Barking up the wrong tree

15 Apr

bo_firstdayprofile_blog_ck-0070So the Obama girls have their dog, and everyone is happy. Except, apparently, the association that represents the chosen breed: the Portuguese water dog.

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that the people who breed and love the Portie would be happy about the publicity the first pooch will bring their favorite animal. But noooo!

According to a story circulating this week, the association is worried sick that everyone will now want a Portie, leading to bad breeding habits and conditions in puppy mills. Furthermore, some of them are up in arms about whether the Obama’s dog, Bo, is truly a “rescue” dog, one that has been rescued from a bad home or bad conditions.

The group’s concern about puppy mills may be valid. Nobody wants to see animals mistreated. And it’s always nice when a dog is rescued from a bad situation and brought to a good situation.

But a whole story focusing only on the down side of the first family’s canine choice is a major waste of space and time in the media.

Perhaps there’s no real connection here, but this story seems to be following a trend whereby the media focus on the negative side of the news. Of course, some news just is negative — wars, crime, accidents, conflict, violence — but it is usually also news, something people need to know.

In the case of the Portie pooch, it seems people could just enjoy the momentary fun of a new puppy without having to hear the doom and gloom scenarios that may never happen anyway. And who really cares if this was a rescue dog or not? I don’t recall a legislative requirement that the president’s family must adopt a pre-owned dog.

This story was very likely more the media’s idea than the Portuguese water dog people’s. But everyone would be well advised to just chill out and let the puppy prosper in peace.

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