Helen Weir
Punished with a puppy
By Helen Weir
April 21, 2009

We have just received the disturbing and indeed tragic news that, with Obama daughters Malia and Sasha about to embark upon the adventure of advanced childhood, an untimely interloper named "Bo" is due to arrive at the White House. Contrary to the feelings of dangerous extremists who hold that dog ownership also has its joys and advantages, this is simply no time to be saddling young girls with the task of raising an equally young Portuguese water dog. Talk about babies bringing up babies!

Puppies, after all, carry with them a crushing weight of responsibility. Just visit any pet store, and they will tell you: "Look before you leap!" and "Adoption is for keeps!" It is altogether understandable that our President may never have been exposed to the many slogans by means of which ethical breeders attempt to alert troglodytic Americans to the abyss that awaits them, should they actually want to bring a dog home, being as he has never heard of last week's Tea Parties — reportedly, the most widespread spontaneous protest ever to sweep the nation — either. Still, ignorance is no excuse. A nationwide email campaign should be launched, spearheaded by women's rights groups, to alert him to the danger to his daughters which this new dog could well spell.

The cruel, hard fact is that puppies need to be taken care of. They need to be fed; they need to be trained; they need to be cleaned up after; they need to be — if you'll pardon the expression — socialized. All of these meaningless duties will necessarily soak up valuable time and energy that Malia and Sasha should by rights be applying towards the lifelong task of self-actualization.

And then we must take a good, hard look at the vexing question of cost-effectiveness. Do you have any idea of the staggering total that one Portuguese water dog can run up, in veterinarian and feed bills alone, during the course of its natural lifetime? Consider this: after eight years of the supposedly "compassionate" conservatism of George W. Bush, there is still no governmental agency capable of lifting the terrible financial burden borne by dog owners not only in D.C., but also in the country at large.

Has anyone even inspected this animal's pedigree, to see if it is worth its Eukanuba in the first place? After all, Obama mentor Margaret Sanger argued that only "thoroughbreds" really deserve to live. If this goes for humans, and if humans are morally equivalent to animals (as Peter Singer and other intellectual luminaries of the moment rationally hold), then what applies to us ought to apply equally to Portuguese water dogs. Perhaps, if Obama/Soetoro continues to insist upon withholding his own birth certificate from public and governmental perusal, he could live up to his promised degree of transparency by producing that of his new pet.

Considering Bo's post-whelping condition, the surgical crushing of his skull probably becomes our most efficient option. Fortunately for our new Chief Executive, his HHS nominee Kathleen Sebelius could easily contact her benefactor George "The Killer" Tiller to get the most comprehensive, up-do-date information on what to do when the subject's snow white brains start to spill forth. Alternatively, the animal could be left in a soiled linen cart, uncared for, until it expires. Since that is the best that state Senator Obama had to offer to surviving post-abortive fetuses in his home state of Illinois, why recoil from this course of action in comparable situations?

Then again, there is always the traditional "tearing-from-limb-to-limb" (TFLTL) procedure to consider. While unscientific people occasionally exhibit squeamishness about this one, there is really no need. As solid studies funded by Planned Puppyhood have consistently demonstrated, Portuguese water dogs at Bo's stage of development enjoy only the minimal consciousness of a Terri Schiavo-like being, and have not been proven to experience pain. In fact, experts agree that the face licking, toy chewing, cavorting, and other behaviors often mistaken for expressions of affection and joie de vivre are merely instinctual and reflexive in nature.

With nothing less than two promising young girls' futures on the line, we must not let this puppy's liquid eyes, waving tail, and glossy coat distract us from the scientific reality that he is, in the final analysis, nothing but a cluster of canine cells after all.

© Helen Weir


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