Brought to Heel

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Just in case it might be of interest, here is the article on the Obamas’ choice of a White House dog from the Financial Times Deutschland. Yes, that’s right: the article in the Financial Times Deutschland about the Obamas’ dog. (It’s entitled “There will always be more dogs”.)

Actually, if you’re willing to concede that a serious business newspaper like this is supposed to be reporting about dogs in the first place, the article (by Anja Rützel) is faintly amusing. As we all know by now, the First Pet is to be a Portuguese water dog, but Ms. Rützel lightly casts doubt upon what she clearly regards as a somewhat weird choice: “A properly-trimmed water dog looks like he has wrapped a bed-side rug around himself and is wearing to the rear some very tight stockings.” Then again, such dogs apparently have webbed feet and have been known to save drowning people – is the White House planning to cut payroll by doing without a lifeguard for the swimming pool?

Ms. Rützel also briefly examines the names for the dog brought forth so far (and immediately rejected) by Michele Obama. She claims “Frank” has been hailed by the election committee of Germany’s governing SPD party (whose candidate for Chancellor in the elections this year will be Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier – get it?), but could ultimately prove problematic during international negotiation sessions at the White House. (“Heel, Frank!” the President might brusquely command.) As for “Moose,” she comes up with the (not-so-original) thought that this name might just tempt Sarah Palin to shoot the dog out of a helicopter.

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