Thursday, June 17

United States: The dogs of the White House, an apolitical phenomenon | People

One of the first campaign promises that Barack Obama made when he arrived at the White House in 2009 was to get a dog for his daughters. Senator Ted Kennedy gave them a Portuguese water, an ideal breed to avoid allergic reactions, such as those suffered by Malia, the eldest of the presidential marriage. The little girls named the six-month-old black puppy with white parts as Bo, just like his cousins’ cat and because his late maternal grandfather was nicknamed Didley, after the rock singer Bo Didley. The animal won the hearts of Americans by visiting children’s medical centers and playing with guests. This weekend the Obamas reported on the networks the death of the dog due to cancer and hundreds of thousands of messages flooded the networks to fire him.

“We know that we are not the only ones who loved Bo and we are grateful for the love that all of you have shown him over the years. Please hug your furry family members a little tighter tonight and stroke their tummy for us, ”former First Lady Michelle Obama posted on Instagram. Her husband, former President Barack, posted on Twitter some photos, such as the iconic image of him running next to Bo down a corridor of the presidential residence. “He tolerated all the fuss that being in the White House entailed, he had a great bark, but he did not bite, he loved to jump into the pool in summer, he was unfazed with children,” said the Democrat in a message that is close to 800,000 I like, more than three times than his post to wish his wife happy mother’s day.

“It had a great bark, but it didn’t bite.” That phrase could not be said by Joe Biden about his dog Major, a German shepherd that the president adopted from a Delaware animal shelter. The puppy starred in a small incident in his first weeks at the White House. According to the Administration spokeswoman, he caused “a slight injury” to an “unknown person” who was in the presidential compound. After the episode, Major and his “older brother” Champ were transferred to Delaware temporarily, although they are already back. The anecdote recalled when the Bush dog sank its teeth into the hand of journalist Jon Decker, from the Reuters agency.

Although it’s only been a few months since the furry tenants came to the White House, they already have a strong fan base. Major has over 12,000 followers on Twitter and Champ has 15,000. The oldest, 13, is a familiar face to many, having spent eight years in the vice-presidential residence at the Naval Observatory when the Democrat was Obama’s number two. The Bidens recently announced that they will adopt a cat. On the possible tensions this could put Major on, First Lady Jill Biden told NBC that as part of the puppy’s training: “[El Servicio Secreto] He took him to a shelter with cats and he has handled it well ”.

Jill Biden caresses Champ around the White House in January 2020.
Jill Biden caresses Champ around the White House in January 2020.ADAM SCHULTZ / WHITE HOUSE HANDO / EFE

Before arriving at the White House, Major had already caused news in November, when, as a result of a game with his master, the Democrat ended up with a foot injury that forced him to wear an orthopedic boot. Although the puppy’s adaptation period has not been without controversy, the little one has already made history as the first dog adopted in a shelter that lives in the White House. Mind you, he is not the first German Shepherd named Major to live in the White House. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s dog, of the same breed, was also called that.

The arrival of the two German shepherds of the Bidens allowed to resume the presidential tradition established by George Washington of keeping pets in the presidential residence. Donald Trump was the first in more than 100 years to not have a pet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. Only fifteen of the 46 presidents in American history have dispensed with a companion animal.

Presidential pets, in addition to being great companions for the First Family, become something of a phenomenon for the American people. Hillary Clinton, when she was first lady, even wrote a book about her two dogs, called Dear Socks, Dear Buddy. The late Bo also starred in his children’s story: Bo, America’s Leash Commander, making a reference to the rank of commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces held by the US president. Now is the turn of Major or Champ … or maybe it is time for a cat to have her presidential book.

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