Major Biden first for the White House

A rescue dog as a First Pet will be a welcome improvement on the tradition.

Aversion to animals is not an unlikely trait for a known germophobe like the incumbent, but the imminent return of this time-honoured tradition to the White House in the form of German Shepherds Champ and Major Biden as First Dogs will be welcomed by a vote bank that pollsters always overlook: pet lovers.

Among the most established conventions that outgoing US President Donald Trump cocked a snook at in 2016 was having a pet in the White House. One-third of the 45 US presidents so far have not had pets; however, as the previous US president not to have one demitted office 171 years ago, a First Pet can certainly be deemed a tradition there. Aversion to animals is not an unlikely trait for a known germophobe like the incumbent, but the imminent return of this timehonoured tradition to the White House in the form of German Shepherds Champ and Major Biden as First Dogs will be welcomed by a vote bank that pollsters always overlook: pet lovers. That Major is a rescue dog from a shelter home will go down as another significant ‘first’ for the already path-breaking, incoming Biden-Harris Administration, hailed as a return to time-honoured American values.

On his preference, President Obama had joked that ‘obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me’, but in deference to their children’s allergies, the Obamas went in for a pair of carefully bred ‘hypo-allergenic’ Portuguese Water Dogs, setting off an internet search trend in 2008-09 about such designer pets, if not an increase in their popularity. Hopefully, the Bidens’ example will set off a similar, much-needed interest in abandoned or orphaned animals as pets.
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