Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

President Adopts a Blue-Collar Pet

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

President Adopts a Blue-Collar Pet

Article excerpt

Few would deny that Bo the Portuguese water dog, the newest addition to the White House staff, is almost too cute and goofily adorable in that floppy, enthusiastic, "What's next?" way of puppies.

However, water dogs are not for every individual or family. Guthrie veterinarian Denise Travis and Tulsa PWD owner Angel Swift explain that Bo and his breed need jobs.

Travis works at Guthrie Pet Hospital and is president of the Oklahoma Animal Interest Alliance.

"It is a working dog," Travis said of the Portuguese. "Working dogs are dogs that have jobs, which right away tells you that these are not going to be dogs that just want to sit around on the couch. These dogs enjoy active families."

Travis, who owns whippets, said water dogs are good with children, although no dog should be left unattended with small children.

"They have really outgoing personalities, but they are also dogs that are not going to be suitable for everyone," she said. "They're a very busy breed. I would not recommend them for people that live in an apartment."

Water dogs do not experience the health problems of some breeds, she added.

As Travis pointed out, the Obamas wanted a dog that would not aggravate the allergies of their daughter, Malia.

She said the water dog is a good choice on that score, because it doesn't produce as much of the dander that triggers allergies.

"That does not mean someone is not going to be allergic to them, unfortunately," Travis said. "There's no 100-percent guarantee for that."

Travis said that in addition to triggering the "101 Dalmations" issue - as occurred when many people rushed out to buy members of that high-energy breed, only to give them up when they proved too much to handle - some people might be out to make a quick buck off of the newfound popularity of water dogs.

"They're going to go out, buy dogs to breed, and sell them cheap," she said.

It's important, Travis said, for potential pet owners to get as much history as they can, on the dogs they want and on their sellers. …

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