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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obamas choose April as month -- now for breed and name

The first family is getting close, but not quite, to naming a breed for its first dog.

President Barack Obama says the new addition, a hypoallergenic shelter dog, will arrive in April -- just in time for Malia and Sasha, 10 and 7, to return from their spring break trip and begin White House-training.

First Lady Michelle Obama has already gone public with her choice: the active, energetic and extremely bright Portuguese water dog (pictured above). She says it's just the right size and temperament. But her office cautions the public not to treat her pick as gospel just yet.

"Mrs. Obama likes the Portuguese water dog, but she is only one of four votes," said Katie McCormick Lelyveld, the first lady's press secretary. "Their primary focus now is that they get a dog that works with their lifestyle."

Sen. Ted Kennedy, proud owner of two water dogs, Sunny and Splash, reportedly recommended the breed to the Obama family on inauguration day. The family's other recent consideration is the energetic, intelligent and highly trainable Labradoodle -- a Labrador retriever-standard poodle hybrid.

For more on potential picks, see this story by the Los Angeles Times, or visit the official site for the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America.

Of course once the breed is picked, the next great debate will be the name. Mrs. Obama has already dismissed the girls' preliminary brainstorms, Frank and Moose, as "really bad."

To be continued...

-- Sandra M. Klepach


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