There's a new race to the White House, and this time it's not elephants versus donkeys. It's dog versus dog. One lucky pooch will soon be given the prestigious title of first pet.
After researching his requirements—allergy-friendly, energetic, and a rescue—President-Elect Barack Obama announced on ABC News' "This Week" that he'd picked two canine candidates: The Labradoodle and the Portuguese water hound. Both breeds are known for their obedient nature and lively personalities, the American Kennel Club notes. But Obama told host George Stephanopoulos that he still has more research to do, most importantly, finding one of the breeds at a shelter in greater Washington D.C.
White House or Animal House?
While the Obamas plan to continue the tail-wagging tradition of bringing a furry friend to the White House with them, not all first family pets have been as conventional as a dog or cat. Founding father Thomas Jefferson housed two grizzly bears in a cage on the famous, manicured lawn. Rumor has it that John Quincy Adams let his pet alligator inside to take a bath. And Theodore Roosevelt's sons were responsible for bringing a pet pony not only into the house, but also onto the elevator to cheer up a sick sibling.
With past presidents walking raccoons on leashes—Calvin Coolidge—or taming tiger cubs—Martin Van Buren—on the premises, it's a wonder the house hasn't been renamed.