WASHINGTON (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama's daughters have been promised a puppy for the White House - President Bush's dog, Barney, demonstrated his technique for dealing with the media Thursday...sinking his teeth into Reuters TV White House correspondent Jon Decker.
Call it a case of biting the hand that covers you.
First Dog Barney and his handler were out on the front lawn for a walk when Reuters' Decker and another reporter approached.
"He looked very nice and friendly," says Decker. "I bent down to pet him and he just snapped at me."
Decker holds up his right index finger, now sporting two band aids. The First Dog's teeth punctured the skin and Decker started bleeding, so he was sent to see presidential physician, Dr. Richard Tubb. Tubb gave Decker a two- to three-day supply of antibiotics, and told him to come back Friday for a tetanus booster.
"I don't know what he did, but apparently Barney didn't like it," says April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Network, who captured the entire incident on her Flip video camera.
Decker insists he didn't provoke Barney, and that in fact he's good with Scottish terriers. Decker's mother's dog, Fergus, came from the same New Jersey breeder.
"I don't know what set him off," says Decker. "Maybe it was the Republican debacle Tuesday night, the fact that soon he'll be replaced as America's first dog or that I happened to have bacon for breakfast."
President-elect Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, have promised to get their daughters, Malia and Sasha, a puppy when they move into the White House.
Sally McDonough, press secretary to First Lady Laura Bush, points out that Ryan commented the biting incident is very unlike Barney.
"I think it was his way of saying he is done with the paparazzi," says McDonough. "I've talked to Jon and he is being a good sport about it all and well, Barney is in the White House Dog House."
"He was just in a surly mood this morning," surmises Decker.
Adam Goldfarb, an 'Issues Specialist' on dangerous dogs and dog bites, had his own take on the matter after viewing the incriminating video.
'I think what happened is two things were going on– one is that nobody was picking up on the dog's stress. Watching the video, the dog's posture was very tense. Which is a sign that he was stressed out in the situation. The other thing the reporter did wrong was the way he approached Barney. He approached very quickly, and from above. His hand came downward from up high. And that can be very frightening for a dog, especially a small one."
Cox Newspaper White House correspondent and veteran Bush watcher Ken Herman shared the first of many jokes about the First Dog's attack on Decker. "You know what Barney calls a presidential press conference? A buffet."
Wow. Even the dogs believe the liberal media myth.
Dogs take on the mood and emotions of their owners. Barney must be feeling the anxiety Bush feels around reporters.
it should of been obama trying to pet that dog, hahaha, that dog would know an inexperienced empty suit socialist if it ever seen one.
What a ridiculous story. Beat a man while he's down why don't you?
Look Barney was just like all of us....Tired of the Politics and the drama. Thats right Barney...Snap Snap Snap. Everyone needs to go home and take a rest. This Country is tired of the last few months of politics. Give us a break and Barney too.
Hooray for the dog. It's about time someone took a bite out of theses biased Media reporters. They are the direct cause this year of who got elected. They ought to proud of themselves. Namely they destroyed Hillary who should be the 44th President of he United States, You will live to regreat wat had happened.
Why is this news? How about covering the protests at the Los Angeles Mormon Temple?
whoa! someone is mad about leaving the white house
HE NEEDS TO BITE GEORGE W. BUSH FOR THE MESS HE HAS MADE OF OUR COUNTRY.
HE IS A THUG AND SO IS CHENEY.
A GROUP OF US WILL BE IN DC THIS WEEKEND WITH MOVING VANS TO HELP YOU MOVE YOUR SH>>>. WHERE DO YOU WANT IT DUBYA!!!
I wonder wat sasha and malia are gonna name their dog.
The pup does wander far from the master.
I think Barney is yearning for the wide open spaces of Crawford.
take that liberal media! Bush 12'!!!
Well it's about time one of them got bit. Smart little repub dog!
Was it a reporter from a "lefty" rag?
What does the election of Obama mean for Israel?
is that this man will never be held accountable for deliberately misleading US institutions and its people for Personal and Party gains.
We got tooken........tooken to the ranch
He's even trained his dog to kill...
And this is relevant because? Seriously what has CNN come to when it comes to reporting thinks that matter and issues people care about. Give me a break. What's going to be next: Dick Cheney gets bit by an ant.
Decker was undoubtedly a left wing liberal.
Although I feel this story is absurd news not worthy of the Political Ticker and is taking the White House media frenzy too far...I caught the video and I feel the reporter deserved it...any dog person knows that reaching down to a dog you are not familiar with is perceived as a threat to any dog, especially as it appeared the reporter had a bunch of papers in his other hand. This poor dog was obviously surrounded by several people and was out of his comfort zone.
bad dog! haha
This story makes me happy.
Y A W N
Good deal–Next time I hope he bites all the Liberal Obamaites. Barney has good instincts and dogs generally know when people are good or jerks. Way to go Barney !!!