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lundi 13 avril 2009

Bo, le chien d'Obama

C'était le secret le mieux gardé de Washington :
l'identité du chien de la famille Obama.
Il s'appelle "Bo".
C'est un chien d'eau portugais de six mois,
cadeau du sénateur Ted Kennedy.
"Bo" a été dressé pour ne pas mordiller
les meubles de la Maison blanche et pour ne pas faire ses besoins sur les tapis du bureau ovale.
President Obama chooses the
First Dog, with help from the
Kennedy clan .

The secret was among the most closely
guarded in Washington.

Clandestine meetings were arranged to
make sure the decision was correct and
America’s most venerable senator lobbied

A training camp was established at an undisclosed location and President Obama agonised over whether he was breaking an election promise.
Then, inevitably, came the leak.

Two days before an announcement was due, the tidal wave of speculation that had been surging around the White House for more than two months finally overwhelmed the last lines of resistance.

It was, of course, about a dog.

Mr Obama’s daughters at last had the new pet promised to them by their father in his victory speech in November: a six-month-old Portuguese water dog named Bo.
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The First Dog is a gift from Senator Edward Kennedy, who has three “PWDs” of his own and had been busy extolling the virtues of this breed to Mr Obama and his family over recent weeks.
Bo has, apparently, been receiving obedience lessons from the senator’s dog trainers at a facility outside Washington so that he does not chew up or soil the White House carpets when he arrives tomorrow.

Over the weekend the internet had been frenetic with rumours about the choice. One website even had pictures which, though dismissed by the White House as “bogus”, were remarkably similar to those officially issued of Bo yesterday — including his distinctive markings.

The Washington Post, claiming to have been promised the world exclusive on the story, published a long front-page article that did little to conceal how miffed it felt at being scooped.
According to the newspaper, Bo had made a secret White House visit, known portentously as “The Meeting”, a few weeks ago to get to know — and to ensure that he would fit into — the First Family.
Sasha, the President’s youngest daughter, was said to be excited. Malia, who had had done “extensive research” on the choice, was focused on “responsibility issues” surrounding his care and training.
The name was chosen because the girls’ cousins have a cat also called Bo and Michelle Obama’s father was nicknamed “Diddley” after the blues musician.

They may have failed to notice that B.O. are the initial letters of Barack Obama, as well as — appropriately for a dog — body odour.
Having indicated in recent interviews that he would find a dog at an animal rescue shelter, the President has tried to cover himself from accusations of broken promises by making a donation to the District of Columbia Humane Society.

Aides have also pointed out that Bo had previously lived with another family, who decided they did not want him, before he was bought by Mr Kennedy.

Mr Obama’s problem, it seems, is that Portuguese water dogs are among the very few to which Malia would not be allergic and such expensive pure-breeds rarely end up in shelters.
The intense interest over the choice of dog reflects how a level of obsession about the First Family has endured through some difficult initial months in the White House.

Previous issues that have attracted similar focus include the colour of Mr Obama’s hair and the size of his wife’s biceps.


The breed: Portuguese water dog
Appearance: Robust, with a rectangular outline, and strong shoulders. A hard, penetrating and attentive expression. Coat can be black, white, brown, or combination of those colours
Temperament: Loyal and obedient to owners.

Their pleasant disposition makes them good companions
Characteristics: Intelligent, brave and energetic.

Exceptional swimming and diving ability, assisted by developed muscles and powerful tail, used as a rudder

The breed is traced back to the Portuguese Algarve coast, where fishermen taught them to retrieve tackle and drive fish into nets. The first written reference, by a monk in 1297, relates how one dog pulled a dying sailor from the sea. Introduced to America in 1968, with the arrival of a bitch named Chenze
Sources: , the Portuguese Water Dog club of America

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