November 23, 2008

The Boxer Rebellion
Boxer puppy

So cute. And just perfect for the First Family and the Gates family.

While the rest of the country recovers from the election, Washington is swimming in a sea of Obamamania. It’s not surprising considering that Barack, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha will be moving in just down the road. For us all politics is local. You see, while I live just outside the Beltway, I often connect with the Politicos of DC in more intimate ways —sometimes directly and sometimes in an off-the-cuff chit chat moment. They’re locals, just like us. Many of my neighbors work directly with political higher ups. Oh, the stories they tell —all off the record of course. Of course. We’re neighborly but definitely discreet. Yeah, that sort of thing is commonplace around here.

So while the Washington Post dutifully reports on Obama’s cabinet choices with brevity on its front page, the social aspects of the First Family To Be are treated as local news in the Style section. After all, this is our hometown paper.

So I wasn’t surprised when I spied another “what dog should the Obama’s get” story in this morning’s edition. But I was riveted to the article when I noticed a big picture of a Boxer dog. The Post, with all the authority it could muster, was recommending the First Family get a Boxer. While the Poodle was the choice of the 42,000 people who voted in the American Kennel Club’s poll for the best dog for the Obama girls, the Post had what it thought a more appropriate choice:

Given all factors considered, though, we’re going for something else. We’re going with something fitted to your size, physique and the temperament of your chief of staff. Yes, we’re talking about what the AKC calls “the well-conditioned middleweight athlete of dogdom,” the boxer!

I grew up with Boxers. And I melt when I see one. I will stop and talk to total strangers when they are walking one. They are wonderful family dogs. And I’ve been working on my wife for years to add one to our family tree. The article continues: “According to Kennel Club’s Web site: ‘The breed is known for standing up on its hind legs and batting at its opponent, appearing to box with its front paws.’ Perfect for dealing with Congress!” But more importantly, it goes on to say: “One of the breed’s most notable characteristics is its desire for human affection, especially from children. They are patient and spirited with children, but also protective, making them a popular choice for families.”

So true. So very true. My two girls are on board. But it’s been a hard sell for my wife. You see, she was bitten by two “huge” German Shepherds as a girl and is a little dog shy of bigger breeds. After taking the family to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua a couple weeks ago she tried to convince me that pint-sized, um, dog would be a perfect choice for us. Really? You’ve got to be kidding, Wife!

Of course, I’m sensitive to her early childhood experiences. And I try to help her rise above them whenever possible. Early in our marriage, even before we had children, I tried to “de-sensitize” her by taking her to a local Boxer dog show. Seeing hundreds of Boxer dogs in one place was pretty funny. And not one pooch was biting anyone. But she wasn’t totally convinced. Dear, Boxers are not German Shepherds. Way different temperaments (and much cuter).

I can’t wait for the rest of the family to wake up so I can show them this article. Barack and Michelle, heed the advice of the venerable Post. As dutiful Democrats, we will fall in line right behind you. Well, that’s what I’ll suggest to my wife.

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I grew up with big dogs too — German Shepards!! The most loyal, lovable, and intelligent, of the breeds. :-) I look down my nose at those who have tiny, yappy dogs. One of my very few faults!

Maybe you guys can compromise on size and breed? The girls really should have a doggie. All kids should have pets, IMHO.

Posted by: nina on November 23, 2008 1:55 PM

Carmel and Cano as I recall. I was just a little kid, but I do remember your dogs (though I never had to spell their names…).

Posted by: Karen on November 23, 2008 2:43 PM

Yes, Carmel and Cano (official name on his papers: El Rancho Americanos) were the Boxers I had as a child.

We rescued Cano. We believed he was beaten by a man because he was, at first, afraid of my father and I. That changed of course and he became one lovable dog. I have lots of stories about him.

I give to the Boxer Rescue Service every year.

Posted by: Jeff on November 23, 2008 3:05 PM

Oh, did I fail to mention we already have a wonderful cat?

Posted by: Jeff on November 24, 2008 10:44 AM

Jeff, I grew up with a dog - a part spaniel/part sneaky-neighborhood-dog - named Patty. She was a sweet dog, and I cried when she died. My mom hated cats, for no apparent reason, and so we could never have a cat. I married a cat lover who had always had a cat in the house. Our first summer of married life saw us add a cat to our household - a gray tabby whom we named Elsa (because she was free.) She has been followed by several others, and our cattery currently is comprised of two females. We were given a puppy when our kids were little, but trying to house train a dog in a Detroit winter is fruitless. And that poor critter went to a student’s family. After that, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to having a dog make messes in the same yard our kids were playing in. So I’m glad that you at least have a wonderful cat since a boxer has not yet been welcomed to your family with eight open arms. Six would be nice, but eight is truly preferable. :-)

Posted by: Rob on November 24, 2008 8:36 PM

Comments are now closed for this post. But there are a few other entries which might provoke an opinion or two.

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