February 25th, 2009
05:39 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama family chooses dog

One of the most intense guessing games of President Obama’s new administration is finally over: the choice of first dog.
One of the most intense guessing games of President Obama’s new administration is finally over: the choice of first dog.

(CNN) – One of the most intense guessing games of President Obama’s new administration is finally over: the choice of first dog.

First Lady Michelle Obama told People magazine that her family has decided to adopt a Portuguese water dog, pointing to the breed’s medium-sized and good-natured reputation. The breed is also hypoallergenic — a must, given daughter Malia’s allergy to dogs.

The first lady said her daughters will have to wait until the end of April to get the dog, since her family is planning on going away for Spring Break.

The only thing left to pick is the name, and Mrs. Obama said she is not a fan of her daughters’ choices.

“There are names floating around and they're bad," Mrs. Obama said in the interview. "You listen and you go – like, I think, Frank was one of them. Frank! Moose was another one of them. Moose. I said, well, what if the dog isn't a moose? Moose. I'm like, no, come on, let's work with the names a little bit."

Since Obama announced on Election Night that his daughters had “earned” a dog, there has been a lot of speculation and input from dog-lovers around the country. The president has said for months that he was looking for a shelter dog that was hypoallergenic.

Mrs. Obama said she took some advice from Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy, who owns two Portuguese water dogs and had lobbied the first family to choose the breed. But overall, she said found the level of excitement about the family’s dog “surprising.”

"It's all great and gracious attention,” Mrs. Obama said, in the edition of people that hits newsstands Friday. “People are just being as helpful as you can imagine. So I know that we will find the perfect breed. And we'll find people who are caring folks who will help us find the dog of our dreams.


Filed under: Michelle Obama • President Obama
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    I am so glad they are adopting from a shelter. So many really good dogs out there looking for a home.

    Rescue mutts make the bestest pets! :)

    February 25, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Randy

    How about "Maverick"?

    February 25, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    @ Sissyboy in CA

    It's called long-term planning. Educated, healthy people make more significant contributions to the economy, particulary when it costs them less to stay healthy and to get to work. Immediately employing significant numbers of Americans to build the roads and bridges and invent the alternative fuel sources those future generations of better educated, healthier Americans will be using...well, it just makes sense...and it further decreases the amount of income those future generations will need to devote to healthcare, transportation, etc.

    February 25, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Suz

    Michelle – it's not about what YOU want the dog to be named. Who cares if you're not a big fan of the names your daughter has picked. Dad promised the girls a dog, let them name it.

    February 25, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. John

    - Healthcare costs are significant hindrance to businesses and must be reformed to allow for growth.

    - Funding infrastructure projects will create thousands of jobs immediately.

    - Educating our workers for the kinds of jobs that will be available in the 21st century is essential for our economy.

    This is why Obama spoke about these things. They need to be addressed.

    February 25, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. jim

    How about Osama!

    February 25, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  7. Kat

    Good choice on the puppies. PWDs have good temperaments and are the right size and they are NOT a "designer dog" - whatever that's supposed to be! And hopefully this one will be from a reputable breeder and not a BYBer. Congratulations! Will be fun to watch since I've had a PWD and now have Giant Schnauzers (a bit to rambunctious for the White House, I think).

    February 25, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Frank

    What's wrong with Frank?

    February 25, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. makeda singleton

    Awwwwwww how cute:)

    February 25, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Chato's Land

    Republicans/Conservatives showering President Obama, the First Lady and their children with congratulatory praise and well wishers in 3...2...1..... Hold up!!!! Put on the brakes Pedro!

    No, but really. Dogs bring a lot of happiness to a family and a home. They are good for the soul, and for one’s health – as my elderly neighbor who recently had a stroke can attest to.

    February 25, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Jerky Jackie

    Hey Sissyboy in CA: First, love your handle!

    This nation is not cut and paste...everything interconnects. Industry creates industry. The economy is built on a foundation. The foundation isn't only reliant upon one answer. As Obama said in his speech...this is the beginning of a hard task. BUT: In all honesty, aren't you glad we have a man as capable as Obama to perform such a task? He is not going to be perfect, true true! But if you got a chance to watch the speech last night, didn't you cringe when McCain flashed on the screen? What if.....What if McCain had been giving a speech in front of Congress instead? I bet he would have been as avoidant of the situation as G.W.B. was.

    Thank God that we have a man in office (not a saviour, but a smart man) that can manage more than one thing at a time. It's only been a month...keep the faith. I have no doubt he will try his best as he has nothing else to do presently. It is his Historic Burden as a first in his position.
    Someday, when a GBLT gets elected to the same office (as it inevitabley WILL happen) that person, like Obama, will feel the need and obligation to out perform those who recently preceded the post. It is human nature. Obama not only stands as a president who must heal and save the Nation...he also feels the pressure that if he should fail, he lets down his people and culture far into the future.

    As a minority, I totally understand that passion. Give him that faith, because he inevitabley will stand in representation of all non-classic presidential candidates to a majority of pidgeon-holing Americans.

    February 25, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. MARYANN ILLINOIS

    WOW getting a dog..and this is news WHY????? How about giving a home to some homeless humans......I love animals and have rescued our 2 dogs and 3 cats from various parts of the USA.......I would love to rescue some people ...but I have to figure out how am I going to stay in my house ..before my family and my pets become homeless....I have always paid my mortgage ..my bills ...etc etc My husband's just got a paycut...my hours got cut...my 2 older children may have to quit college because their tuition went up.... scholarships taken away .......we stopped going on vacations years ago ....why does CNN think that everyone wants to hear everything about the OBAMA's...I like President Obama ,I think he is a good guy...but his wife making news about a gift ..a dog ..that her girls are getting (during their spring break from their PRIVATE SCHOOL) give me a break

    February 25, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Matt

    So Sissyboy, you are saying that we should just putt off all of that other stuff again. Isn't that all we've done for the last 30 years. I've got it! Let's wait until our students come out of school dumber than when the went in, our bridges fall down (there already), we cant' afford doctors, etc.. It's only going to cost more and take more effort to fix these things if we keep waiting.

    February 25, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Cheese and Whine

    Sissyboy, that shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the problem.

    February 25, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. Linda

    Gee, I thought they were going to adopt a hoeless pet or a Mutt. How is it that Mr. Obama always does the opposit of what he says?

    February 25, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  16. Cynthia

    I voted for President Obama and worked hard in my precinct. I am not a lover of many animals at all, but, if the Presidents daughters are and want a dog, hey, I encourage all to help out. I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate the first family. Every since inauguration day, we have displayed the Obamas in our main building here at Corpus Christi Army Depot. However, the day after the inauguration, the display was trashed and we had to reassemble it. This is a very racial divided area of the world.

    February 25, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Debby

    Another vacation for the Obama's how typical. What is this their 5th or 6th now. The Obama's must have not watched Westminster as a breeder of PWD was interviewed and she said this wasn't a breed for them to take on because of the energy level.

    February 25, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. Karen Francis

    Why not wait until you bring the dog home to name him/her? I am a dog lover & I try to see what type personality they have before I name them. I have a mini Yorkie, mini Poodle, and two Yorkiepoos. We also have a Pit Bull and 2 mutts outside. I love my dogs!!

    February 25, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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