A House for Bo? Howl Nice!
Is this the new royal court? The minute Barack Obama was elected, the courtiers lined up bearing gifts -- to pay homage to the future First Dog.
There were breeders from across the country hoping to hand-deliver a puppy from one of their precious litters. Milk-Bone promised a lifetime supply of doggie biscuits. And now, with the announcement that a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog is joining the Obama family, the Ritz-Carlton is offering Bo a doghouse.
But not just any doghouse! The luxury hotel commissioned interior decorator Skip Sroka to create a presidential puppy pad. The result: A mini-White House, made of thick white muslin on a wooden frame, with a facsimile of the executive mansion's exterior hand-sketched in black ink. Inside: a pillowy floor covering in cobalt-blue silk embroidered with gold eagles. You know, just what every dog wants.
"It's like fabric you'd probably see in the Blue Room," said hotel spokeswoman Colleen Evans. Luxurious, but maybe not practical -- though "the thick muslin can take the wear and tear of a puppy."
The house was on display at the downtown Ritz-Carlton during inaugural weekend, and Evans said the hotel has kept it while waiting for the Obamas to pick out their dog. Now the hotel will offer it to Bo because "the Ritz-Carlton is a pet-friendly hotel. You can bring your dogs here, your cat, your ferret, your guinea pig. ... "
Oh, wait -- so this is just a publicity stunt? Hey! How'd that get past us? "We were going to offer it up for anyone who brought their dog in during the inauguration, but no one did," she said.
If the first family turns down the gift (because of ethics rules, because it's not their style, or because polls suggest Americans don't want such a froufrou doghouse in the White House), the Ritz will auction it off and donate the proceeds to the Washington Animal Rescue League.
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