Minneapolis, MN (PressExposure) March 21, 2009 -- With every wag of its tail the First Dog will accomplish secret missions for dogs. The White House dog will teach the Obama children and their counterparts in homes across America about compassion, responsibility, and respect for animals while providing photo-perfect fun and stress relief. But the dog has already sparked controversy and hope among people who care about animals. Allen and Linda Anderson, best-selling authors of Angel Dogs with a Mission (New World Library, 2008), say, "The Obama dog will fulfill its missions as the nation's doggie trendsetter with every choice the family makes for the new pet."
First, there was the issue of whether the Obamas would get a dog from a breeder or adopt a rescue. The Obamas chose a rescued Portuguese Water Dog, called Porties. Is this choice of dog delivering the same message as the Obama campaign that anyone, regardless of origin or parentage, can make it into the White House?
Another secret mission of the White House dog will be to set an example for children and pets by offering the Obama children a chance to experience what it's like to have another creature depend on them. First Lady Michelle Obama has stated unequivocally that her children will do the walking and poop scooping.
One example of dogs having a mission to aid children is in Angel Dogs with a Mission. Zoom, a Cardigan Welsh corgi, began offering the dog's patient listening skills to special needs students and wound up improving the entire school's reading test scores rose. Perhaps Sasha and Malia will read school papers to the First Dog that they write at the desk in the Lincoln bedroom and be encouraged by canine appreciation.
Some of the questions that will be raised about the First Dog are serious such as those that deal with what food the dog will eat, how the grounds and house will be patrolled for substances poisonous to dogs, and if the Obamas will be using biodegradable poop bags.
Then, there will be fodder for comedians and national news segments:
* Who will train the most famous dog in the world not to bite reporters or will that lesson be discreetly skipped? * Will the dog have a Secret Service code name? What should it be? * What famous person or figure from history will the dog dress as for Halloween? * Who will be the official White House doggie photographer? * Does the dog's name have ethnic or historical origins? Does it more creatively top previous First Dogs, such as Spot, Buddy, Millie, Lucky, Grits, and King Tut?
Allen Anderson sums up the First Dog's capacity for bringing about change by saying, "Although the new White House dog might become a source of debate and emulation, one of the dog's greatest missions is just to be the First Family's pet. Relief will come when the Obamas engage in a tug-toy pull instead of wrestling with the economy and other issues. For a moment, they can relax and forget the cares of the day."
Allen and Linda Anderson are pet experts and authors of a popular series of books about the beneficial relationships between people and animals. Angel Dogs with a Mission (New World Library, 2008) is available in bookstores nationwide and at http://www.angeldogswithamission.com. Press Kit at http://www.angelanimals.net/media.html