The New Member? Of the Family
The most amazing demonstration of human incompetence and failure of understanding between human beings and animals that I have ever seen took place today at the White House. Beau, the Portuguese water dog was introduced to the family, and to about 50 obnoxious media photographers, as well as to the world during the poor dog’s first hysterical trip around the spacious outdoor world surrounding his new home.
Evidently neither of the two adult Obamas had ever had a pet, so the dog was as new to them as he was to their children. Either none of the photographers had ever had a dog, either, because they were far more interested in the photos they could get than in what effect their phalanx may have had on the puppy.
Wolf Blitzer, on CNN, asked a “dog whisperer” guest questions that only a person who had never even heard of such an animal would ask. And a woman dog training and performance expert was interviewed in the studio. She had a dog of similar breed and age with her at the time, and the dog wrapped himself around her legs until he had to be removed. Both of these people were involved in training dogs for wealthy families. The man must have been a dog psychiatrist, while the woman emphasized training and obedience.
Beau was introduced to his new environment moments after reaching his new home, and he was too interested in his new and boundless grounds to be bothered by all the ridiculous humans around him. If he had been a timid dog, I cannot think of a more frightening experience for a new dog to go through.
It was obvious that this was an entirely new experience for the Obama family, so I don’t blame the President for making a mistake in judgment. I revere him as a man and a man fit to be my president, so I forgive him for his lack of training in this instance. I hope he will find it an entirely happy period of training for himself, his family, and for Beau.
But it’s not too late! Here is the thing he should have done in the first place, and what he can still do now:
For moral reasons, and especially because it was what he first said he would do, he should have adopted a homeless dog.
He can still do that, both for the sake of the homeless dog, and for Beau’s sake as well! No dog should be the only pet in a home that can afford it. A dog needs a dog companion, just as people need people. NOW is the time to get Beau a companion, before he becomes a spoiled celebrity dog. And there is nothing more devoted than an animal that has been rescued. Pets should be beloved members of a family, not celebrity accoutrements.
And for heaven’s sake, do not have your dog(s) go through a regime of “training and obedience!” Try to train them not to pee on the furniture, but let them be REAL dogs, and love them for their mistakes and their quirks.
As a dog and cat rescuer all my life, most of which I have found abandoned on freeways, I can tell you how desparate is their need and how grateful is their response. I would be very surprised if there is anyone who drives on freeways anywhere who has not seen a lost or abandoned dog walking hopelessly along the road. It breaks my heart to even say that, for it brings back memories of so many that I have rescued, and the few that I was unable to help. One of my most memorable rescues was of a dog trapped between two of the three tunnels between Oakland and Contra Costa County during the morning traffic hours. I got out and opened the back door for him, and he jumped in and put his head lovingly on my shoulder, as the angry driver behind me held his hand furiously on his car horn.
I wish all people would respond the way I and other rescuers do. For those who feel as I do, it is a truly lifelong spiritual experience.
Good luck with your dog(s), Mr. President, and I wish him (them) a long life as beloved pet(s) rather than as another sightseeing experience at the White House.
The New Member? Of the Family