According to the official White House portrait/baseball card of Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog's favorite food is "tomatoes – or toys." Something was off. Tomatoes? Really? Isn't there something about dogs and tomatoes?
Tomatoes and even raw tomatoes contain a chemical called glycoalkaloid solanine, which is very poisonous to animals. You may find this strange since humans eat tomatoes all the time and they are considered very healthy food. However, they should not be fed to animals because can cause them digestive problems.
Shocked as we were to learn that the mild-mannered Obamas, this portrait of a happy, well-adjusted family, are slowly killing their own pet, we kept our cool. We know better than most that you shouldn't trust what you read on the internet. So we rang up Tony Knight, a professor at Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. And what he told us made our blood run cold.
"Tomatoes belong to the same family as nightshade," he said. "Mother nature didn't design dogs to eat them. One or two tomatoes is not going to do anything to a large-sized dog, but no—they're not a good food. The glycoalkaloids could cause colic and bloating—they stop the activity of the intestinal tract."
There could be no longer be any doubt. Bo's life was in danger. We had to warn him! But how? First, we needed to call the White House. Maybe it was all a mistake. Maybe they just didn't know the toll those tomatoes were taking on the poor beast.
And that's when the bottom fell out.
"Bo does not eat tomatoes," a spokeswoman for the First Lady told us. What? But the baseball card—you said... it clearly states that... how can he not eat tomatoes when you said his favorite food is tomatoes!? What kind of Kafka-esque nightmare were we in? War is Peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Eating Tomatoes is Not Eating Tomatoes.
It was all a joke, they say. When Bo first came to the White House, back in April, Obama ad-libbed a little zinger to the press: "The only concern we have is apparently Portuguese water dogs like tomatoes—Michelle's garden is in danger," he said. So when the White House ginned up its latest propaganda campaign to foist Bo on the American people just like they're doing with Communism, they inserted a little joke in there—"Favorite food: tomatoes—or toys"—for the greater glory of the Anointed One, to remind us all how funny he is.
So Bo does not eat tomatoes. Never has. Never will. And that's the story of how we spent an hour-and-a-half trying to get a goddamn veterinary expert on the phone because of a grand and diabolical lie told by your government. Now we know exactly what it's like to be Iranian.