Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

About That Puppy...

The wait for a puppy by two young sisters who live on Pennsylvania Avenue continues.

Their dad, President Obama, told Jay Leno on the "Tonight Show" last month that as soon as he returned from his whirlwind trip to Europe, "the dog will be in place." But now the president has returned, and the dog isn't coming this week, according to a White House spokeswoman.

Trying to nudge some information out of the first lady's office, we asked spokeswoman Semonti Mustaphi if a press release would be issued in the event the Easter Bunny delivers a puppy to the White House this Sunday morning.

"Ha! I think that is the most creative way a reporter has asked me for dog information," Mustaphi joked in an email. "I think the Easter Bunny has enough on its mind preparing for the upcoming White House Easter Egg Roll."

But multitasking comes easy to the Easter Bunny, who always has a few tricks up its sleeve. And the annual White House Easter Egg Roll isn't until the day after Easter, on Monday the 13th. So really, the big bunny could easily pull it off, right?

Plus, if the Easter Bunny is who some people think it is, he doesn't have much to do between now and Sunday since Congress is in recess and he's already done his toughest job of the week - throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day at Fenway Park in Boston.

Yes, that would be Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), who hasn't been shy about his hope that the Obama family chooses a Portuguese water dog. He has two of them.

First lady Michelle Obama told People magazine a few months ago the first family was "leaning" toward that breed.

According to a very, very loosely sourced report by WBBM News Radio in Chicago, the Obamas have already chosen a Portuguese water dog and the future first pup has even visited the White House for a meet-and-greet session. The news station says the dog "may be a gift, perhaps from Senator Ted Kennedy and his family."

One Kennedy family source contacted by the Sleuth today knew nothing about such a gift. But then again, as we noted, the Easter Bunny works in mysterious ways and always has a few tricks up his sleeve.

One thing seems certain though. The dog isn't coming from a Washington area shelter.

"It doesn't look like they're coming to us," Jim Monsma, a spokesman for the Washington Animal Rescue League, tells the Sleuth. "I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so."

The Obamas haven't come calling at the Washington Humane Society, either, says spokeswoman Tara de Nicolas. But as long as the first family adopts a dog (rather than buys one from a breeder), her organization will be happy, she says.

Of course, if the dog is a gift, then who could blame the Obamas?

By Mary Ann Akers  |  April 8, 2009; 12:50 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What's Vito Fossella Thinking?
Next: Obama and Abdullah, To Bow Or Not To Bow


I have been taken aback by the whole dog in the WH discussion. The country is in economic doldrums and there are plenty of people who have abandoned their pets. The Obamas should do the right thing and go to the local pound and pick an orphan dog that would appreciate a great loving home - did he not learn that in all his community organizing work? Why would he miss this great teaching moment for the girls? Or is it that a mongrel would not do for the White House?

Is it too much to expect a leader to set an example of "good, neighborly" behavior in bad times? It has been quite disappointing to me.

Posted by: Illinoismom | April 8, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I have been taken aback by the whole dog in the WH discussion. The country is in the doldrums and there are plenty of people who have abandoned their pets. The Obamas should do the right thing and go to the local pound and pick an orphan do that would appreciate a great loving home - did he not learn that in all his community organizing work? Why miss this great teaching moment for the girls? Or is a mutt not good enough for the WH?
Is it too much to expect a leader to set an example of "good, neighborly" behavior in bad times? It has been quite disappointing to me. I think a great marketing opportunity has been lost.

Posted by: Illinoismom | April 8, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Mary Ann - great sleuthing! I have been doing some First Dog/Easter Egg Roll detective work too and discovered an interesting precedent for a Presidential pet attending the event. Mrs. Calvin Coolidge brought her beloved pet Raccoon (on a chain leash) to the 1927 White House Easter Egg Roll. She (Rebecca) looks like she was a big hit with the kids. Here is the post on my blog The Obama Dog Blog where I am tracking all the First Dog news...

Tips are welcome!

Posted by: mxaxm | April 8, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, well, the Obamas have to deal with the allergy issue. Still, it's too bad the dog won't be a pound puppy; it's not outside the realm of possibility that someone may have abandoned a PWD.

To me, the most intriguing part of this story was the information that the Easter Bunny is multi-gendered!

Posted by: AZANNE | April 8, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Oops! I gave you the wrong link. Here is the link with some incredible archival photos from early White House Easter Egg Roll, including a photo of Mrs. Coolidge and her pet Raccoon, Rebecca (scroll down - they are the last photo)...

Posted by: mxaxm | April 8, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 8, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I find it ironic, that Kennedy has two Portuguese "water" dogs.

What are there names ? Mary and Jo

Posted by: dashriprock | April 8, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's see ... worst downturn in unemployment since 1929.

Still at war.

Mayor Fenty shipping fire equipment to the Dominican Republic and not telling people where he is.

DC United moving to Missouri.

And we're talking about a dog?????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Posted by: bs2004 | April 8, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Seriously - what is the problem with getting a dog from either a breeder OR the pound? As long as they are going to reputable breeder - what's the issue?

There are rescue groups for each breed - even PWD - - this would be the IDEAL place for them to get the dog that they are looking for.

Anyway - there are two ways to get a dog -one -go to the pound. Two - go to a REPUTABLE breeder, one who tests the parents, who is involved in the breed parent club, has only one or two litters per year, etc. etc. These people are doing the right thing, too.

Reputable breeders are not bad people!

Posted by: goodwater1 | April 8, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

talking about the dog is a form of escapism from dealing with the economy and wars and random acts of violence. Same thing is true of Obama doing the NCAA bracket.....nobody ask him about the womens bracket....

You cant get the dog from the pound because you cant tell for sure what type of dog it is. The fact is it must be hypoallergenic and NOT a mixed breed. This is likely to come from a specialized breader.

I am severly allergic to dogs. Even hypoallergenic ones....the reason is because their are proteins in the dogs salvia that I am allergic too (cats have them too)

I would say Easter would be the time to get the dog for the kids. Of course we are in a recesssion so who knows if they can afford the dog.

Posted by: djp98374 | April 8, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

The Obamas are already taking on the nation's problems. Why on earth would anyone want them to take on a pound animal's problems as well? The last thing they need is another rehabilitation project.

Posted by: watchbird1 | April 8, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree with goodwater1 that REPUTABLE breeders are not bad people, but Obama hinted at wanting to adopt from a shelter, and in this economic downturn, the number of dogs in shelters are multiplying at a rapid pace. It really would be a great if he chose to go the shelter route - it would set a great example to others. Also, I don't believe that there are "allergenic" dogs versus "nonallergenic" dogs. A dog is a dog is a dog...

Posted by: Opus3 | April 9, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

His trip is over so maybe Easter Bunny brings the puppy since Santa did not.

But they need to hire a dog whisperer so he/she can teach the children how to train this dog properly and easily and quickly, after all we don't want him pooping all over the White House.

Posted by: mac7 | April 9, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse


Ligthen up! I think you need a dog. If President Obama and his family have to think about the problems of America and the world 24 hours a day, they need a dog. I'll tell you this: one would go crazy if he/she doesn't have a dog or some other fun outlet to take his/her mind off the problems of America and the world. Get a dog or a cat, pick up knitting, go volunteer or something!Don't worry! Be happy! Certainly, the world will end some day but it's not going to be by men, even though some would like to believe that they will have something to do with it (Kim Jong Il of NK, Ahmadinajad from Iran, etc). They are just underachievers with Napoleonesque complexes - nothing more.

Posted by: margaret10 | April 9, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with you people(Illinoismom) who want to choose the Obama family "personal" pet for them?? Rescue is fine, unless you have a child with ALLERGIES - it is more important to worry about her health than you nut cases who demand they go to a rescue. Plus, the girls should get a puppy - almost impossible to find a truly hypoallergenic puppy from a rescue. Leave this wonderful family alone - it's their lives, not yours - the dog will still be with them after they leave the White House. Becoming President did not mean the family became your 24/7 slave to order around for life.
Didn't hear you yelling when Bush got yet another Scottie!

Posted by: skimom27 | April 9, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Mary Ann - With your help, I may have discovered who the new First Dog is. Check out my theory...

Posted by: mxaxm | April 9, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Love the writing on this, don't love the children's surprise being ruined by the media speculation. I sure hope we get another Kennedy in the WH though.

Posted by: siren1 | April 9, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I think it is no ones business where they get the dog, it is personal family business and I think people need to leave them alone.

Posted by: TexMom1 | April 10, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

You guys have to see this Youtube video making the rounds on Youtube. Its called the Obama Bow Remix Video. It is very funny. It has Obama Bowing to the Saudi King, Then the WhiteHouse Trying to explain it. All mixed together on while a music track play.

Posted by: pastor123 | April 10, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I know getting a dog is a very serious decision and I appreciate how careful the Obama's have been, BUT I feel those girls have shown nothing less than the patience of a saint for having to wait this long. How many times has this been pushed and pushed back? Sheesh! C'mon, mom and dad! And yeah, I'm really bummed they're not going to the shelters. Whatever their reasons are I'd like to hear them.

Posted by: Marieme | April 10, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company