Michelle Obama is too kind when she talks about Bo, the new Obama family dog.
"It was like 10 o'clock. Everybody was asleep and we hear all this barking and jumping around," the First Lady said to more than 100 children invited to a White House program marking the annual Take Your Child to Work Day. "The president and I came out and we thought somebody was out there. And it was just Bo. He was playing with his ball. And it was like there was another person in the house.
"He's kind of crazy, but he's still a puppy. So he likes to play a lot."
I had to laugh out loud as I read this.
Michelle Obama is too generous.
The First Lady and the president and I are like millions of other people who did not grow up with a dog in the house. To people like us, there is always that lingering "why is this animal in the house with us" feeling that comes over us whenever we temporarily forget about the dog and then he just pops up when we're trying to do something important, like sleep.
It doesn't matter if it's one of those Vietnamese Water Torture dogs like the First Family has, or one of these Chihuahua looking half breed mongrels like we've got, all dogs seem to sense when they are around people who are not totally smitten by them the way true dog lovers are.
The Obama's daughters chose the name Bo for the pup because first lady Michelle Obama's father was nicknamed Diddley, in reference to singer "Bo" Diddley.
S.'s dog is named for Tito Jackson of the Jackson Five (don't ask). S.'s dog is really the Resident Diva's dog, or at least he was until she got tired of him after a couple of months and wanted to send him back. But by then S. was in love with his yappy little ass. He looks just like that damned dog on the Taco Bell commercials, but he's not a purebreed - he might be a Chihuahua and a terrier mixed together.
That little son of a bitch is thirteen pounds of attitude. He has a stubby little chest, a lean, high behind, and a face like an old man. He thinks S. is a toy. He is either jumping into her lap, nuzzling her breasts, nipping at her face or licking her ears - I think he's in love with her.
Now,if he and I are alone here together - there is silence. He doesn't make a sound.
He parks his doggy smelling ass on a couch or a chair, AS IF HE OWNS IT, preening and napping and stretching his little legs like a teenager at the beach. If I'm eating something, he sidles over to the table and tries to give me the "sad eye" routine. Most of the time, I'll hook him up with a bite or two of whatever I'm having, in the hopes of buying some goodwill.
Let S. come home - the son of a bitch loses his mind, as if he has been fighting for his life since she's been gone.
When I wake up in the morning, he goes off like a banshee if I creak the bed rolling over. He snarls and yowls and grunts and warbles if he doesn't get his way, just like a damn two year old.
His most common nickname is "that motherfucker." "S., I'm tired of that motherfucker." "Motherfucker, we rescued your mongrel ass off of doggy death row and all this fucking barking is the thanks we get?" "S., that motherfucker looks just like my old roommate Herb. Look, look, look - look at how he's shrugging his shoulders! Look at the way he's crossing his long ass front legs! Look at that hang dog face! Those droopy eyes! Those tawny brown wrinkles around his mouth! Put some glasses on that son of a bitch and he looks just like Herb! I'm telling you - this damned dog looks like Herb!"
When he's being a real annoying ass because he can't get his way, I call him "M." - the name of S.'s dead mother. "Yep," S. says, "he's acting just like mamma. Trying to control everything. And refusing to shut up." Even now, after I finish writing this, he will be waiting for my foot to hit the wrong floorboard so he can get in a last growl or two before I go to bed.
The most satisfying part of any trip we take, at least for me, is at the beginning, when we are pulling out of the parking lot of the kennel, sans dog. You have no idea how good it feels to know that he is locked up for a few days, and will not be barking when you least expect it, and has no possible way to leave one of those pungent little gifts for us to discover in when he doesn't get his way.
I see why the president is out of town so much lately.
There are a lot of people who are bent out of shape about the president not keeping his promise to get a rescue dog. First Lady and Mr. President, I live with a rescue dog. He is tended to by a lifelong dog lover, who could not give him any more attention if she tried, and he is still hard to handle most of the time, and unpredictable as hell the rest of the time. Getting a rescue dog is a crap shoot at best. Since you two don't look like gamblers, I will tell you - the odds in crap shooting are terrible. Trust me, first time dog owners who are as busy as you two are had no business even thinking about getting the kind of dog that would need that much attention.