First Puppy Decision for First Family
With the presidency tucked away, the Obama family will now consider an equally lofty goal: Finding the perfect puppy to join them in the White House. (Pet Pulse Photo by Hong/AP)
CHICAGO -- OK, dad won the presidency, but the election victory yielded a special bonus for Barack Obama's two daughters.
"I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House," Obama told Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, during his victory speech.
The good news for his daughters came as Obama acknowledged his family's contributions to his campaign.
The news prompted even bigger smiles as they surrounded him. He did not go into details about a name or breed for the new White House pet, who will follow in the steps of the Bush family's Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley.
The Obama family has been discussing adding a furry addition to their family unit for some time now. In a May appearance on "Good Morning America," Michelle Obama announced the family's intent.
"What we know about raising a dog is that you have to be pretty stable," she said. By Spring 2009, she added, "we'll be settled, one way or another."
The family's public decision -- and initial perception that they might be seeking a hypo-allergenic dog, like a Goldendoodle, sparked interest from pet lovers and animal welfare/rights organizations alike.
The People for Ethical Treatment of Animals sent the Obamas a letter over the summer saying the decision to purchase, and not adopt, a purebred dog would be "elitist."
The Best Friends Animal Society also garnered over 50,000 signatures to encourage the Obama family to adopt a dog from a shelter.
Michelle Obama announced to Entertainment Tonight on Oct. 10 that the family would be adopting a rescue dog, as Pet Pulse previously reported.
PETA responded to this decision on its blog, writing, "So you can see why we're quite proud of this whole thing ... We hope that the Obama family really listened to our message and we hope that Barack, Michelle and their daughters find a loving mutt who needs a good home."
A dog might soon be on the horizon for the Vice President-elect, Delaware Sen. Joe Bidden and his family, according to MarketWatch.
"If you get the vice presidency and get elected, you can get a dog," Biden recounted his wife, Jill, telling him.
With multiple media reports weighing in on the prospect of a new "First Dog," the decision is likely to be watched as closely as the selection of any cabinet member in the Obama administration.
In the meantime, organizations like the Humane Society of the United States will continue to push for a rescue pup to paw its way into the White House.
"We are grateful to the Obama family for previously announcing they will rescue a dog," a HSUS statement, released Wednesday, said.
"[It's] a real message of hope and change for all the dogs in shelters waiting for a loving home and those currently suffering in abusive puppy mills."
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The Associated Press, MarketWatch, Newsday and The New York Times contributed to this article.
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