(HOST) Never mind rescue on the high seas and the economy. Commentator Bill Seamans says that some of the biggest headlines over the weekend were all about a puppy.
(SEAMANS) The story really broke out last Sunday when the Washington Post leaked the secret, officially announced yesterday, that Malia and Sasha had chosen the nation’s new First Dog. The revelation rocketed around our crisis-stricken country as the second good news story of the weekend after the dramatic rescue of Capt. Richard Philips. They decided on a 6-month-old Portuguese Water Dog, called a Portie for short – a hypoallergenic breed whose hair will not irritate Malia’s allergies – and they named him Bo. He was a gift from Senator Edward Kennedy who likes Porties so much that he has three of them running around the house.
My Encyclopedia of the Dog tells us that Bo’s life expectancy is 12 to 14 years, that he will weigh between 42 to 55 pounds, and he will stand up to 22 inches high. He’s black with a white chest and white paws. His ancestors arrived in Portugal either with the Visigoths from central Europe or with the Moors from North Africa – an impressive family tree. Porties have been used in the Old Country by fishermen to pull their nets in the water and to swim messages from boat to boat. Porties are described as strong, loyal, and slightly suspicious by nature which should make Bo a favorite Secret Service pal. Our domestic Porties are said to be good children’s companions, very playful and full of energy which Bo eventually will display doing his main public relations job – the helicopter scene in which he happily tail wags out to greet the President arriving home from yet another fateful journey of State.
Bo’s first P/R gambit was his introduction to the world wearing a lei – the symbol of Hawaii! – President Obama’s birthplace. And from now on, squeezed between those other stories about various national crises, we will see a lot of cute photos of Bo playing with Malia and Sasha and maybe even paying the President some attention. Surely he’ll receive tons of fan mail from kids around the world which he will answer with his picture postcard signed with his paw-print.
Bo, of course, will become the dog du jour among celebrities and I expect waiting lists at Portie breeders will stretch over a year. Even before Bo became the nation’s top dog, a good Portie went for around $2,000. And as Bo captures the tv camera’s eye, we wonder whether he will appear on Leno or Letterman, will he set off an eruption of Bo fashions, will he enjoy running around Camp David since members of his breed are said to be good rabbit hunters.
And I wonder how many millions of "I-heart-Bo" T-shirts will be sold. I’m quite pleased to tell you that my yellow Lab and Boston Terrier have given me permission to buy one.