This has been an exciting week in dog politics! The economy is down, but my spirits are up as my quest to poll the pubic on what dog will be right for the Obama family and the White House continues. Something tells me I’m the right person for this job (like Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State). In fact, maybe we need to add an Animal Ambassador to City Shelters in Obama’s Cabinet, I think I would be the perfect woman for the job, and Lucky would make a great assistant. Lucky would love to live in Washington – think of all the politi-pets behinds she could sniff! This week I was out to find the right name for the prospective dog. I was in the perfect place where I could ask all the right people about this national issue. I attended the celebration of the Life and Legacy of Robert F. Kennedy and the dedication of the RFK Bridge and the 40th Anniversary of the RFK Center. Who would have thought a girl from Chagrin Falls, Ohio who lived on Applebrook Drive with her scroungy but lovable German Shepherd named Pepper, would one day grow up to talk to the leaders of the world about a new dog in the White House! Unfortunately Lucky couldn’t attend, but I had my little city rescued dog in mind as I spoke to some of the country’s foremost politicians and celebrities who all got in my month-long doggy dialogue. Here’s what they had to say:
South African cleric and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Desmond Tutu thought the name “Freedom” was a liberating choice for the canine peacemaker. Although Lucky and I were both incredibly nervous to meet her, we were able to get an answer from New York Senator Hilary Clinton, who kept with the Obama political platform and Democratic party battle cry of “Change.” New York Governor David Patterson offered the name “Amistad”, which means friendship in Spanish. It’s always good to have a friend in the White House! Damages actress Glenn Close must be wishing for global peace and less worldly damages, offering the name “Pax” (which means peace in Latin) as her nominal pick. Watergate break-in and political journalist Carl Bernstein got territorial and reported that the name “DeeCee” would leave its mark at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! Madame Speaker Pelosi took a different approach to the naming process. Growing up Pelosi got to name her two dogs Bambi and Snowball, and thinks the Obama daughters, Sashaand Malia, should get to name their new puppy anything they want! Meanwhile, Sopranos starLorraine Bracco must have been utterly inspired by the presence of Desmond Tutu, at the event, she suggested the Obamas name their pooch, “Tutu”. Finally, 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin must have had the recent economic climate on his mind, suggesting the Obamas name their dog: “Surplus,” joking about how funny it would be to call out, “Here Surplus – come here Surplus!”
Now I know I’m doing a lot of work polling people about what dog or what name the Obamas should choose, but I want to yet again urge the family to adopt. In fact, if possible, they should adopt from a city shelter where conditions are the worst. By adopting, the Obamas will be providing a rescue dog with a loving home (and a very nice and historical one at that) and their actions will help promote the message of rescue and adoption.
These shelters are stuck with every single dog that is discriminated against, for whatever reason. But, as Obama himself would say, there is hope! Places like the Center for Animal Care and Control never refuses a dog no matter the condition, whether it is one-eyed, brown, yellow or three-legged! It is the only animal rescue organization in many U.S cities that is required, by law, to take in all homeless pets. In the NYC shelter their doors are open to over 120 animals each day that have no where else to turn. They can’t find homes for all of them and sadly over 40% have to be euthanized due to lack of resources and space. City shelters exist in every city from Chicago to Washington DC even Anchorage, Alaska (thank you Governor Palin)! You can find any breed whether you want a hypoallergenic, purebred dog, or a mutt, I mean, Lucky, my rescued Maltese, who inspired me to start Animal Fair is a hypoallergenic breed and she’s a major diva too. So why not rescue from a shelter?
I have been so inspired by the potential for the Obamas to set a new president (cute pun, huh?) in dog adoption that I am furiously working on a Holiday PSA for the Center for Animal Care & Control to promote the very same issue nationwide. The main goal is to spread the message: Rescue a pet this Holiday, don’t buy! For over a decade, I have been committed to helping the underdog, and raising awareness for local shelter adoption, because adoption is a local issue. With the current foreclosure problem and economic climate more and more pets are being left to fend for themselves and end up being placed in shelters. This is why it’s even more important than ever that people rise to the occasion in support of the CACC and adopt pets this holiday season. And people can be sure adopted dogs won’t be asking and expecting for large gifts and treats during the holidays!
Lucky and I are very excited about the PSA. We have got a bunch of our friends to join us in spreading the world in the ads that will begin airing this December. We will have the women of The View, Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Sheperd, andJoy Behr, sitting down to agree on the same issue (pretty impressive if I do say so myself), with America’s favorite weatherman, The Today Show’s Al Roker, Beverly Hills Chihuahua star Piper Perabo, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, myself, Lucky Diamond and many other surprise celebrity guests. So keep your eyes alert for our PSA, and more importantly listen to our message! For more information on the CACC, visit NYCACC.org.