Obamas to get new puppy

February 16, 2010 10:14:49 AM PST
Within the next few months, the nation will have another first puppy.When Jimmy Carter was in the White House, he had a dog named Grits. FDR had a pooch named Fala.

On Tuesday night, during president-elect Barack Obama's speech in Grant Park, the plan to adopt a new puppy was announced.

"Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House," said Obama.

So Obama didn't just speak as a politician Tuesday night; he also spoke as a dad. So when the Obamas move into the White House they will be a family of five. And just maybe the puppy will be something like three-and-a-half-month-old Zoey, who is living now at the Anti Cruelty Society.

Obama has already said that when the family does get a puppy, it will probably come from an animal shelter like the Anti Cruelty Society. But the people there say this is not an easy match. Not just any dog can move into the White House.

The puppy will have to be good with children. And it will have to be intelligent and be able to handle crowds and stress. And there's more.

"I wouldn't recommend choosing a dog who has kind of shyness or any type of fearful behavior. You want a dog who just walks into a room and says, 'I own it," said Karen Okura, manager, Animal Behavior Anti Cruelty Society.

The White House has a long history of first dogs. George and Laura Bush's is a pooch named Barney. LBJ got in big trouble for picking up his beagle by the ears. Through the years, the White House has also been the doghouse. And now just maybe Zoey could move to Washington. After all, she is very democratic - a mixed breed.

"She is the All-American breed, which is the All-American mutt," said Okuro.

Zoey is up for adoption now and who knows, just maybe someday she could be strutting her stuff in the fields of power.