Dear President-Elect Obama,
I'd like to start by congratulating you on your historical victory. I voted for you and I was extremely happy to do so because for the first time in what seems like years, I felt like my vote actually meant something. Being that I'm from Massachusetts, a state that voted overwhelmingly in your favor, my one small vote probably didn't make that big of a dent but it felt like it did and that's what matters. My family is very much looking forward to your first term as President of the United States and we look forward to seeing your family mature while you're in office.
This leads me to the point of this message.
Apparently, you promised your girls a puppy when you all moved into the White House. This is a very big deal. A girl’s first dog is very important so you want to make sure you pick the right pup.
This is where I come in.
You probably don't know this - I mean, why would you? You’ve been kind of busy - but I'm a professional dog trainer, and I would like to take this opportunity to offer my services to your family. I’d like to apply for the job of First Dog Trainer. It would be my honor to help you mold your one-day puppy into the fantastic family pet it will grow up to be. My specialty is dog training for the whole family and with young children around that is exactly what type of training you'll need. No charge, Mr. Prez. It's on me.
I don't know what breed of dog you were considering, though I'm sure your girls and your wife might have specific breeds already in mind, but there are a lot of things to consider when picking the right dog to fit your family's lifestyle - Do you adopt a rescue dog or get a purebred from a reputable breeder? Small, medium or large? Hair or fur? But most of all, and most importantly, temperament, temperament, TEMPERAMENT.
I was thrilled to hear Mrs. Obama tell Mary Hart that you were considering adopting a rescue dog. Since every year millions of dogs are given up for adoption, there needs to be more families willing to give these animals a second chance. Adopting a dog into a family with children, even those as obviously well behaved as your girls, can be tricky so take all the advice the rescue organization you work with can give you. Put your trust in them. They have the dogs, and your, best interest at heart.
If you do decide to get a dog from a breeder please, PLEASE, make sure the breeder is reputable and never, ever, get a dog from a pet store. I’ve got two words for you – Puppy Mills. You don’t want to open up that can of worms. Literally - worms. Ick.
Whether you go the rescue route or pick a purebred pup, please remember your lifestyle. You seem like a pretty active family so you need a dog that can learn to fit into your busy life. Mrs. Obama mentioned possibly getting a hypoallergenic dog. I’m not sure if one of you is allergic, but please don’t base your decision on the dog’s coat and whether or not the pup sheds. Temperament is more important than hair and you have a staff who can vacuum the carpets.
When you finally make your decision and make that special dog part of your family remember that early socialization is key. With all the staff you’ll have, I don’t think dog/people socialization will be a problem. But don’t neglect dog/dog socialization. I think the dog should have his or her own Secret Service agent. You know, for when Fido or Rex goes to the local dog park for his weekly playdate with the rest of the DC dogs.
One last thing, a dog was requested by your girls but your youngest is now 7 years old. A dog, depending on what type you get, should live at least 10 – 12 years. This means, there’s a good chance you and the missus will be caring for this dog while the girls are away at college. In other words, this dog will be yours and Michelle’s. Be happy with your choice now because you’ll be living with it for some time.
You’re busy, I get that. You’ve got a cabinet to build, staffers to hire, a country to run in a couple of months. But the First Dog is a big deal. There's going to be lots of photo ops and you don't want to be that owner. You know, the one who lets his dog put his muddy paws on the Queen of England (though I think she might understand, being a dog lover and all). So embarrassing. So let me take this load off of you. Hire me! I’m available and I’m qualified for the job. I may not have decades of experience like some other trainers but I bring an optimism that some other more seasoned trainers are lacking. I bring a fresh perspective. I am the trainer that your new dog needs!
Say it with me – Can we train this dog? Yes we can!
I think I'm going to agree with America. If the Obamas go for a purebred dog, the Poodle would make an excellent companion for the family. A miniature Poodle would be a great traveling companion due to its size, but I still favor the larger Standard Poodle. And don't let that high maintenance coat fool you, the Poodle is extremely smart and athletic and excellent to train. Just ask this lady.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Dear President-Elect Obama,