A Second Dog for the First Family: Things to Consider Before Taking In a Second PetPublished November 8, 2012
In his victory speech on Election Night, President Obama referenced his dog Bo when discussing what his daughters wanted for his win. “One dog is probably enough,” he said.
Having a dog seems to be a wonderful experience for the Obama family. But before getting a second dog, the President and the First Family really need to think about their decision; having two dogs at the White House could be a completely different experience than having just one. As with most major decisions, it’s always best to make a list of the pros and cons. Here are few things that the First Family might want to consider before getting a second pet (if that’s what they decide to do!).
From the government distributed pictures, it is obvious that the family, staff and visiting guests enjoy spending time with Bo Obama. Whether it is running down the corridors, greeting the President after flying in on Air Force One or hosting the annual Easter egg hunt, a second dog could enhance that canine experience for all that come in contact with Bo or a potential sibling.
Since the President and the entire First Family are going to be very busy these next four years, Bo could be in need of a special friend. Although Bo has a White House caregiver, a canine friend can be great for him. He can have someone to play with, sleep with, walk with and socialize with.
Two dogs represent twice the responsibility, as well as twice the cost. While I doubt pet accrued finances are going to be a problem for the Obamas, pet owners who want another dog need to think about increasing costs associated with vet care, food and training services, grooming needs, miscellaneous gear and equipment, dog walking and boarding while on vacation.
Time is always a factor, too. With busy schedules, is the Obama family going to have time to spend with a second dog? This is especially important during the first year, when you really need to spend time training your new pet.
No matter how much we may love dogs, they can be destructive. With two dogs living in the White House--a museum full of historical art, books and other collectibles-- there needs to always be a watchful eye. Imagine if one decided to chew up Lincoln’s bed. Yikes!
Additional Things to Consider
If the First Family decides to acquire another dog based on the short list of pros and cons, there are other contributing factors that they need to consider. Although Bo was a gift from the late Senator Ted Kennedy, the Obamas might want to obtain another Portuguese Water Dog from a breeder or bring home a rescue dog to add to their family. The search, of course, will be limited due to Malia's allergies.
Moreover, different dog breeds have differing characters and personalities that influence their behaviors and lifestyle needs. To select the best dog for their family, the Obamas need to do their research by reading books, visiting kennels or shelters and organizing a house visit to consider the best dog breed or adoptable pet for the entire family, including Bo.
Also, since Bo is an active adult, it is best to pair him up with another active breed. With that said, though, it's a must that the two get along. Personal conflict is always a variable when bringing another dog into the house. Bo is used to having a lot of attention and perhaps he may not like it if another dog comes to live in his home and takes that attention away. If the two dogs don’t get along, no one wants to spend their days separating unhappy, fighting dogs.
After weighing the pros against the cons, the Obama family will decide if they eventually want to bring a second dog into their lives. Whatever decision they make, the election ensures that Bo will remain and continue to melt our hearts from the only home he has ever known: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
What do you think? Should the First Family take home a second pet? Share your thoughts in a comment.