Last year I adopted two stray kittens that showed up in our yard. After having to clear the house of plants, knickknacks, and electrical cords, I started to feel like a bit of a sucker. But now I’m in good company with the news that the Obamas have entered pet-ownerdom with the adoption of Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog.
To be honest, I feel a little sorry for Bo, because he can hardly compete with all the other animals that have lived in the White House. There’s the assortment that Lincoln’s family kept, as Ellen Jackson shows in Abe Lincoln Loved Animals. There’s FDR’s Scottish terrier, winningly portrayed in Elizabeth Van Steenwyk’s First Dog Fala. Marge Kennedy’s informative Pets at the White House includes a section on Teddy Roosevelt’s 40-plus menagerie. Somehow Howie Schneider’s Wilky the White House Cockroach doesn’t seem all that realistic, but I guess you never know.