He is Not My Poodle: Bush

Fun Fact 1: A “poodle bush” is a fairly common variety of topiary art—that is, plant sculpture. It is not actually shaped like a poodle. Rather, the poodle bush is just a skinny branch with either one or several leafy globules attached at its end.

Fun Fact 2: In the process of trying to obtain the information contained in Fun Fact 1, a Web search was performed. This proved to be more difficult than we originally anticipated. Typing “poodle bush” into a search engine produced a series of links to a June 2007 news item wherein President George W. Bush was denying allegations that then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair was his “poodle.” The second most common type of hit? Blog posts and newspaper editorials dating from 2003 calling Blair “Bush’s poodle.”

Fun Fact 3: The nonpolitical, nonhuman poodle bush is an expensive item. A very small poodle bush, also known as a “poodle ball topiary” bush, goes for as much as $50 or $60 at a nursery wholesaler, which is why, apparently, it is worth stealing. The owner of a West Knoxville plant nursery discovered some missing shrubbery-—specifically three poodle-shaped evergreen bushes—on the morning of June 2. She believes the suspect is a former employee because entrance into the nursery was through the gate of the business’ privacy fence. She also believes that the suspect used his mother’s Honda to transport the shrubs.

Bailey Swilley contributed to this report.

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