Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
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Wheaten in 08!

It's been all over the news that Obama is looking to fill that all-important position of Presidential Pet. Most Presidents just bring along their present pets, but it seems that the young ladies Obama are allergic to dogs. Nonetheless, they want one.

The AKC has begun an online poll where you can vote for some hypoallergenic breeds, dogs with either no hair or which do not shed, including the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. Poodles are currently leading the AKC poll, but Wheatens are a close second.

Extra Credit: Vote here.

Chunk Sherwood Allen (left), or "Teddy" is a Wheaten, and Jon's done well with him despite a severe allergy to dogs. Usually Wheatens have a beard and "fall" over their eyes. Teddy has been "puppy cut" for a different look. In his senior years, I think it's more important that he can see. Although both Poodles and Wheatens are among the most intelligent breeds, I don't believe poodles are as good with children. Wheatens love them, especially when the children are dribbling crumbs.

I've seen Wheatens rarely, more often in California. I think they're about to become a lot more popular. Check out this rescue site for Wheatens. Originally bred from the Kerry Blue line (note the similar build), Wheatens are hunters and farm dogs. They can be great jumpers and enjoy fetching; therefore, I think they would enjoy frisbee games. They love to sit their bums on stairs--striking a very cute pose. As puppies, they resemble teddy bears (which is where our Teddy probably got his common name), and are very appealing to children. They are family dogs, trainable, muscular, active, and friendly. Teddy weighs on the high end, averaging 43 pounds at his heaviest.

Although the Wheaten lifespan is usually 12 years, our Teddy hits his 16th birthday in August, an uncommonly long life for the breed. That's 95 to you and me! (Don't give them human food.) Although he wears a belly band to prevent leaks, even at his age he is still fastidious about going outside for other necessary events. He also takes heart meds.

I wish breeders didn't dock the tail or clip the ears. Left natural, they have long tails and ears like a Cocker Spaniel. Think Falcor the Good Luck Dragon from The Neverending Story. (Teddy also enjoys a good scratch behind the ears.)

On another note, McCain already has four presidential dogs lined up, but the AKC reports that he has 24 pets in total. I'm not sure the American public should rent the White House to someone with that many pets. Perhaps Cindy McCain can fork over a hefty deposit to cover all those antiques and rugs.

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