January 12th, 2009
09:42 PM ET

Rescue the First Dog

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/12/art.labradoodle.jpg]
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/12/art.portuguese_water_dog.jpg caption="Portuguese Water Dog (L) and Labradoodle (R)"]
Program Note: See Erica Hill's full report about the Obamas' pet search on AC360 tonight at 10PM ET.

Gail Buchwald
Senior Vice President, ASPCA

At the ASPCA, we are thrilled at the prospect that the Obama family is considering a local animal shelter or rescue group, where there are many extraordinary animals just waiting for a forever home. They could both find the perfect pet and help an animal in need - an incredible opportunity.

I spoke with my colleague Jacque Schultz, a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and Senior Director of Community Outreach at the ASPCA, and she was able to provide additional information about how both the Labradoodle and Portuguese Water Dog might adapt to living in the White House.

“In my experience, the Labradoodle in general would make the better dog for a family with little dog experience and lots on their plates. The Portie is a dog that will demand more attention and training and may be too much for the new First Family...

"However, it is important to remember these are only generalizations. It is always important to consider the individual dog, as some will be very typical of the breed and others quite atypical. I have seen representatives of both breeds that would be a good fit as First Dog.”

Whether Labradoodle, Portuguese Water Dog, purebreed or mixed breed, one of the great joys in life is the companionship of an animal. The selfless love showered upon us by our pets is one of the greatest blessings we can experience.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Gail Buchwald