I’m glad that in the end the Obamas got just the dog they wanted, the Portuguese Water Dog puppy.
No doubt the family will be criticized for not rescuing a dog (they say they’ll donate to the Humane Society in lieu of). Getting a pet from the shelter is a great idea, but not in every circumstance. When you know exactly what you’re looking for, as Michelle Obama did after researching, sometimes it’s best to make sure you get exactly what it is you’re after, which might mean from a reputable breeder.
I know this first-hand because I’ve done both. Years ago, after reading Peter Gether’s memoir The Cat Who Went to Paris, I really wanted to get a Scottish Fold cat like the one he had, Norton. Scottish Folds look a lot like the gray tiger cat I grew up with, Feisty, but have an adorable quirk of folded-down ears. I read three books about Norton, my boyfriend took me to a reading to meet Norton, I really wanted a Norton of my own. I could have gotten one – but they don’t show up at the pound, I would have had to have gone to a breeder.
But my close friend Chad gave me a major guilt trip: “You’re going to pay $200 for a cat, when there are hundreds of perfectly good cats at the pound that need homes?!” Continue reading