Wednesday, November 05, 2008

To: President-Elect Barack Obama Re: That puppy you promised your kids

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.


Heather said...

I would totally hire you!

Anonymous said...

You optimistic?

Dying laughing over here.

And just where was your job application to be my free dog trainer when I got the new puppy?

What's Obama got that I don't have?

Oh wait. Never mind.

Liz Jimenez said...

Amen. Drives me a little nuts when people don't think before getting a dog.

When I snagged my neighbor's huge (sweet but under-exercised and under-disciplined) golden-doodle after he busted out of the yard for the umpteenth time, and brought him back to her unsuspecting door, she commented: "this was the dumbest impulse by of my life."

Oh. My. God. IMPULSE BUY? No wonder the poor dog is completely out of control. Oy.

Unknown said...

And this is why I love you! Please promise me you're going to send this letter to him in Chicago. PLEASE. Because I would so hire you. And maybe he would too. Can you imagine your little apartment in the servant's wing of the white house. Awesome!

Heather said...

Set your sights high! Yes you can!

Julie Marsh said...

Listening to you very closely over here, doing my homework in true Type-A style before getting a puppy next spring, still hoping you might be willing to relocate to my guest room to act as personal trainer.

We'll provide wine...whaddaya say?

Anonymous said...

Mwhahahahahahahah thank you so much. I needed that laugh. I have a welsh terrior over here that needs some lessons in manners. Do you work for wine and food and massive compliments?

Anonymous said...

It's true… our first pet matters lot to us.

Manic Mommy said...

Send the letter! Send it! Or at least have it published in Puppy Talk or whatever magazine you think Michelle might read! You just never know.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Have I ever told you that you have my dream job? Nevermind that I've never actually owned a dog, I just love, love, love being with them.

And, I agree with Manic Mommy---send that letter!!!

If I see a photo of them at a puppy store picking up their new puppy, I will seriously have a fit. I think they are too smart for that though.

ewe are here said...

Love this.

All great advice.

Arwen said...

So far, all the advice you have given me has worked great. You suggested moving the things our puppy likes to chew up out of his reach. He no longer chews but we have A LOT of stuff on top of the fridge but its getting better. We are slowly moving things down and he is resisting the temptation now that he is older.

d e v a n said...

hehe. How awesome would it be if he hired you?! I can't wait to see what kind of dog they pick.

Everydaytreats said...

Apply at - I DARE you. Nay, I BEG you.

petite gourmand said...

you so have to send this letter!

petite gourmand said...

you so have to send this letter!

petite gourmand said...

oops darn sticky track pad- very annoying new mac computer...

Anonymous said...

Hee! You should actually send that!

And poodles? Really? I never knew.

Avalon said...


Mrs C!!!!

I have loved, loved, loved you in the past. But your recommendation for the first dog!!

You are now. Truly. Forever.

My favorite, bestest, prettiest and smartest Blogger- friend EVAH!!!

Even if you recommended Belinda as knower of all things Poodle. For that, I forgive you. I mean, I love me some Belinda too, but - you do realize that I am New England's Poodle expert. Right?

Can I come to Mass and hug you?

TRS said...

Admittedly, I don't know that much about dogs - but I'm thinking you don't know much about allergies.

BTW - vacumming doesn't help alieviate allergies. Vaccumming stirs up the dander that causes allergies.

If someone in the family is allergic to dogs - yeah the allergy issue outweighs EVERYTHING - because allergies are not just inconvenient, random icky feelings.
Living with allergies is like living with a nasty @ss cold every frickin' day of your life!

But your letter is very cute. If this is your greatest concern about the Obama Administration - you must know something I don't.

MichelleB said...

Haha great letter you should send it to the Obamas!

What you wrote sounds like all the stuff I thought about before I surprised my hubby with a little terrier for our 10th anniversary after he surprised me with a gorgeous diamond necklace from

our dog was not hypoallergenic though!

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