Some of you may remember those "Bo Knows" commercials featuring professional baseballbasketballfootball star Derrick Henry Titans Jersey , Bo Jackson. The ad campaign, for Nike cross-training shoes, ran in 1989 and 1990 and was created by the firm Wieden & Kennedy. Today, there's another Bo in the news and, coincidentally, a different Kennedy involved. The Bo in question is the Obama family's new Portuguese water dog, gifted to them by Ted Kennedy. Why is Bo news? Because some would argue that Bo shines a spotlight on politics as usual in Washington.
Now lap dogs of another breed, those who allow for no fault in President Obama, have been coming out of the woodwork proclaiming that we have bigger fish to fry and this isn't really news. On that, I somewhat agree. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pirates, hmmm Austin Johnson Titans Jersey , what else? Oh yeah, the economy. But I think blind loyalty (you are a blind loyalist if you ignore negatives simply because you are passionate about the guy) misses the point. Any way you slice it, our president made a statement to the American public and then did an about-face. But did he break a promise? That's open to interpretation.
It can't be argued that Obama at least expressed an interest in adopting or rescuing a "mutt like me," but that doesn't constitute an oath to do so. Some argue his statements were binding. Some are simply motivated by a political opportunity to leverage this single issue as proof positive (to them) that Obama isn't suited for the position he now occupies. At the very least, some proponents of dog rescue and adoption argue that Obama gave the world the impression that he would do the right thing and then did the exact opposite, proving himself a typical Washington politician. For my part, I think he's just a father who expressed an opinion he changed his mind on and now finds himself in the position of appearing to be just another Washington elitist whose comments were driven by political opportunity.
But rather than fall into the trap of politicizing this issue, I'd rather we, the American public, learn a lesson from it. Regardless whether he made a promise or simply expressed a preference which he opted against, Obama's choice has brought an important issue into the spotlight and that's the importance of adopting dogs living on borrowed time whenever the opportunity presents itself. By that I mean REALLY adopting, as opposed to taking one dog off the hands of the Kennedy royalty.
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that some three to four million dogs and cats are euthanized every year. That number is simply stunning; like a heartless punch to the gut for those of us who love animals. While the Obama family represents just one family failing to do the right thing for just one animal, the point is that their choice represents a missed opportunity for many of those 3 to 4 million animals and their advocates.
What's lost here Kevin Dodd Titans Jersey , aside from the dog that closed its eyes forever because a "gift" dog is now running around America's house rather than it, is the opportunity to educate Americans on the value of adoption. What's lost here is the message that, in these tough economic times, America's pets are suffering right along with America's people and we, the people, can make a difference. Pet abandonment is at a record high as families struggle with lost incomes and ballooning mortgages. And our president turned a blind eye to an opportunity to lead by example.
But despite his mistake, despite his having missed a golden opportunity to show America that he is above political favors and true to at least the spirit of his word, Obama has given us the same opportunity most of our politicians give us. He's given us, once again, the opportunity to be better than the people who lead us; to prove that Americans are not made of the same metal as our politicians. We are made of better stuff.
As for the dog in question, we shouldn't blame Bo for his circumstances. He's just a happy pup in a big house getting far more attention than he's probably used to. But Bo doesn't know what it's like to have a ticking clock counting down the precious few remaining minutes of his life. Bo doesn't know what it's like to have family after family pass him by in his cage, never picking him. Bo doesn't know what it means to have been abandoned and forgotten. Millions of pets living on death row in shelters all over our country know what Bo never has and never will know.
If you are considering a dog or cat for your family, please adopt. Every animal you save frees a spot for another animal. It doesn't stop the clock on their rapidly dwindling lives at the shelter. That clock continues to tick Justin Hunter Titans Jersey , inexorably, to the dark hour when they join the 3 to 4 million lives tragically ended in shelters every year. But, every pet we save slows the ticking just a little, buys another potential pet just a little more time and makes us just a little better as a nation and a people. It is our compassion, our love of the underdog (or cat) that makes us who we are. It is the ability to see beyond our own selfish needs and wants that makes America great. Our president may not have risen to the occasion, but you still can. Save a life today.
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