obama’s presidential acceptance speech, delivered after he won the election in November.
‘I think that they’ve probably looked at it seriously and thought about the needs of the Obama family.’—Bill McDonald, Winnipeg Humane Society
During that address, he promised to get a puppy for his daughters, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, but noted it had to be hypoallergenic because Malia has allergies and asthma. He also expressed a preference to adopt a dog from a shelter.
That set off a flurry of speculation as to what type of dog would be living in the White House. Obama has since indicated his daughters have narrowed their choice down to two breeds: a Labradoodle and a Portuguese water dog.
McDonald believes he has a way for Obama to meet all the requirements. The Humane Society seized 11 Labradoodles from a puppy mill in Manitoba in December. The dogs, a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle, are now ready for adoption.
In his January letter to Harper, McDonald suggested the prime minister could present the dog to Obama as a gift from the people of Canada. McDonald said the Winnipeg shelter would be willing to bring a puppy to Ottawa.
McDonald expects to hear from the Prime Minister’s Office by Thursday. Despite the offer and effort he was willing to go through, McDonald thinks he already knows the answer he’ll get.
“I think that they’ve probably looked at it seriously and thought about the needs of the Obama family — and choosing a pet is pretty much a personal choice, a personal decision,” he said. “So, I expect I’ll get the polite ‘thanks, but no thanks.’”
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
It seems like half the dog world is waiting with bated breath to see which breed of dog President Obama will adopt into the White House: Portuguese Water Dog, or Labradoodle?As something of an, ahem, critic of muttpuppies - or at least of the ideas that surround them - I feel obligated to share an opinion. Mine may surprise you.First we have the PWD, also known as "those shaggy dogs with the shaved butts". Fantastic! They're purebred and low-shedding and holy crap they have shaved butts. What's not to like?The Labradoodle, on the other hand, is equally shaggy and sadly lacks a snappy trim, but is also low-shedding and quite intelligent. Hmmm.In one corner, a smart, hypoallergenic, hairy monster. In the other corner, much the same.
Doodle and PWD. Or is it PWD and doodle?I would pick the Labradoodle.I will not lie. I love a dog with a shaved hiney almost as much as I love a dog with a beard - and I love a dog with a beard. But there are several other, indeed more important factors to consider, some of which may be known to the president and his family, some maybe not. Health, for instance.The PWD is not a healthy breed. They're terrifically inbred, for starters. Long story short, the Portuguese Water Dog Club was founded in 1972 when there were 12 known PWDs in America. Ten short years later and the number had hiked to 650. Around this time, PWDs were registered with the AKC, both officially submitting them to the closed registry system, and causing their numbers to soar. And ever since then, the gene pool has been strangled more and more. God forbid the AKC ever entertains the notion of admitting an outcrossed dog or open registries! So the breed gets sicker and sicker. Thanks a lot, Snidely. This isn't my real concern since the Obamas probably aren't planning on breeding the First Dog. Probably. But we are talking about a nation who apparently caused a rise in breed popularity not only after 101 Dalmatians was released, but also following Beethoven. BEETHOVEN. The movie about the dog that slobbers and sheds and eats his owners' belongings (and probably fantasizes about eating them too, oh my God!). Some people just have no idea what breed they want when they get a dog, till the first one that looks remotely interesting drifts into their line of vision. Well, if it's good enough for the president ...!
And of course, with demand, comes supply. The last thing PWDs need now is a spike in popularity.
The AKC and Westminster, of course, wholeheartedly back the idea of a Porti First Dog. Health issues be damned, they'd love to see that resulting registration money, and I imagine they'll be crowing enthusiastically about how President Obama endorses purebreds after all the flack they're gonna be taking. Sort of like that time-old playground defence that that other kid can't be mean to you because you have an older brother in the sixth grade who'll beat him up. Did that ever work, by the way?
In comparison, there are a lot worse dogs to select than a Labradoodle.
I yammer about unpredictability a lot, and before you stone me, I'm not backing down from that conviction. But this is one of the many reasons why getting a designer dog from a shelter, as the Obamas plan to do, is so much better than going for a breeder. Labradoodles can be low-shedding ... they can also shed quite as much as their Lab parent does. When you adopt from a shelter, for one thing, you don't have to pay the exorbitant sum that (what amounts to) mutts are going for these days, and secondly, you're probably getting a mature dog. There will probably be people there who can tell you about his temperament and they may even know whether he qualifies as "hypoallergenic" or not. And there's no shame in taking a shelter dog home for a trial run.
And let's face it: Whether the mutt's got hybrid vigour in its favour or not, a Labradoodle is bound to be vastly healthier than a PWD.
So there we are. MoT is championing a muttpuppy over a purebred. Don't get used to it. ;)
Besides, it's all about public image. I feel a snooty purebreed will not be well-received by America. No worries... I hope.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
And set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the
last nail into the post,he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the
eyes of a little boy. "Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."
"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat of the back of ! his neck,
"These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."
The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket,
he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. "I've got thirty-nine
cents. Is that enough to take a look?" "Sure," said the farmer, and with that he
let out a whistle. Here, Dolly!" he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran
Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the
chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the
fence,the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another
little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a
somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others,doing its
best to catch up.... "I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt.
The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy.
He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would. " With that
the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg
f his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides
of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer,
he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who
understands. " With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked
up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.
"How much?" asked the little boy. "No charge," answered the farmer,
"There's no charge for love."
~~ Author Unknown ~~
Friday, February 13, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
NEW YORK (AP) — Asleep in his crate, Domino looked like the most peaceful, innocent pooch on the planet.
Ha! Just wait, handler Paul Clas cackled.
These Portuguese water dogs can cause all sorts of mischief, he said. And if President Barack Obama really does decide make one the First Dog, look out.
"They'll bring comedy to the White House. Interesting things would happen," Clas said Tuesday at the Westminster Kennel Club show. "I think it would be hilarious."
Pacifying this active breed — among the two the Obamas are considering — isn't always easy, even with a big yard and a big staff. It sometimes takes an extra treat.
"Obama may not take bribes, but his Portuguese water dog would," Clas said.
The top prize at America's No. 1 dog event was to be handed Tuesday night. Judge Sari Tietjen was to point to her pick as best in show shortly before 11 p.m.
A 7-year-old Scottish deerhound named Tiger Woods, a Scottish terrier with a lucky link to the 1967 champion, a standard poodle called Yes and a puli known for its dreadlocks won their groups Monday night.
The sporting, toy and working winners were to be chosen before Tietjen entered the ring at Madison Square Garden. A pert Brussels griffon and a monkey-faced affenpinchser were among the favorites.
The star affenpinscher is named Taser. Fitting, too, because the sons of the husband-and-wife owners founded the stun-gun company.
As he got prepped to win best of breed, Taser stood calmly as a groomer worked him over with a blow dryer and two combs. Taser turns 5 this week and is a veteran, having won 55 other competitions.
"He's a born show dog," handler Jorge Olivera said. "He really knows when everyone is looking at him. It's his time."
There are 170 breeds and varieties at this 133rd edition of Westminster. The giant Dogue de Bordeaux is a newcomer to the show.
A Portuguese water dog has never won Westminster and probably wasn't going to make a strong campaign this year. Still, Klas wouldn't mind having one as a neighbor — he lives in Thurmont, Md., near the presidential retreat of Camp David.
Obama said his family had narrowed the choices to a "Porti" or a Labradoodle, a designer mix of a Labrador retriever and a poodle.
The president has said he is ready to begin visiting shelters with wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia. A main consideration is a dog that is hypoallergenic.
"I like to see them pick the Portuguese water dog. They're a proven breed for many years," Clas said.
Westminster spokesman David Frei, in his 20th year as television host for the show, said the Obamas are doing a good job in taking their time.
"It's an important decision. Whichever dog he picks will probably be with him longer than anyone in his Cabinet," Frei said.
Portis are medium sized, weighing 50 or 60 pounds. They can be black, brown, white or a mix, with either a wavy or curly coat of hair, not fur. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., owns them.
They like to rough house and also need a lot of grooming and attention.
"I was working on my car and he put his paws up on the hood next to me. He wanted to play," Clas said. "I was ignoring him and the next thing I knew, my drill cord was running down the street. He'd taken it."
For that reason, Gale Erskine of Monrovia, Md., would prefer the Obamas go in a different direction. Erskine was part of a Porti at Westminster, and said they're not the easiest dogs for first-time owners.
"We're pushing for a Labradoodle. That's my vote," she said.
Erskine's friend, Terry Herman, said Portuguese water dogs "command intense companionship. They don't take kindly to being ignored."
So, would that be a good fit for the commander in chief?
"Someone who might have to push the red button, I don't know," Herman said. "But I know the Porti would be glad to push any buttons available."
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Nelson’s site, LabradoodlesforObama.com, includes a blog, photos and a shop where visitors can buy buttons, T-shirts, yard signs, coffee cups – heck, you name it and they sell it. Nelson’s home is actually the closest single-family home to the White House, so we guess he just wants to add another Labradoodle to the neighborhood.
The campaign, Nelson said, is really intended to promote responsible pet ownership, foster a sense of community among dog owners and raise awareness for the need for more dog-friendly green spaces in Washington D.C.
Hey, we support that.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
1.)Individuals and families should practice responsible dog ownership, specifically by choosing a dog and breed appropriate for their lifestyles and by proper maintenance and care throughout the animal’s life.
2.)Dog ownership fosters a strong sense of community.
3.) The need for more dog-friendly green spaces in Washington, D.C.
4.)Raising awareness and resources for local animal shelters by donating proceeds of merchandise profits from the website www.labradoodlesforobama.com to the Washington Humane Society.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
DOG SHOW POOP
Febuary 2, 2009
You may have read that the pick for Presidential Pooch had been narrowed to the PWD and something called a “Labradoodle” (excuse me, but that was my gag reflex). Our new President was trying to be PC in his choice for First Dog and had expressed a desire to get a shelter dog, but apparently someone did their homework and decided that the only reliable way to get a suitable pet for daughters Sasha and Malia was to buy a purebred dog from a reputable breeder. Exit Labra-whatever.
President Obama told CNN's Anderson Cooper last night another thing not happening on the White House grounds right now? Dog walking.
Obama said the first family will select a dog in the spring, when daughters Sasha and Malia would be more enthusiastic walking a pet. They have not yet selected a breed.
Roll Call Staff
A Dogged Fight for Power. Forget bailout money — the most divisive issue in town might just be the kind of dog that will get the job of first pet.
And now one breed has its own lobbyist.
Washingtonian Greg Nelson launched the Web site Labradoodlesforobama.com after President-elect Barack Obama (D) confirmed on “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” that his family had narrowed down their choice of family dog to a Labradoodle or Portuguese water dog.
Nelson has owned his Labradoodle, Arbo, for about a year and a half, and he told HOH that his goal is to generate interest around what he calls the “best of both worlds” breed. “They have the friendly demeanor of the lab and the intelligence of the poodle,” he said. Labradoodles don’t shed, which is good for Malia Obama’s allergies, and unlike the water dog, they are bred in a variety of sizes.
Arbo speaks directly to Obama on the site, telling the soon-to-be prez that Labradoodles are “‘super fun,’ ‘super cute’ & ‘super smart.’” And Nelson notes he and the Obamas could meet up for doggie play dates, since he lives on 16th Street Northwest, in the nearest single-family home to the White House.
“We truly are the president’s neighbor,” he said. “How great would it be to turn the South Lawn into a dog park?”
HOH couldn’t find a lobby shop representing Portuguese water dogs. But we do note that Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) endorsed the breed in a recent statement.
“The Obama girls — and their parents — will love a Portuguese water dog,” said Kennedy, who owns water dogs Sunny, Splash and new addition Cappy. “They’re loyal, smart, loving and they became a real part of the family.”
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Matilda for first dog - Her Barack is as good as her bite
Yes, you heard right. Cartoon Matilda is running for 1st Dog and we need your support. President Roosevelt had his teddy, so let’s make more history and give President Obama his Matilda!!
President Obama has promised his two girls, Sasha and Malia that he will get them a puppy when they move into The White House, and Cartoon Matilda is virtually the right choice.
What does Cartoon Matilda stand for? Well, she stands on all fours!
You should endorse Cartoon Matilda for the following reasons;
a) She's a Labradoodle that was first bred in 1989 in Australia which will help with international relations.
b) Labradoodle's were bred to be service dogs so Cartoon Matilda will be of service to the Obama family and America.
c) Cartoon Matilda coat is wool, so she’s hypo-allergenic, so Malia's allergies will not be affected.
d) Cartoon Matilda is cute and adorable with these features: i) She doesn't need to go out to do 'her business'. White House business should always be classified confidential, inside and discreet. ii) Cartoon Matilda will not require a vet, therefore the American people will have no vet bills to foot, keeping taxes down. In these economic times this is important. iii) Cartoon Matilda is a green dog. (not LITTERaly). She was made without pen or paper and she is generated and powered by wind. iv) Cartoon Matilda will never CHANGE, thus she will be there for the Obama children through this term and the next.
f) Cartoon Matilda can handle any and all adversaries because she's a female dog (bitch).
You can see Cartoon Matilda's political message at toonEcards.com.
Let everyone know, including President Obama that Cartoon Matilda is VIRTUALLY the right choice for 1st Dog.
By Emily Leaman
Greg Nelson was watching TV at the gym on Sunday when Barack Obama told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that his family has narrowed down its dog choice to two breeds: Portuguese water dog and Labradoodle. Nelson, a miniature-Labradoodle owner, had an idea.To generate enthusiasm about the Labrador-meets-poodle mix, Nelson went home and started Labradoodles for Obama. By Monday, he’d purchased the domain Labradoodlesforobama.com, set up a Web site, elected his dog, Arbo, to head the group, and drafted a letter to the Obama family urging them to choose the breed. In the coming days, he’ll add a petition function so readers can add their names to the letter, as well as a blog and a button for donating to the Washington Humane Society. Nelson also plans to place ads in local publications to promote his cause.
Nelson, a marketing and consulting specialist, got Arbo from a breeder a year and a half ago. He’s since fallen in love with the breed, pointing out that Labradoodles “have the demeanor of a Lab and the intelligence of a poodle.” A Labradoodle would be a good fit for the Obamas, he says, because it’s a great family dog and loves being around people. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic—good news for Obama’s daughter Malia, who’s allergic to dogs.Of course, Nelson also has personal reasons for starting the group: He’s hoping for a doggie play date on the White House grounds. “I own the closest single-family home to the White House on 16th Street,” says Nelson, who calls himself “the President’s neighbor.” “I’d love for my dog to get to play on the south lawn someday.”
Monday, February 2, 2009
Contact: Greg Nelson
Labradoodles for Obama
LABRADOODLES LAUNCH LOBBYING EFFORT TO BECOME OBAMA FAMILY FIRST DOG
Washington, DC—Prepare to cast your ballot once more; the campaign for First Dog is heating up. The announcement by President Obama that the first family has narrowed their choice for the family dog to either the Portuguese water dog or the Labradoodle has launched a new season of campaigning.
Marketing executive and entrepreneur Greg Nelson is lobbying for a Labradoodle in the White House through his newly created organization Labradoodles for Obama.
Nelson initiated the effort out of pride in his own Labradoodle, Arbo, and his interest in seeing the first family adopt their own mixed Labrador-Poodle breed. However, his message behind Labradoodles for Obama goes much deeper. Nelson champions three specific issues important to many animal advocates. First, individuals and families should practice responsible dog ownership, specifically by choosing a dog and breed appropriate for their lifestyles and by proper maintenance and care throughout the animal’s life. Second, as owner of the closest single family home to the White House, Nelson believes the sense of community fostered by dog ownership is an important benefit that should not be overlooked or discounted. Finally, Nelson hopes to raise awareness for the need for more dog-friendly green spaces in Washington, D.C.
Through his organization Labradoodles for Obama, Nelson is raising awareness and resources for local animal shelters by donating proceeds of merchandise profits from the website www.labradoodlesforobama.com to the Washington Humane Society.
“At the very least, the best result for the Labradoodles for Obama campaign is the money we raise for the Washington Humane Society” said Nelson. “Beyond that, if Arbo is invited for a play-date on the South Lawn, well, that would be a great bonus.”
Labradoodles For Obama
1609 16th Street NW § Washington, DC 20009
Now that President-elect Obama is he's considering a labradoodle, everyone is taking a careful look at this upstart mixed breed, which has the Labrador retriever’s happy-go-lucky spirit and the poodle's smarts and hypoallergenic coat. Wally Cochran, who bred guide dogs for The Royal Guide Dogs in Victoria, Australia, started the breed in 1988 when a woman wanted a dog that wouldn’t upset her husband’s allergies. Since then, Labradoodles — sometimes called "doodles" for short -- leaped around the world as a new concept in dogs. They’re bred only for health and personality and not for the length of their ears or the precise color of their coat. Judy Hahn, owner of Gleneden Farm in Berryville, VA. used to breed horses and poodles, but feels better about breeding Labradoodles. "One of things we love about breeding doodles, we didn't have to have worry about a breed standard, we could concentrate on things that were more important to people that were buying a pet, like health and temperament," says Hahn. Labradoodles come in three sizes like the poodle. They have three coat types: fleece, wool curly and hair (which is not hypo-allergenic). Labradoodles come in just about every imaginable dog color: Black, Silver, Cream, Apricot Cream, Chalk, Gold, Red, Apricot, Chocolate, and even parti (multi-colored).Some day the Labradoodle may become a standard breed, but Labradoodle owner Greg Nelson, who got his dog Arbo from Gleneden and started a Web site to lobby Obama to pick a doodle, is in no rush. "A lot of purist are very snobby about the labradoodle," says Nelson. "I'm just passionate about responsible dog ownership … that benefits people’s overall lifestyle, community and happiness.”FAMOUS PARENTSBarbara Eden —J in-JinHenry Winkler — CharlotteRikki Lake -- JeffeyTiger Woods —Yogi Graham Norton -- Bailey Christie Brinkley-- Maple SugarBilly Bragg -- BusterJeremy Clarkson -- DodgerOliver Platt -- NoodleJennifer AnistonJeremy IronsBRED FORHypoallergenic guide dogs.KEEP IN MINDLabradoodles require grooming. Some labs have hip problems, which may be passed on if not bred out. Not all doodles are hypoallergenic—especially in the first generation.DOG BREED GROUPSRescue Breeding WHAT THEY LIKE TO DOLabradoodles get together for doodle romps, like this one on YouTube. They are water dogs on both sides of their family tree and like to swim.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
The Labradoodle is ahead in the polls. If Americans got to vote on First Puppy, the Doodle would win in a landslide. But Labradoodle owner Greg Nelson is leaving nothing to chance: he has launched a campaign to bring the Labradoodle to the White House. Nelson, who lives in the closest single family home to the White House with his 18-month-old apricot miniature Labradoodle Arbo, set up Labradoodles for Obama after President-elect Obama said that two breeds were on his short list: the Labradoodle and the Portuguese Water Dog.
In an open letter to the Obamas, Arbo sells his hypoallergenic breed as “SUPER FUN, SUPER CUTE & SUPER SMART.” “I jokingly have aspirations that maybe the South Lawn could be a new dog run,” says Nelson. On its first day Labradoodles for Obama attracted over 3,000 votes (88% pro-Labradoodle) and sold $2,500 in merchandise. (Profits go to the Washington Humane Society.)
The grassroots Labradoodle campaign will have to face off against the more traditional American Kennel Club, which is backing the Water Dog: “We have concerns about the Labradoodle only because it isn’t a purebred dog and … I think it’s important for the family to know what they’re getting,” says Daisy Okas, a spokeswoman for the AKC.
Should the Obamas get a Labradoodle or Portuguese water dog? Cast your vote now!