Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pooper scooping the East Lawn

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We’re on the cusp of an event that will change America forever; the culmination of an unprecedented period of politicking and lobbying; the result of many debates and impassioned pleas. I’m, of course, referring to the White House takeover by our next First Pet: a labradoodle.


Apparently, the Obama kids, Malia and Sasha, have been conducting their own campaign which was every bit as compelling as the Senator’s. Back in November, President-Elect Obama revealed to George Stephanopoulos on ABC television that he and Michelle had acquiesced to adding a dog to the First Family.

George seemed unusually interested in the proposed choices: a Portuguese water dog or a labradoodle. We all remember George Stephanopoulos as an eager fourteen-year-old serving as Clinton’s first press secretary. Actually, Dee Dee Myers, at a much more mature age of sixteen, was the official press secretary, but somehow George beat Dee Dee to the press briefings for the first six months and just winged it.

After a series of gaffes, George was relegated to Senior Advisor on Policy and Strategy, a title for an invented job that included, believe it or not, emptying Sock’s litter box. Who could forget Socks the Cat? He was an unusual choice for First Animal, a position that had been held by a dog since Lincoln interrupted the streak by introducing his pet porcupine, Pricky, to the White House.

It seems that the labradoodle is pulling ahead of the Portuguese water dog in the race to the White House. That makes perfect sense to me, a Texas kid who fished the backwaters of the Nueces River using waterdogs (not sure if they were from Portugal) for catfish bait. Why in the world would anyone adopt a waterdog as First Pet? They’re ugly, don’t live very long, and the slime is downright nasty.


What is a labradoodle, you ask? Good timing, because I was just about to tell you. It’s a cross breed involving a French poodle and a Labrador retriever. (I always thought poobrador would have been a more appropriate name based on the frequent deposits our black lab used to leave.) Since French bashing came into vogue—remember freedom fries?—breeders have been trying to reinvent the Eurocentric French poodle.

Dropping the “French” from French poodle just wasn’t enough to fool people into buying these Parisian elitist canines. So they put them in a cage with cocker spaniels and out popped the cockapoo.


It turns out that cocker spaniels—a small, feisty breed that suffers from Napoleon complex—when paired with the intelligence of French poodles, produce an animal capable of winning the Battle of Waterloo; not something you want hanging around your house while you’re away at work.

So along comes an Australian breeder with the idea of mating a Labrador retriever (known for their absolute devotion, low IQ, and 24/7 shedding) with a French poodle (known for their brainpower, low level of allergens, and a Rogaine-like ability to hang on to their hair). The perfect pet with all the plusses of an allergy-free teddy bear combined with the innate need to fetch your morning paper and police the floor around the baby’s high chair.

What better animal could you pick for First Dog? The only thing to do now is to pick one up from the local pound, a politically correct move loaded with symbolism for the new administration. If one isn’t available, I have to believe that an AKC-registered labradoodle will somehow find its way to the K Street Animal Shelter just in time to fulfill Malia and Sasha’s dream.




Copyright 2009 Randy Hunt

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