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Capital Comment Blog > Inauguration 2009

President’s Neighbor Lobbies for Labradoodle

Nelson's dog, Arbo, is the president of Labradoodles for Obama.
Greg Nelson was watching TV at the gym on Sunday when Barack Obama told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that his family has narrowed down its dog choice to two breeds: Portuguese water dog and Labradoodle. Nelson, a miniature-Labradoodle owner, had an idea.

To generate enthusiasm about the Labrador-meets-poodle mix, Nelson went home and started Labradoodles for Obama. By Monday, he’d purchased the domain, set up a Web site, elected his dog, Arbo, to head the group, and drafted a letter to the Obama family urging them to choose the breed. In the coming days, he’ll add a petition function so readers can add their names to the letter, as well as a blog and a button for donating to the Washington Humane Society. Nelson also plans to place ads in local publications to promote his cause.

Nelson, a marketing and consulting specialist, got Arbo from a breeder a year and a half ago. He’s since fallen in love with the breed, pointing out that Labradoodles “have the demeanor of a Lab and the intelligence of a poodle.” A Labradoodle would be a good fit for the Obamas, he says, because it’s a great family dog and loves being around people. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic—good news for Obama’s daughter Malia, who’s allergic to dogs.

Of course, Nelson also has personal reasons for starting the group: He’s hoping for a doggie play date on the White House grounds. “I own the closest single-family home to the White House on 16th Street,” says Nelson, who calls himself “the President’s neighbor.” “I’d love for my dog to get to play on the south lawn someday.” 

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