NYMag reports on the not-very-“secret” history of the new White House dog:
… The official White House announcement of Sunny’s entry into the Obama family offered only a few sparse details, including that the puppy came from Michigan and was born in June of last year. In the small world of PWD breeders, however, that was enough to signal that the dog was almost certainly born in the small town of Attica, just east of Flint, where Amy Durkin Lane operates a breeding facility, Allegiance PWDs, out of her ten-acre country home. Not only is Lane the only registered Portie breeder in Michigan listed on the PWD Club of America’s website, she confirmed to Daily Intelligencer that one of her dogs gave birth to a litter of eight puppies last June — including two females with Sunny-style curly hair, which is actually a rarity in the PWD world. (Despite Bo making the breed famous, most owners prefer the more dominant wavy do that is considered traditional.) Moreover, one of those females also has black feet — same as Sunny….
Sunny seems to have begun life as Pink — identifiable by the combination of her coat, black feet, and sex. Lane posted photos on Facebook of the puppy in its early days — including a set when Pink when she was just a week old… Why does it seem to have taken more than a year to place Pink with a buyer? Breeders say it’s possible she was being considered for a life as a show dog but developed some physical trait regarded as a defect, putting her on the pet track…
For the record, a “defect” in the show-dog world can be invisible to us outsiders — slightly buck teeth, for instance, or “incorrect” coat texture. It might even be the breeder’s ideas about AKC judges’ prejudices (maybe the judges she plans to show her dogs don’t like PWDs with curly coats). Or just an issue of “temperament”, because winning conformation dogs have to enjoy competing in the show ring, and just as plenty of pretty young women would never consider entering the Miss America contest, many dogs of impeccable breeding & temper get downgraded to “pet” because they’re insufficiently Type A.
And before anyone starts speculating about pop singers, if you look at the baby photos NYMag found, using a twist of colored rickrack is a traditional method for correctly identifying each of the squirming little nearly-identical newborns and making sure everybody’s healthy & eating enough to gain weight. Sunny’s littermates probably started life as Blue, White, Red, Green…
Because nothing is un-political in DC, the Washington Post‘s Style section found a certified Presidential-pets researcher to answer the really important questions:
What’s the political message behind Obama’s new dog Sunny?…
Let’s put it this way — and I should say, I’m standing next to my 55-pound standard poodle, whom I love dearly, as I say this — if I had a large, grassy lawn like the president does and a staff to take care of them, I would probably think about getting another dog. Sunny looks like a wonderful acquisition.
And while we’re talking about pets, io9 shares news of another celebrity-adjacent dog:
In Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark’s dire wolf Lady met an untimely end as a sacrifice to mollify the queen’s anger after Arya’s dire wolf Nymeria bit Prince Joffrey (and then ran away). In real life, however, Lady’s doing much better — especially after actress Sophie Turner adopted the Mahlek Northern Inuit Dog who played her.