The New National Debate: What Dog Should the Obama Family Adopt?
This week, unlike any week in the last eight years or history, saw the election of a new President of the United States, Barack Obama. Obama is the personification of change, proving our country is one of the most versatile in the world. So move over France with your pop star First Lady, Carla Bruni, because one of the first changes, next to the appointment of a very important cabinet, is the appointment of a very important First Dog. Yes, only moments into his victory speech, Obama announced that his daughters, Sasha and Malia, deserve their very own dog. Now the nation is on the edge of their seats debating over what dog will serve the White House best. And of course, Wendy and Lucky Diamond have all the right suggestions for the election of First Dog. But first and foremost, as president elect Obama has already duly noted, the dog should be a rescue. It should also be duly noted that soon-to-be-Former First Dog, Barney Bush, the Bush family Scottish Terrier, is well aware of this upcoming power shift. This week Barney got a little aggressive and bit Reuters correspondent Jon Decker, expectedly resulting in a YouTube hit.
This week Lucky and I appeared on Fox News to help weigh in with our expertise on this titanic national issue. Just like an ideal candidate must fit the nations needs, the ideal dog must fit the Obama family's needs. Obama's two main criteria are that the dog must be hypoallergenic because his ten year old daughter Malia is allergic, and secondly the dog will ideally be a "shelter dog" although Obama admits that this may be difficult because, as the president-elect admits, "A lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me." I say this is no problem because virtually any breed can be found in a shelter, and here are my top picks for the presidential pup with some notes from my bestselling book, How To Understand Men Through Their Dogs, which will help clue us in to what the dog will say about our new President. Obama could refer to Lucky and I as Lucky is a shelter dog, and I am allergic, to dogs, cats, grass, pollen, hay so I know a lot about allergies (I am Jewish, Jews seem to be more prone to allergies).
Maltese - I know this sounds biased because I'm a proudMaltese owner, but a Maltese is the perfect pocket-sized social dog. Just like Lucky socializes with all of Hollywood's A-List stars, a Maltese in the White House would have to socialize with the top leaders of nation and will do it with class, elegance and grace (unless of course there's steak involved, then the dog might revert back to canine intuitions).
Bichon Frise - With they're European background, a Bichon Frise in the White House could mean an immediately increase in foreign policy potential. A man with a Bichon is curious, playful, cute, talkative and above all cultured. Proud Bichon owners have in the past included Jude Law, Martin Scorsese and Aaron Spelling. That spell's a good suggestion for a great dog!
Shih Tzu - With the name literally meaning "lion dog," Shih Tzus are the original Zen Men, hailing from Tibet, and coming from a long line of Buddhists. Of course the girls will have fun with a Shih Tzu's hair, always being able to keep the dog primped and pampered, as any presidential pup should. Shih Tzu's could also mean great inspiration, having inspired such greats as Bill Gates and Frank Sinatra.
Goldendoodle - A Goldendoodle is a rambunctious pick for the White House. Not as smaller as the other picks, a Goldendoodle is a hypoallergenic choice that combines the lovable and loyal qualities of a Golden with the beauty and grace of a Poodle (hence the name).
As for names for the dog, I suggest the family name the dog Lucky Obama. I know I call my main squeeze Lucky too, but there's a reason for that. I adopted her from the shelter system and showed her an entirely new life... with that being said, picture how different the life of a shelter dog turned presidential pup would be. Enough said!
With all this on our minds, Lucky and I visited the North Shore Animal League's Third Annual Dogcatemy Awards where we asked the question we love so much: what kind of dog is Barack Obama? We also asked people the question on everybody's mind: what kind of dog will be right for the first family? Howard Stern's long-time producer Gary Dell'Abate told us that Obama is like, "A Pug -- short haired, expressive face and a dog with lot of nerve and a lot of pizzazz, a lot of gall." Music sensation Mya, who has four animals of her own, including her newly adopted kitten, Mellow sees Obama as, "A German Shepherd. They love to protect. His initiative is to protect our country, and they're so loyal and so warm." As for the prospective dog in the White House? Mya suggested, "A small dog to start off with, especially if young kids are being responsible -- maybe a Chihuahua!" Unfortunately Chihuahuas aren't hypoallergenic, so the new first family would certainly would see a sneezy season.
A few people stars were understandably so charmed by Obama that they couldn't even come up with an answer to our relatively "silly" question. Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden, who was at the event with her daughter, Eulala, said that Obama wasn't even comparable to a dog, saying he's a, "Hero... I can't even think about him in any other terms than the eloquent and beautiful person that he is." Her daughter followed suit by saying that if Obama was a dog, he would be a very "noble" one. Eulala did suggest that Obama should adopt a Boarder Collie because, "They're easy to train." Eulala was also gushing about her own dog, Merlin, an American Eskimo Dog, who she just recently adopted from North Shore.
On the other hand, Howard Stern said, in response to comparing Obama to a dog, "We don't want any dogs running things in the White House." He did urge the President elect to adopt however, saying, "There are so many sad stories, [my wife Beth Ostrosky] rescued a dog after hurricane Katrina. This dog, Abby, was in a shelter in New Orleans where all of the dogs died, but Abby survived in a cage in the water, paddling... that's the kind of dog I'd like to see Barack adopt. I think it'd be a great example." Meanwhile, the newlywed's Bull Dog Bianca is doing well, Howard says she "sees it all, and gets to do it all," adding, "I always say to people, 'get a dog, it adds a lot of dimension to your life.' My mother never believed dogs belonged in a house. Now that I just got out of the house a couple of years ago, I finally got a dog"
Finally, this week Lucky and I stopped by one of our favorite foundations, Coalition For the Homeless', 14th Annual ARTWALK NY auction paying tribute to legendary artist Robert Rauschenberg. I know it sounds silly, but The Coalition for the Homeless was what got me into rescuing animals and I am forever indebted to them for inspiring me to rescue my two little angels Pasha, and Lucky. At the event were co-chairs Alec Baldwin and Richard Gere. Gere is starring in a new dog-themed movie Hachiko: A Dog's Story with Joan Allen. Little did I know, Lucky auditioned for the role of Hachiko, a rescued dog, but the producers felt that she gave off too much of a "divalicious doggy" vibe. Too bad for Lucky, she's got so much attitude to represent her own kind. At the event we chatted with Chuck Close about his cat, who was looking very artistic in person. I'm such a fan of his work that I was too scared to approach him regarding a possible Lucky Diamond portrait done in the style of Close. I'd love to see her all pieced together and blurry! Lucky and my favorite piece at the auction was Jeff Koon's Stacked, if only for the animal themes. Stacked features a gaggle of barnyard animals all stacked together with a charming little bird on top.
With this week coming to a close, Lucky and I are ready to move on, count down the last days of Barney Bush in the White House and Lucky can't wait to sniff around the new dog in the White House.