One of SFVS’s animal behaviorists, Sophia Yin, DVM, just posted an entry on her blog titled “Having a Puppy in the White House Can Be as Complicated as Foreign Policy.” Of course, we’ve all been hearing about the Portuguese water dog for months now. (The Washington Post even emailed a “breaking news alert” the other night when Bo Obama was officially announced … given to Malia and Sasha as a gift by Sen. Edward Kennedy.) Dr. Yin’s post has a different twist than the stories we’ve been reading (mutt vs. purebred, hypoallergenic pups, etc.). She gives us a few reasons why the Obamas were smart to adopt a 6-month-old dog instead of a 6-week-old puppy. Her introduction:
When the Obamas announced in November that they would be getting a puppy for Sasha and Malia the whole world breathed a collective “aww” and envisioned the presidential kids carrying the young pup around like a doll. Well, the Obamas have officially announced the big reveal. Their new four-legged family member is a male, Portuguese Water dog named Bo. Bo is 6 months old rather than being under 16 weeks. He’s already too big to be carried around by Sasha and Malia, but he’s just the right size to be cuddled by everyone in the family.
Some people might be puzzled as to why the Obamas would want to miss out on the wonderful early puppy months. As a veterinarian and applied animal behaviorist, I say, wow, another smart move by the president and his family. Let me tell you why.