We’ve been enjoying the fact that President-elect Obama (ooh–gives me the shivers–in the best way possible–just to type that) has promised his little girls that they can have a dog now that the election is over, so today I hopped over to the White House’s kids page and found a roster of presidential pets.

There have been some interesting ones. Calvin Coolidge had a mockingbird and a goosed named Enoch.  Woodrow Wilson had a ram that chewed tobacco. Nixon had his Checkers and Lyndon Johnson got into hot water when he picked up one of his beagles, “Him,” by his ears.

LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto

LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto

And of course Teddy Roosevelt and his children had a whole menagerie: not just horses, dogs, guinea pigs, and cats (and, famously, his daughter Alice’s snake), but also wild animals including, but not limited to, a lion, a coyote, five bears, a zebra, a raccoon, and a macaw called Eli Yale.

But there hasn’t been a presidential airedale since Warren G. Harding’s “Laddie Boy,” seen here in this photo from the Library of Congress. He bears some resemblance to Crispin, I think.

So what do you think? What should the Obama family get?  I think it needs to be a dog that reflects Obama’s thoughtfulness and intelligence, that will be loyal and fearless, but that also has a sense of humor.

Hmm, sounds like some dogs I know . . . how will the Secret Service react when the airedalean mother ship lands on the White House lawn?

So what do you think–should First Dog be an airedale, a mixed breed, a hifalutin’ breed, a rescue dog, a little dog, a big dog . . . leave a comment about who should be America’s next First Dog!

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