The First Puppy

Much has been made lately of the Obama's pursuit of a puppy for their daughters. As we all wait to finally put an end to the national disgrace that

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Much has been made lately of the Obama's pursuit of a puppy for their daughters. As we all wait to finally put an end to the national disgrace that is the George W. Bush presidency, a little distraction from the doom and gloom is more than welcomed by a giddy American populace anxious to move on.

And while this obsession (the photo above was the #1 emailed photo at yahoo.com this week) probably says something about the American people there are some more serious aspects to this story, beyond a simple promise made by the Obama's to their daughters Malia and Sasha.

The above photo shows Obama with "Baby," a three-legged dog that lost its fourth limb following years of mistreatment at a California puppy mill. The toy poodle spent much of its life locked in a small wire cage. The breeders cut out Baby's vocal chords so that they would not have to hear her cries. In cages next to her, other dogs literally went insane, spinning repetitively with blank stares. Still others were gravely ill, maimed and had filthy, matted coats. A number was tattooed on the inside of Baby's ear, marking her as just one of many dogs at the mill.

Barack Obama posed for this picture for Jana Kohl's book A Rare Breed of Love. Obama has co-sponsored Dick Durbin's Bill to crack down on abusive puppy mills, and has earned the first ever presidential endorsement from the Humane Society.

The Obama's desire to get a shelter dog has inspired great interest in animal advocacy sites such as Petfinder.com and the ASPCA.

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