Poodles have gotten a bad rap. Not only were these super-smart pups once renowned as water-fowl retrievers, but their much maligned coifs were job related. The natural coats of standard “pudels” — German for “splashes in water” — are thick and water absorbent. To help the dogs move more swiftly through water, portions of fur were shaved, with the chest and vital organs left covered to protect them from the cold. A topknot allowed the owner to tie a strip of colored cloth to the head, the better to spot the speedy retriever from a distance.
And, I might add, poodles are hypoallergenic — at least as much as any dog can be.
But there’s no way the Obama family could have gotten a poodle. They’re frou frou. French. The “freedom fries” crowd would have had a field day. In contrast, there’s not much to say about PWDs — how many people had even heard of them pre-Bo? — or about the country they come from. Since the days of Henry the Navigator, Portugal has kept a pretty low profile. What’s not to like about fishing villages, sardines and Port?
To mark the end of April and to bookend my first post, of Bo, I’d like to share a picture of a tastefully coiffed and attired poodle who looks a bit like a certain presidential dog. You coulda been a contender, baby, if it wasn’t for anti-poodle prejudice.