Don't get me wrong – I grew up with a mutt, and she was a wonderful and dearly loved member of the family. But that's partly my point: Who has the right to choose your family members? You might as well do a poll asking what sort of person Obama's daughter Malia should marry when she grows up. I also acquired two dogs when they were already adults, and although they lived long and happy lives with me, they carried a bit of "baggage" from their puppyhoods, which was never quite resolved. It's kind of like buying a used car that seems okay when you test-drive it, but later turns out to have problems.
Obama said over the weekend that his family is choosing between two breeds: a labradoodle (which is a cross between a poodle and a Labrador) and a Portuguese water dog, the kind owned by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. Obama has indicated that the family likes the idea of rescuing a shelter dog, but 10-year-old Malia is allergic and most shelter dogs are, as the president-elect put it, "mutts like me." Both the labradoodle and Portuguese water dog are low-shedding breeds.
If it makes the public feel better, the labradoodle is a mutt, technically speaking, which is why the low-shedding characteristic is not guaranteed in every labradoodle. I suspect that if one were lucky enough to find one at a shelter, it likely would be one who fails to meet that criterion. And it would come with a bit of baggage.
If the first family-elect is seeking a compromise, they might contact rescue groups for the labradoodle and the Portuguese water dog. But I think everyone should butt out of this decision. What do you all say?