What has President Obama done lately that I think is great? Almost everything, from his masterful, cucumber-cool, behind-the-scenes work on the Capt. Phillips hostage situation to his telling Rick Wagoner that the sucky CEO had to resign if GM wanted a taxpayer bailout to his making Glenn Beck cry – repeatedly. No wonder the hard right wing of this country is using such apocalyptic, nonsensical, and provocative language now. The president is calmly, stylishly wiping his feet all over them.

What do I not really get? The new First Pet, a Portuguese water dog named “Bo.” I understand one of the Obama daughters is allergic and that this limited their pick of the litters, so to speak. And some owners hail the water dogs as bright and energetic. But as a puppy, Bo is only semi-cute – his face disappears into a squishy ball of tight curls. As an adult, his head curls will resemble a dark brown version of the wig that Vicki Lawrence wore on “Mama’s Family.” The adult Bo’s body will also be an awkward combination of long and short. He strikes me as an arcane, ornamental dog-show breed, not a “Who’s a puppy now? Who’s a puppy now? Who’s a puppy now?” charmer to briefly distract Americans from a recession that may, hopefully, be bottoming out.

My disapproval of Bo was cinched upon reading that Portuguese water dogs like to vie for head-of-the-pack status with their owners, and if your water dog barks at you, that means “you should examine your leadership skills.” There’s a line of adult bipeds in my life waiting to challenge my leadership skills, thank you very much – nothing on four legs will earn my attention that way. Pres. Obama has a much, much longer and more global line of challengers in his life. He doesn’t need some Westminster wannabe to do that for him.

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