Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The $1,600 dog

Today's "44" blog on the The Washington Post's website contains an interesting bit of information from President Obama's financial disclosure forms: that the value of Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog given to the Obama family by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and his wife, was $1,600.

My first reaction was that Bo's reported monetary value makes an interesting parallel to his current street address. My second reaction was, "Oh God, people are gonna be bellyaching about this." The comments to the article have borne out my prediction, although the range of idiocy in the comments is breathtaking. Some examples:

-- "This is a white man's dog. It's a Kennedy dog ... Obama thinks he's white."

-- "Remember how the Washington Post dutifully reported that Obama was getting a "rescue dog ? Yeah, right. This is just standard operating procedure for Obama."

-- "Obama didn't really need a dog. He already had a lap dog in the White House press corps."

-- "I wonder why O would claim 1600 for the dog when it was a gift? Why would the taxpayers pay for the dogs food, if in fact that is where the 1600 comes from? "

-- "Obama couldn't find an animal shelter with a map, much less adopt an animal in need of a home. Instead his buddies went to a breeder for one of their 'genetically pure' dogs. "

You get the idea. That said, I was also pleasantly surprised by the intelligence of some of the other comments:

-- "There's nothing wrong with adopting a purebred dog, people ... I have no problem with people who adopt from shelters. I think that's great. But simply put, a lot of people aren't comfortable adopting a dog when they have no idea what kind of personality or temperament it will have. Never mind all of the different kinds of psychological or emotional baggage the dog might have as a result of previous owners/living in a shelter."

-- "The Obamas' daughters are allergic. Portugese Water Dogs are virtually hypoallergenic. They don't shed. A rescue dog really wasn't an option. "

I don't know which is worse: the unbelievable degree of ignorance among the naysayers, or the fact that I'm surprised that not all of the comments reflect such ignorance.

And for the record, my family and I paid $1,000 for Allie back in 2002. An inflation calculator would put that amount at about $1,185 today. For that amount, we got a healthy puppy with a sound temperament whose parents had passed screenings for genetic diseases, and who'd had the very best of care during those crucial first eight weeks of her life. She was (and even more so today is) worth every penny. But the best defense of buying a dog from a reputable breeder I've ever seen is here.


Jackie J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sam said...

Honestly, while I have paid quite a bit for my dog, but his value to me is high, I would not take 50,000 for him... Heck I would not take three times that for him.

I haveno problems with him rehoming a pure bred dog at all ;)

nice article

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

People would be griping if they'd claimed Bo was a $100 gift (or whatever amount we'd consider "normal" for a dog adoption) because they would say that he was undervalued or something.

Susan said...

Totally agree, Roxanne.

tismeinaz said...

I just love the ignorance of people who comment on articles like that without knowing what they are talking about or even reading the whole article. Like the person who wrote about why he was listing Bo's value if he was a gift? It said right in the article that section of the Financial statement was for gifts of value. He listed his Nobel Peace Medal also. If people were freaked over Bo's value - maybe they should have done a google on pure bread dogs.

Susan said...

Tismeinaz, if people performed such a Google search, they might not recover from the sticker shock ;-)

Anonymous said...

Susan, thanks especially for the link to Gina S's description of a day in the life of her puppies. I'm incredibly grateful to the terrific breeders who trusted me with all of my Labs. And holding my breath TODAY for the safe whelping of my next one.
In my breed, you can pay the money now, or you will pay later both in dollars and in heartbreak.
Linda Rehkopf

Susan said...

Well said, Linda.