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Obama's to pick first pooch

In a post-election telephone conversation, President Bush told President-Elect Obama, “You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life.” He certainly is. Obama promised his kids a new puppy.

Our future Commander-in-Chief appeased his daughters’ new pet request during his campaign victory speech.  Watching on TV, millions of parents no doubt cringed as Obama made a rare misstep -– promising his children a dog.

The Obama’s have never had a dog. Think he understands White House leaks? Wait until he paper trains a puppy –- the leaks are just starting. His canine commitment now guarantees two advisories – Republicans and fleas. But he is lucky. The president doesn’t roll out of bed at 5 a.m. to take the dog out. That’s why he has a vice president. Also presidential pooches have Secret Service protection. Big guys, talking in wristwatches and wearing dark suits, change out the soiled newspapers. The rest of us aren’t as fortunate.

Barack Obama has fallen for the ole “cute dog and cute kids” trick. I got fooled watching television sitcoms showing perfect families with perfect dogs. For example a huge furry animal named Tiger effortlessly lived with the Brady Bunch – the same folks with a 24/7 housekeeper who by the snap of a finger cooked a pot roast in 12 seconds.

Going way back, My Three Sons was about a bachelor father raising three boys and a dog named Tramp (today for political correctness Tramp’s name would be Homeless). The father in this show also wore a suit and tie at the supper table just like you do.

Like the sitcom characters, their dogs were not accurate either. TV dogs never have mange, accidents, or scratch. We think ours won’t either. And like Obama we search for our own personal Lassie.

I did not vote for Obama but in a spirit of bipartisanship offer the following advice in his quest for the perfect pet. Harry Truman said, “If you want a friend in the Washington, get a dog.”

So here are some suggestions and descriptions of popular breeds:

These are but a few of the hundreds of breeds available to the Obama’s. Regardless of which type the new president selects, the animal is guaranteed celebrity status. On Nov. 6, from the grounds of the Oval Office, President Bush’s dog Barney did what many of us want to do -- bite a White House reporter. The press will probably call this a vicious attack from Bush’s beast. Of course if Obama’s dog does the same thing, the press will give it free pass. Just like its owner got.

So change is coming to America and to the White House. One of the changes barks.

(Burnett has been a freelance writer in Mobile for more than 20 years. For more information, visit his website.)
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by Emmett Burnett