Now the First Dog can help man’s best friend.
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Sadly, Help in Suffering has only enough resources to look after the animals in Jaipur and in limited ways given the world’s street dogs are an orphaned cause that suffers from a paucity of funding, particularly now with the global financial crisis. Notwithstanding, the dog population has declined by about 50% in the Pink City, based upon Reece’s surveys. “Visitors tell us that our street dogs look better than those in other north Indian cities, and we attribute this to our efforts to stabilize the population at lower levels, reduce the stress of reproduction and the numbers of puppies which are born, suffer and die on the streets,” he says.
But for every street dog in Jaipur there are thousands more. Dogs who are not bouncing around the White House lawn being offered furry microphones by obsequiously adulating reporters. Not being carried in $1,000 luxury pouches from Saks Fifth Avenue to save their paws from pounding the privileged pavement of Park Avenue. And they’re certainly not perfumed, pawdicured, and physically pampered like the genetically tampered dogs of the Westminster Kennel Show. No, they’re dogs who would treat the Prozac pills their first-world canine counterparts take to cure “depression,” as food.
So here’s my modest proposal to turn the tide of public opinion for the Portuguese waterdog. Just as POTUS aims to fight for the underprivileged, so too should DOTUS. Instead of parading his activities before the doting media, or penning mindless books as previous White House occupants have done, Bo could start with a website: www.dotus.com would make dog-doting humans aware of the dire needs of developing world dogs. Bo’s television and photo-ops could be used to remind viewers, especially if he were to don a symbolic collar or jumper with, perhaps, a request for donations to HIS-Vets that would also help them to create more of these animal treatment centers in the many other parts of the world where none exist. And to throw him a bone, they could even be named after Bo.
Imagine how DOTUS may have enlightened Leona Helmsley to divert even a fraction of the millions she left behind for her lapdog of luxury. And how he could have pulled the Brazilian heart-strings of Gisele Bundchen into wrapping a simple ribbon around her dogs and sending the untold sum she paid for their Dolce and Gabbana lace collars directly to Jack Reece instead. And just think of what could be done with the $5 million that Gerrit Dou’s dog painting fetched at auction in 2006.
The mind boggles.
In these countries, a little goes a long way: Eight dollars would spay and vaccinate a dog, or employ an animal care technician for three days, or treat 2.5 camels at Pushkar.
President Obama and his best friend would be in good spiritual company. As President Woodrow Wilson said, “If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.”
The burden must now rest on this adorable beast named Bo. Dogs know nothing of noblesse oblige, but given their dogged caring for their canine brethren, I know Bo would bark two woofs in agreement with Will Rogers who always said that “a dog does nothing for political reasons.”
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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