Obamas settle on Portuguese water dog for First Pet

February 27th, 2009 - 11:50 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Feb 27 (DPA) Malia and Sasha Obama can celebrate: their highly publicised longing for a dog is set to be satisfied soon.
After a months-long search, First Lady Michelle Obama has chosen a Portuguese water dog to join the family in April, the US magazine People said Thursday.

President Barack Obama had first promised his daughters a pet during his election campaign, regardless of the outcome. The breed had been considered a possible pick because it is “hypoallergenic” and Malia suffers from allergies.

Michelle Obama said she had very clear ideas about the new family member, which had to be “old enough” and to fit into the family dynamics.

Water dogs are “temperamentally” pretty good, she said in an interview. Michelle Obama said that veteran Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, who has two water dogs himself, recommended the breed.

“From the size perspective, they’re sort of middle of the road, it’s not small, but it’s not a huge dog. And the folks that we know who own them have raved about them,” she noted.

The first lady admitted that she had been surprised by the media hype over the Obamas’ search for a dog.

“I didn’t anticipate the level of the excitement about the dog,” she said.

However, she knew that the issue was very important for her daughters, aged 7 and 9.

“They’ve been excited for years,” she said.

The report does not say what the First Dog’s name is set to be, although Michelle Obama appears to be trying to put a brake to the girls’ creativity.

“Oh, the names are really bad. I don’t even want to mention it, because there are names floating around and they’re bad,” she said.

The first lady has opposed the suggestions Frank and Moose, among others.

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