Guess who got a dog!

Published 12:29 am Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Did you notice that a certain family got a dog last week? It may have slipped your radar with all that is going on in the world, pirate attacks, economy meltdowns, presidential policy fights and an American Idol save for the first time in television history! Who would have noticed that two children who have been begging for a dog for a very long time finally got their wish?

It is not a surprise, because as I wrote last fall “Dog days are a comin” and yep, they have finally arrived in the form of a cute, curly haired black and white bundle of joy that will require much training and attention. When kids ask for these things do they really have a clue how much trouble they can be?

Just look at the face of a child who has to clean up the first “oops” on the floor, it’s a priceless thing. I find it satisfying.

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Unless you have servants, the mother of the family will be the one left literally holding the bag because when it comes to the family pets and all the promises of help, it’s usually Mom who ends up with the responsibility.

Yet, this mother, who knew exactly what she was getting into, willingly drove to Hanager, Alabama to Brown’s Babies where a wonderful lady, Michelle, displayed several choices of puppies for the family to choose. We went for a labradoodle but fell for the cavapoo.

Did you think I was talking about Bo, the first pooch?

Okay, so the top story last week was the first family’s new dog Bo, but did you know another family also took that journey that was promised? The Williams clan also got a new pup, but it failed to make CNN, ABC News, Entertainment Tonight, and the View.

Is it me, or did the first pooches news coverage seem a bit over done? It was a breaking news media frenzy! The chosen dog, the controversy over whether the president “said” he would get a rescue dog and he didn’t, the over analysis of what it all means, the kind of dog, the first family’s photo op walking the dog, and the family in Minnesota that realizes they have the sister to the first dog! Wow! Truthfully, I want to see the first royal droppings and which family member will be scooping!

Watching the news was like: The pirates have captured another ship, the market is taking a major turn and let’s get back to Bo, the first dog and what brand of dog chow he will be ingesting. Who will do his hair?

Was it important that we too got a dog the same week as the president? Nah but our pup is black and white and curly haired too. It’s not a six month old Portuguese waterdog but a seven week old cavapoo, a furry ball of cuteness.

But don’t refer to this mix as a mutt. Oh, no, mutts today are called hybrid dogs or designer pups. I find it sad that my closet does not have the first designer label or shoe but my pooch does.

Mix breeding was the norm in my neighborhood; no one had a pure bred parent let alone a pure bred dog! In my day, the male dog down the street visited your female dog and the end result was a mix-match of puppies, but not today — you can purposely put two breeds together and come out with dollar signs! The difference is if you do it intentionally you have designed a dog and that means you can charge a designer price too. But, you get a quality collection of genes and no “Deliverance” inbreeding surprises!

My designer pup is too classy to be called a mutt, although that is what most of us are today. My ancestral roots were a cross breed of Cherokee and Choctaw Indians with Irish descendants and a collection of what we would check off as “other.”

Today, I guess if you want a child to look as good as Halle Berry you could design your baby by picking a shade of man to breed with so you can produce a beautifully created female with a natural glow skin tone and ebony eyes. If you need a pale, blonde female child, pick out a Scandinavian mate and there you go! Designer babies for humans!

Personally, if I could design my children I would work on behavioral aspects and not exterior design, but that is also a benefit of designing dog breeds. You can out breed bad genetics and enhance the good ones! Could we outbreed stupidity and certain celebs?

The twins are still disturbed and puzzled about the fact that a girl poodle and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel boy married and created a puppy. They keep asking me is it okay that two different dogs marry? They are seriously concerned about mixing the cultures.

Do they get their concern from people around them that are vocal about the races that are intertwining? Why aren’t they comfortable with cross breeding?

My guess is that some of us are still suspicious of couples who are mixed in culture or race being together. For some, the idea is too taboo and they are very resentful. In the day where we have a mixed president, a mixed family will still face scrutiny and disapproval.

However, as the twins share the joy of their first puppy, they wake up for school with puppy breath on their cheeks, a morning of excitement and laughter rather than moans and groans and Mom is happy to see her kids so enthusiastic. Satisfied parents pat themselves on the back for making their children so happy, even the 17-year-old is bonding and taking responsibility for the puppy as well.

Oh, what joy has come to our already happy home, but wait? I saw the movie and read the book “Marley and Me!” We felt this same exuberant joy when we brought the twins home too. What if the tiny pup turns into the hound from hell? What if he chews my furniture? What if he is dumb as a stick? What if he gets sick and costs loads of vet bills? What if he escapes his new, fenced in back yard and never returns? What if, like Marley, he gets kicked out of doggie school?

I am guessing in the future, not all my thoughts will be so warm and cozy but for now I will enjoy the glow, knowing the trials are coming for Cody, the cavapoo and me.

Tracy Williams is a guest columnist and can be reached at her website: