Who is walking who?

It seems that most of all the photos I see, with Bo on leash, has him on a *mission* leading the way. You’d think that this special boy, of all dogs, would be doing some serious obedience training.

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The First Pup

The First Pup: The Real Story of How Bo Got to the White House is a brand new book from Bob Staake. Bob is an illustrator who has worked on everything from greeting cards to magazine covers, most notably Reflections, one of the most popular covers in the New Yorker’s history. He has also written and illustrated over 20 children’s books.

I simply love his illustrations in this book, especially of Bo and his trio of lovely girls doing his bidding. This 40-page book was just published on May 25, 2010 and is suitable for ages 4 to 8.

The book tells the story of how Barack Obama ran for president and made an announcement on the night of his victory about getting his daughters . . . A PUPPY!

The book does a very nice job of relating how Bo came to be the First Pup, actually being a sibling of Senator Kennedy’s pup. And, while kids may not be as tickled, the illustration of the Senator was just wonderful and my favorite.

. . . . . . . .

Oh Bo ….. Oh My

Bo plays in the blowing snow on the South Lawn of the White House during a blizzard, February 10, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

U.S. President Barack Obama's family dog Bo waits for the president on March 5, 2010 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

Bo in the Rose Garden, March 3, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Bo always steals the show — Updated

First Lady Michelle Obama, along with daughters Malia and Sasha, delivered some Christmas cheer to the Children’s National Medical Center Tuesday. But Bo, the family dog, stole the show.

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A GOLDEN XMAS UPDATE

Bo definitely knew that there was something not right about that large Santa creature. Our Golden Alfie was also not too keen on this blow-up Santa that was at an Assisted Living Home that we visited and performed a freestyle demo for some years ago. I made it into Xmas cards, in fact, with two fun captions:

“And, they think my breath is bad!”
or
“Hey Santa . . . you better ask for teeth for Christmas.”

OH NO Bo! He’s the birthday boy but still is learning!

We already know from news stories that Bo lives to chews socks, magazines and daddy’s sneakers. However, it seems the Number One furboy in the land—just today celebrating his 1st birthday—is now having arithmetic problems.

He recently left a Number Two present on Airforce One. Luckily the flight attendant was able to steer clear of Bo Obama’s present on the presidential jet. While everybody poops, The White House is continuing to Deny Bo’s Mile-High Mistake!

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The Kennedy-Obama Canine Connection

August 26, 2009 update here.

I hear that the Obama family fell in love with Senator Kennedy’s Porties, so inspiring their bringing Bo into the family. I got to meet two of Senator Kennedy’s dogs three years ago during a second tour at the White House with my Senate pal, Patty Kennedy. I had originally visited the US Senate in 2000, helping Patty with the publicity of her incredible book, Bailey Bymyside: Golden Lessons for Life (to see some of the lessons from the book, click here).

Senator Kennedy dogs were being walked by staff members as he was, of course, busy doing the people’s work. I was told that the Senator brought his dog to work about once a week. And, he brought a tennis racket as well so that he could hit balls for his dog to retrieve and bring back to him.

The 2006 book, My Senator And Me: A Dog’s Eye View Of Washington, D.C., is a lovely children’s book that highlights his guy, Ch. Amigo’s Seventh Wave (nicknamed Splash). One gets to follow Senator Kennedy and Splash through a busy day in D.C., from press conferences to meetings with school groups to committee discussions to a floor vote. Kennedy’s introduction to the political process is clear, informative, and loaded with child appeal, in part due to his choice of a furry narrator.

Bo, America’s Commander in Leash was written by Naren Aryal and illustrated by Danny Moore (Mascot Books). The book begins with Bo stealing the president’s letter opener, and he’s off and running for the next 25 pages.

Bo flies off the Obama girls’ swing, runs from bees near the first lady’s organic garden, puts green dye in the fountain for St. Patrick’s Day, and even serves up a summer hamburger for VP Biden. And, he is definitely enjoying the view and breeze from the window of Dad’s presidential helicopter, a major perk I’d say.

It looks like a great book for kids from age 4 to 10, as so many are now so interested in this special guy.

Click here to see a sample page from the book.

Art and Martha Stern, who bred the new White House dog, Bo, at their Amigo Portuguese Water Dog Kennels in Texas, were interviewed by PEOPLE Pets. And, they revealed some cool info (in the 5 facts below).

Spokesdog Bo

5 Things You May Not Know About First Dog Bo

1. It wasn’t Bo’s fault his first family didn’t work out. Bo, who spent time with another family before heading to Washington, was originally acquired to give an older female some company, but he ended up giving her a headache – by trying to nurse on her. “Most of our puppies, when [they] are six or seven weeks of age, I let them out with the big dogs,” Stern says. “The big dogs usually educate them to the fact that not all big dogs are their mother. But apparently he didn’t learn that.”

2. Bo comes from sturdy stock. His mom Penny is “kinda pushy,” Stern says. “She tries to run things, but we’ve got an older female that’s actually the alpha.” The Sterns give all their dogs a puppy test that rates degrees of social attraction, the ability to follow and sensitivity to touch. Bo scored mostly in the middle.

3. Bo has been a presidential dog-in-training for weeks. After Bo left his first home, he a top-secret trip to the White House for a summit with the Obamas in mid-March. Then he was whisked off for schooling by the Kennedy’s dog trainer.

4. He has a talented older brother. The Sterns tried to mate Bo’s mom and dad through artificial insemination, and a pup named Solo was born. Solo now competes in a sport called Water Work that mimics the challenges of fishing, which Porties were originally bred to do. Then Bo’s parents got together again and had Bo and his nine litter mates (including one owned by the Kennedys).

5. Bo will be big and lanky. Stern says that his other dogs that were neutered young – like Bo – have become especially tall. Which means he’ll be right at home with the First Family: The President is just over 6 feet tall, while Michelle Obama while Michelle Obama reaches 5’11”.

Check out Bo’s first day in the video below, along with some of our favorite photos of this cutie with his new forever family.

Presidential Puppy Watch … Senator Kennedy’s Portuguese Water Dog influence

August 26, 2009 update here.

APRIL 16 UPDATE HERE

Well, it seems like Senator Kennedy has made a huge influence on the Obama family. The number one pick these days is a Portuguese Water Dog.

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 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.”

I got to meet two of Senator Kennedy’s dogs three years ago during a second tour at the White House with my Senate pal, Patty Kennedy. I had originally visited the US Senate in 2000, helping Patty with the publicity of her incredible book, Bailey Bymyside: Golden Lessons for Life (to see some of the lessons from the book, click here).

Senator Kennedy dogs were being walked by staff members as he was, of course, busy doing the people’s work. I was told that the Senator brought his dog to work about once a week. And, he brought a tennis racket as well so that he could hit balls for his dog to retrieve and bring back to him.

I hear that the Senator is currently convalescing in Florida, spending wonderful, warm days by the water with his beloved dogs by his side. But, he remains very busy communicating with staff by phone so that he can still guide his much desired health reforms to eventual passage.

The 2006 book, My Senator And Me: A Dog’s Eye View Of Washington, D.C., is a lovely children’s book that highlights his guy, Ch. Amigo’s Seventh Wave (nicknamed Splash). One gets to follow Senator Kennedy and Splash through a busy day in D.C., from press conferences to meetings with school groups to committee discussions to a floor vote.

Kennedy’s introduction to the political process is clear, informative, and loaded with child appeal, in part due to his choice of a furry narrator.

I went looking for some fun Portuguese Water Dog images and came up with this great one of Docker,  the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America’s 2007 Superdog Winner.

Am/Intl CH Floodtide's Meet Me At Dockside CD AX AXJ RE CWD GROM CGC "Docker"

Am/Intl CH Floodtide's Meet Me At Dockside CD AX AXJ RE CWD GROM CGC "Docker"

It actually reminded me of this 2006 photo of President Obama following his 50th town hall meeting in Massac County.

A true comic book lover and collector I hear, he had posed in front of the Superman Statue in downtown Metropolis, IL, known as the home of the DC Comics super hero.

And, in October 2008 Obama joked at the Al Smith dinner that was actually sent here from the planet Krypton by his father Jor-El to “save the planet Earth.

Eerily, given the current economic crisis and the need to manage two wars, I’d say that statement was pretty much on the mark.

I jumped the gun.

Sad to say, but my too-trusting, naive nature (being a school psychologist will do that to you) took a serious bruising yesterday when I wrote about Obama finally getting his puppy.

A newspaper clipping detailing the news was sent to me by a very trusted friend, so I simply believed it was on the up-and-up. Yes, the photo looked photoshopped and I could not find anything online about the event, but it just never occurred to me that a joke was being played.

Unfortunately, this person later revealed that it was merely a hoax, that was meant more as wishful thinking on her part.

I’ve been online 12 years without ever taking such a hit, so I guess I should consider myself lucky.

As a wise sympathizer told me, just be sure to check and re-check such posts from now on, and confirm before publishing. Of course, we all know, that darned hindsight is always 20/20.

Please accept my humble apology.

Call me silly, but I LOVE these!

Malia and Sasha in their new inaugural coats

Malia & Sasha's new inaugural coats

Inspired by the First Family’s unique style, these i see spot “First Coats” are so charming. The lightweight Spring Coats feature extra soft fleece with satin buttons and ribbon trim. They are only sized for smaller dogs, though, with sizes for dogs with body lengths from 8″ to 19″ and approximate weights of 3 to 30 lbs.

At our Foundation’s Apparel Store, we have lots for folks to enjoy, to tickle their own fancy or to dress their dogs up in style. It seems that even a fun scarf on a dog can bring joy to others. Some dogs engage in Animal-Assisted Activities. Such activities, designed to strengthen someone’s quality of life, are typically performed by volunteers and are generally “meet and greet” activities. We have wonderful stretch scarves and tanks, many with great holiday themes. The i see spot quality is exceptional and they are the only ones we’ve found to be true to sizing, and to comfortably fit larger dogs such as Golden Retrievers.

Please let me know if you may be interested in this new “First Family” wear and I will order some to stock at the store.

_______________________________

One of the foundation sponsors, i see spot, has donated some of their products to us to help with fundraising. For 20 years,i see spot’s parent company, L.A. SAM, INC., has been designing and manufacturing for the apparel industry. From successful adult contemporary lines to children’s clothing, L.A. SAM has built its reputation as a leader in quality garments made in the U.S.A. It is this experience, love of dogs, as well as the nine years of design collaboration between the company’s owners, Sandy Maroney and Sharon Bolger, that has inspired the newest L.A. SAM, INC. direction into the dog couture market.

In July of 2003, i see spot was launched, its ongoing success attributed most of all to quality. The fabrics are carefully chosen and designed with the comfort of the dog as the main priority.

A mutt like me

Senator Obama is featured in book about puppy mills, A Rare Breed of Love, with this photo of him holding Baby, the three-legged poodle rescued from an abusive puppy mill operation.

250px-obamaposter

An artist's support

This is an update to this post that I put up last month.

That is how PE Obama describes himself. And, it is why he wants to get a rescue to be the first Presidential pet. That had inspired artist, Shepard Fairey, responsible for a poster series supporting Barack Obama’s candidacy for President in 2008. Who can forget the iconic “HOPE” portrait? It was actually just acquired by the US National Portrait Gallery, and became part of the permanent collection, the gallery hoping to have the image on display by Obama’s Inauguration Day.

The day Obama stated his interest in adopting a dog from the shelter was a slightly brighter one for the approximately 7 million adoptable dogs & cats killed each year in this country. The staggering reality is that for each one sold at a pet store or by a breeder, another perfectly worthy one is killed.

Our nations shelters are filled to capacity with all kinds of amazing adoptable animals including, as Obama put it, “Mutts like me.”

On the heels of Obama’s comment, I got a call from Pia Salk, an animal advocate who works with North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website, Adopt-a-Pet.com. Pia simply asked if I might be willing to collaborate on a way to have my art help these animals. I’m all for adopting from the shelter! My wife and I share our home with 2 pooches, George and Weezie, who is a rescue. They are the happy canine siblings to our 2 human daughters.

I have created a limited edition run of 400 signed and numbered silk-screen prints that will be available soon at MuttsLikeMe.com. The proceeds will go to getting the furry non-partisan U.S. residents, who share our country, saved and into homes. Shepard Fairey

Image fashioned after a mutt named Honey that artist had as a kid

Shepard Fairey, Time Magazine named “Icon Maker” of the year, has graciously used his talents to help our shelter pets! He has made an icon out of the American mutt, proving that every mutt is truly a masterpiece. You can help spread the word on behalf of the millions of furry U.S. ‘residents’ currently waiting to be adopted! There are downloads that are downright huge (so that you can post poster-size professional images) as well as code to add to your own personal websites.

Click here to get the image and spread it around.

_____________________________________

UPDATE: Shepard Fairey Sues Associated Press Over Obama Poster

Shepard Fairey, the visual artist who created the iconic “Hope” poster of Barack Obama, has filed suit against The Associated Press, according to court documents. Last week, The A.P. said in a statement that the poster, based on an A.P. photograph taken by Mannie Garcia in April 2006, requires its permission for use of the image, and that it is seeking credit and compensation for its use in Mr. Fairey’s works. In the suit, filed in United States District Court in New York, lawyers for Mr. Fairey are seeking a declaratory judgment which would rule that Mr. Fairey’s poster does not infringe on The A.P.’s copyrights and is protected by the Fair Use Doctrine. The complaint also seeks an injunction enjoining The A.P. from asserting its copyrights against Mr. Fairey, his company, Obey Giant, and anyone in possession of the poster or works derived from it, as well as a jury trial.

It is important to note that Shepard’s complaint also includes protecting anyone in possession of works derived from the Obama hope poster. That would actually include the Adopt poster above, which shows you how crazy the A.P. is being here.

For those George Clooney fans (who couldn’t be though), here is the original photo that was utilized for the poster that Shephard Fairey:


A Mutt Like Me

Senator Obama is featured in book about puppy mills, A Rare Breed of Love, with this photo of him holding Baby, the three-legged poodle rescued from an abusive puppy mill operation.

250px-obamaposter

An artist's support

That is how PE Obama describes himself. And, it is why he wants to get a rescue to be the first Presidential pet. That has inspired artist, Shepard Fairey, responsible for a poster series supporting Barack Obama’s candidacy for President in 2008. Who can forget the iconic “HOPE” portrait? It was actually just acquired by the US National Portrait Gallery, and became part of the permanent collection, the gallery hoping to have the image on display by Obama’s Inauguration Day.

The day Obama stated his interest in adopting a dog from the shelter was a slightly brighter one for the approximately 7 million adoptable dogs & cats killed each year in this country. The staggering reality is that for each one sold at a pet store or by a breeder, another perfectly worthy one is killed.

Our nations shelters are filled to capacity with all kinds of amazing adoptable animals including, as Obama put it, “Mutts like me.”

On the heels of Obama’s comment, I got a call from Pia Salk, an animal advocate who works with North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website, Adopt-a-Pet.com. Pia simply asked if I might be willing to collaborate on a way to have my art help these animals. I’m all for adopting from the shelter! My wife and I share our home with 2 pooches, George and Weezie, who is a rescue. They are the happy canine siblings to our 2 human daughters.

I have created a limited edition run of 400 signed and numbered silk-screen prints that will be available soon at MuttsLikeMe.com. The proceeds will go to getting the furry non-partisan U.S. residents, who share our country, saved and into homes.  Shepard Fairey

Image fashioned after a mutt named Honey that artist had as a kid

Shepard Fairey, Time Magazine named “Icon Maker” of the year, has graciously used his talents to help our shelter pets! He has made an icon out of the American mutt, proving that every mutt is truly a masterpiece. You can help spread the word on behalf of the millions of furry U.S. ‘residents’ currently waiting to be adopted! There are downloads that are downright huge (so that you can post poster-size professional images) as well as code to add to your own personal websites.

Click here to get the image and spread it around.

Presidential Puppy Watch

Labradoodle Cutie #1

Labradoodle Cutie #1

Well, what is it to be? We hear that Sasha and Malia will be getting their new pup in the spring. It even may be a rescue. I have heard Labradoodles being suggested. but everyone is guessing at this point.

The kids are not yet settled on what breed makeup it will have, but studious and responsible-minded Malia is already doing research on the possibilities. There is one thing we do know about the next first dog. Given Malia’s asthma, the selection will need to be one that does not potentiate any symptomatology.

Labradoodle Cutie #2

Labradoodle Cutie #2

This is what the Humane Society says about Allergies to Pets

Being a pet owner is never easy. While pets bring us joy and companionship on a daily basis, they also require training, veterinary care, time, love, attention, and even tolerance. Tolerance is especially necessary when a pet owner is allergic to his or her companion animal.

Studies show that approximately 15 percent of the population is allergic to dogs or cats. An estimated one-third of Americans who are allergic to cats (about two million people) live with at least one cat in their household anyway. In a study of 341 adults who were allergic to cats or dogs and had been advised by their physicians to give up their pets, only one out of five did. What’s more, 122 of them obtained another pet after a previous one had died. It’s clear the benefits of pet companionship outweigh the drawbacks of pet allergies for many owners. Living comfortably with a companion animal despite being allergic to him requires a good understanding of the allergic condition and an adherence to a few rules.

Animal Care Professionals:
Print and customize the
PDF version of this tip sheet
with your contact information.

All cats and dogs are allergenic (allergy-causing) to people who are allergic to animals. Cats tend to be more allergenic than dogs for allergic people, although some people are more sensitive to dogs than cats. Contrary to popular belief, there are no “non-allergenic” breeds of dogs or cats; even hairless breeds may be highly allergenic.Dogs with soft, constantly-growing hair—the Poodle or the Bichon Frise, for example—may be less irritating to some individuals, although this may be because they are bathed and groomed more frequently. One dog or cat of a particular breed may be more irritating to an individual allergy sufferer than another animal of that same breed.

The source of irritation to pet-allergic humans? Glands in the animal’s skin secrete tiny allergy-triggering proteins, called allergens, that linger in the animal’s fur but also float easily in the air. Allergens are present in the animal’s saliva and urine, too, and may become airborne when saliva dries on the fur. The severity of reaction to these allergens varies from one person to the next, ranging from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma, and can be complicated by simultaneous allergies to other irritants in the environment.

Download or Order a
Free Allergy Brochure

Download the brochure
“Your Allergies & Your Pet”
or order a free copy
by sending a SASE to:
The HSUS Allergy Brochure PR
2100 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037.

If your or a family member’s allergies are simply miserable, but not life-threatening, take these steps to reduce the symptoms:

  • Create an “allergy free” zone in the home—preferably the bedroom—and strictly prohibit the pet’s access to it. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner (available at almost any home and garden store or discount department store) in the bedroom. Consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows because allergen particles brought into the room on clothes and other objects can accumulate in them.
  • Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the rest of the home, and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors. Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as couch covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds. Use a “microfilter” bag in the vacuum cleaner to effectively catch all the allergens.
  • Bathing your pet on a weekly basis can reduce the level of allergens on fur by as much as 84 percent. Although products are available that claim to reduce pet allergens when sprayed on the animal’s fur, studies show they are less effective than a weekly bath. Even cats can become accustomed to being bathed; check with your veterinarian’s staff or a good book on pet care for directions about how to do this properly, and use whatever shampoo your veterinarian recommends.
  • Don’t be quick to blame the family pet for allergies. Ask your allergist to specifically test for allergies to pet dander, rather than making an assumption. And understand that allergies are cumulative. Many allergy sufferers are sensitive to more than one allergen. So if you’re allergic to dust, insecticides, pollen, cigarette smoke, and cat dander, you’ll need to reduce the overall allergen level in your environment by concentrating on all of the causes, not just the pet allergy. For example, you may need to step up measures to remove cat dander from your home and carefully avoid cigarette smoke during spring, when it is difficult to avoid exposure to pollen.
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots) can improve symptoms but cannot eliminate them entirely. They work by gradually desensitizing a person’s immune system to the pet allergens. Allergy-causing proteins are injected under the person’s skin, triggering the body to produce antibodies (protective proteins) which block the pet allergen from causing a reaction. Patients are usually given one dose per week for a few weeks to months (depending on the severity of the allergy) and then can often manage with one injection per month.
  • Additional treatments for allergies to pets are symptomatic, including steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and antihistamine pills. For asthma, there are multiple medications, sprays, and inhalers available. It is important to find an allergist who understands your commitment to living with your pet. A combination of approaches—medical control of symptoms, good housecleaning methods, and immunotherapy—is most likely to succeed in allowing an allergic person to live with pets.

Of course, if you do not currently have a pet and are considering one, and know you are pet-allergic, be sure to consider carefully whether you can live with the allergy before you bring a new pet home. Except in the case of children, who sometimes outgrow allergies, few allergy sufferers become accustomed to pets to whom they are allergic. Too many allergic owners obtain pets without thinking through the difficulties of living with them. And too often, they end up relinquishing pets, a decision that is difficult for the owner and can be life-threatening for the pet.

Another Labradoodle Cutie

Another Labradoodle Cutie