Harry Truman had the right idea: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Fortunately, our new first family is wasting no time with this critical cabinet appointment. With support and suggestions from adoption groups, the AKC and thousands of pet-loving Americans, the Obama’s are vetting pup picks from poodles to pugs.

It’s no surprise that White House historians eagerly await the Obama pup appointment. With 25 out of 42 American presidents sharing the Oval Office with a canine companion (and all but 2 having some kind of pet), the Obama’s new pup must live up to the legacy of former white house pets. After all, let’s not forget that Millie Bush was not only a white house pup, but a published author with a park in Houston named in her honor.

Fortunately for the Obamas the same web-posting constituency that elected Barack are here to help with the selection of first dog. In fact, more than 42,000 Americans weighed in on the American Kennel Club’s poll to determine the best dog breed for a first family with allergies. And the winner is:  The poodle!

But not so fast says the animal shelter community, there are millions of pets in shelters losing their lives each year. This is the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a homeless dog and inspire others to follow Obama’s lead.

In his first news conference, Obama said that the issue of a “first dog” for his daughters was the most discussed topic on his website. He stated that “two criteria have to be reconciled,” the dog must be hypo-allergenic (though there is no such thing as a truly hypo-allergenic dog, only those that are non-shedding) and “our preference is to get a shelter dog.” While the President-elect acknowledged this might be a challenge, given that “a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me,” the search is on to find a rescue dog for Malia and Sasha Obama.

This is good news for shelter pups everywhere. But as with most cabinet appointments, Americans must wait to welcome our next Secretary of Friendship, our first family’s dog.


The Scoop:

Learn more about past presidential pets.


Obama Family Dog – Best Friends Animal Society Website.


Thank you to David C. for the tip.

Thank you to Whitney Anderson and Mollie for the photo.