This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he always thought the garden was his. Even though I do all the work, he always stood by me. I'm located near Boston (in USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot and a backyard vegetable garden. I use sustainable organic methods and try to grow all of my family's vegetables.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dear President Obama - how about a Portuguese water dog?

skippy types
Topic: A PWD in the white house? The First Portie?

Dear President Elect Obama,

My name is Skippy and I’m a Portuguese water dog. First, may I say that you have made my family very happy by winning the job of President of the United States of America! How awesome!

But I write on a personal issue. I heard your family is deciding on a type of dog to get. I heard that your daughter is allergic and I heard one of the breeds you’re considering is a PWD! And I heard this is your first dog. All of these are just like my family, so I’m writing to tell you about ME.

Since this is not a time to be modest, I’ll tell you that I have a fantastic coat and great personality. People say “chenille”, “velveteen” and “beautiful” when they walk by me. I’ve gotten used to hearing these words on my walk and then my owners say “Thank you” even though no one’s talking about them! People usually stop to pat me and say “He’s so soft!” Well, I am. And I don’t shed so there’s no fur in the house and no one is allergic to me. I’m a wavy-coated PWD, with loose curls. My fur is black as night. I get clipped every 6 weeks, bathed every week, no other coat care. I walk with a gait people comment on. Spirited and loose, with elbow and ankle joints that move with a flourish and big webbed paws. Well, I’m so proud of the attention and I hold my tail high!

But my personality is my best quality. Books say I’m intelligent, loyal and spirited. Yup, that’s true. I’m smart; I was potty trained by 7 weeks; I learned quick not to chew on furniture; I learned where I’m allowed to go and where I shouldn’t go and lots of other rules. And I’ve learned lots of words. If I could speak, I’d say many things.

Loyalty means I’m a family dog. Don’t like to be away from my pack. I have a special bond with my owner and I am happy when the whole pack is together. I do NOT like to be left behind.

The spirited part means sometimes I decide to do what I want to - just for fun. (My owner usually laughs, but sometimes not...) Sometimes I play keep away just to see what will happen. ;-) Well, why not – its fun to be a dog!

My breed is an old breed. My ancestors worked hard with fishermen in Portugal. I’m strong and solidly built and would be happy to work all day. But I’m not a fishing dog - my job is to be a companion. I take my family on walks; I protect the house and garden with my strong bark and deep growl. I worked nearly 50 hours last year as a therapy dog visiting hospitals and schools. I did tricks for elders and jumped up on hospital beds to snuggle with kids in rehab. My owner enjoyed this so much it made me very proud!

People say my breed is “high-strung”. Well, I’m pretty calm. That’s ‘cause I spend almost all my time with my pack, I run an hour a day, my family pays a lot of attention to me and I do projects (like therapy work, agility and obedience classes). Oh, plus I have my own door I use day and night, my own fenced yard, good food, lots of treats and toys (… spoiled….).

By the way, Mr. President Elect, you can talk to the excellent Senator from my state, Mr. Ted Kennedy about my breed, too. He has a pair of really cute Porties (Sunny and Splash). I hear they go with him on business sometimes and liven things up (well why not!).

Whatever dog you decide on – I wish you and your pack the greatest happiness. My owners have no idea what the life of a President is like and a Portie may not be the dog for you. But, I have also heard them say they’re really happy to have ME in the family!

Woof to you!


more pictures of Skip
slide show of Skippy
Skippy's breeder (Clio is his Mom!)

PS. Maybe you could rescue a PWD? I hate the thought of an unwanted Portie pup! PWDCA Rescue and Relocation Program!

posts about Skippy
first Portuguese water dog



Blogger lkw said...

Mocha thinks a Portuguese water dog would be a great choice, too, although he also loves the idea of the Obama family adopting a shelter dog.

And although as a Golden Retriever, he feels that his breed is excellent, he DOES agree that he sheds and as a puppy, he was quite mischievous!

November 09, 2008 8:54 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Well, I think maybe all puppies are mischievous? Skippy certainly was. He skipped that part in his letter.

Skippy says hi to Mocha!

November 09, 2008 9:03 PM

Blogger Harmony said...

Luna would like to say that, as a toy poodle/bichon mix, she is also hyperallergenic and that if the Obama's are veeerrrry lucky they might be able to find one of her kind (true non-shedding "mutts") at a shelter. But she knows that if she were in a shelter, she wouldn't last five minutes. She's too cute for a place like that. ;-)

But she would like to warn them that if they do get a mutt, they should be careful that both mom and dad were non-shedding. Sometimes the non-shedding gene isn't fully dominant.

So perhaps a pureblood like Skippy would be the best choice after all. And Luna fully supports that. :-)

(BTW, I just love that picture of Skippy typing!)

November 09, 2008 10:04 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Hi Luna! You sound cuuute!

Skippy's buddy Sam took that picture of him typing. Sam's 16 and a really good photographer, isn't he!

November 09, 2008 10:10 PM

Blogger Lucky-1 said...

Dear Skippy,

We too have heard the President is getting a dog over here in Australia.

I'd like to know why the first family can't have a cat or a duck for that matter???

Meow, meow......

Your furry Aussie friend

Rebel the pure white Russian:D

November 10, 2008 2:33 AM

Blogger Fiona said...

Dear Skippy,

You left out one thing that I think is relevant. I've never met a Portuguese Water Dog guardian who wasn't a total breed-booster. In other words, people who live with PWD's love, love, love them.

That's a ringing endorsement, since who knows the dog better than she who suffered through his potty training, teething, and digging stages?

Just saying.

And if there is a PWD rescue group (as there is for every breed these days), surely the First Family can get a rescue dog *and* a PWD all in one fell swoop?

November 10, 2008 9:25 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Oh my A PWD rescue!! Here's the link: The PWDCA Rescue and Relocation Program!

November 10, 2008 10:38 AM

Anonymous Taylor said...

Well, I'm sold! Now I really want one!

November 10, 2008 11:58 AM

Anonymous bettyinga said...

Skippy is a beautiful dog and I check in on him every day to see what he is doing in the garden. If I ever get a dog, I want a PWD! Does he really not shed???

November 10, 2008 12:06 PM

Blogger kathy said...

He REALLY doesn't shed. I usually don't even have to clean the brush, if I brush him. No fur on my floors or clothes. Really.

And he really is hypo-allergenic. My husband can't go to any indoor events with other dogs, like the vet or obedience classes, because he sneezes and wheezes immediately.

November 10, 2008 12:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just hope Obama's new dog bites him on the hand. Hopefully that will slow down the crazy executive orders he will sign in January.

And Kennedy a good Senator? Oh wow. You have been living on that side of the country too long. :-)

November 10, 2008 5:54 PM

Blogger kathy said...

That's probably true. I've never lived more than 100 mi of the Atlantic Ocean. Its the east coast perspective.

November 10, 2008 6:14 PM

Blogger Jessica said...

LOL this is too cute!! I would tell him to get a GSD but they shed.

November 10, 2008 8:09 PM

Blogger kathy said...

GSD is ... (I had to google this) a German Shepard dog. These guys have a double dense coat. That must do a job to the kitchen floor and be a serious problem for allergies.

I just heard the White House has 95 staff members (!), wow, someone could vacuum every few minutes.

But I love Shepards. Another of the very intelligent breeds. One of my dog favorite books is about the Monks of New Skete.

November 10, 2008 9:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's interesting to hear from other PwD owners just how much they love their dogs. We have two and would never get any other dog. Our friends scolded us for not getting a rescue but finding a PWD rescue is not easy!

November 11, 2008 1:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skippy is quite eloquent!
And getting a rescue PWD would be ideal for the Obamas!

November 12, 2008 7:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has Skippy mailed his letter yet?

November 13, 2008 2:01 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Not mailed. Does "posted" count? I didn't really want to send it. I'm sure he has all the info he wants about more than he wants to know about.

November 13, 2008 9:09 PM

Blogger Chorizo said...

I also wrote your President Elect to suggest he talk to Ted and get a PWD. And he/she should a rescue dog.
Love and Licks

November 14, 2008 5:28 AM

Anonymous Travis said...

I enjoy your blog.
If you don't mind my asking, how much did Skippy cost? And where did you get him? Would you recommend a PWD for someone in San Antonio?

November 14, 2008 10:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a Portie would be a great choice for the Obamas, but I do get concerned that it would cause a fad of people getting PWDs without bothering to research if they're the right dog for them, and they'd get overbred by greedy backyard breeders, and that the dogs would develop health problems in future generations.
We were VERY happy about the election results, and with our Senator Kennedy. But the Portie's appeal is bi-partisan: Sen. Chuck Hagel has one, too. : )
Porties rule!

November 17, 2008 1:03 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes, not a good "fad" dog because they are not a dog for everyone. They need A LOT of attention. If the owner doesn't challenge and train them, they will challenge the owner.

They look like a fluff ball, but PWDs are truly a working dog!

And with the breed in the US essentially originating from just a few PWDs imported from Portugal in the 50s, its important to breed them carefully.

The Portuguese Water Dog Club (PWDCA)of America has many programs that address the health, behavioral and breeding issues of the breed. It is an excellent source for researching the breed.

Skippy's breeder is a kennel called C-Lion. I found them through the PWDCA website. They breed a small number of very high quality show and companion dogs and conduct VERY thorough interviews of potential puppy owners (talk about pressure - and compassion for their dogs and the breed!) We paid $1800 three years ago - a modest price for the breed (try googling "Portuguese water dog price now").

I certainly recommend a PWD for someone in San Antonio, if you research the breed and carefully consider if you have the time, interest and facilities to take care of one. Amigo looks like a Texas kennel to look into. They have very nice pedigrees and lots of show awards. Looks like a big kennel with lots of awfully cute pups. You'd need to visit and see what you think. Have fun!

November 17, 2008 10:28 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Maybe I'll mail the letter now - with all the comments. I always find the comments are more interesting that my posts.

Thanks for commenting!

November 17, 2008 10:30 AM

Blogger kathy said...

OK I "mailed" it at

(Right into the spam bucket no doubt. I'm sure they're much too busy for this. That's OK.)

Here's a cute newspaper article on Obama first impression of the Portuguese water dog.

November 17, 2008 10:50 AM

Blogger Portuguese Water Dog said...

Vote for the portuguese water dog for Obama! :)

January 13, 2009 8:30 PM

Anonymous Amelia said...

Looks like they took your advice! I can't wait to see Sasha and Malia playing with a cute little Portie!!

February 25, 2009 4:52 PM

Blogger kathy said...

What a great choice! There's nothing like a Portie!

February 25, 2009 8:33 PM


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