Portuguese water dog gets the nod

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Look for a big increase in the popularity of the Portuguese water dog.

That's because the first lady told People magazine that's the breed selected to join the Obama family in the White House.

Sasha, 7, thinks she and her sister, Malia, 10, will get the dog April 1.

We hope for the girls' sake it's not an April Fool's joke.

A scan of the Internet seems to indicate the first family has made a good choice. The breed looks like a large poodle, and is known -- naturally enough -- for loving water and being a lively but sensible and loyal dog.

And, they're described as "hypoallergenic," with little shedding, which is an issue in the Obama household.

Portuguese water dogs are called brave, highly intelligent and trainable, quick to learn and understand instructions -- but need a firm hand. They supposedly have a great sense of humor, and like to be in the spotlight.

There should be plenty of limelight around for the new first dog.

Note to the White House staff: Portuguese water dog puppies are notorious chewers, so you might want to keep an eye on the antique furniture.

With all the changes and pressure the Obama daughters are enduring, we're glad they'll soon have a pet to share their new lives with.

There's nothing like the unconditional love and acceptance a pet can provide. Few things can take the edge off a bad day like being greeted at the door by a faithful dog, or being warmed by a purring cat nestled on your lap.

Unfortunately, many companion animals are finding themselves homeless because of the economic conditions faced by their owners.

Perhaps you have room in your heart and home for a pet adopted from your local animal shelter. Maybe your dog or cat would enjoy some company while the rest of the family is away from home for the day.

Give it careful consideration, like the first family has done, and find out more by visiting the McCook Humane Society, 100 South St. in McCook. It's open from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Or, call (308) 345-2372, humanesociety@mccooknet.com or on the Web.

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