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Is there a goldendoodle in the Obamas' future?

June 9, 2008 |  3:15 pm

Lizzie_a_goldendoodle_who_lives_inEvery once in a while, Barack Obama, whose name you probably didn’t expect to see on L.A. Unleashed, mentions the fact that one of his earliest campaign promises was to his two little girls. When he decided to run for president, no matter what happens, he vowed, when it’s all over, the girls would get a dog.

Last fall in Vinton, Iowa, while shaking hands in a pharmacy and buying stuffed animals for Malia, 9, and Sasha, 6, he told reporters that Malia -- “who seems to be driving this process” -- had investigated dog breeds. Because of allergies, she settled on a goldendoodle, the golden retriever/poodle crossbreed that is touted for being hypoallergenic. (The goldengoodle at right is named Lizzie and lives in the South Bay.)

“[Malia] says this is the optimal dog,” said Obama, before patting his pocket and realizing he’d left his wallet elsewhere. (An aide handed him a $20 for the gifts.)

The other day, the dog question came up again, at the end of an interview with the Obamas, conducted by Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America" (the dog question comes at 6:24).

“And a final lightning round question,” Roberts said. “Have the girls Malia and Sasha, have they gotten their dog?

Barack: “No dog yet.”

Michelle Obama: “The deal on dog is a year from now because what we know about raising a dog is that you have to be pretty stable, so you don’t drive your dog crazy.”

Now, you wouldn’t call what happened next on the show a cat fight, but you could tell there’s a little tension in the Obama household over the dog issue. Here Barack gives the ever-so-slight hint of a flip-flop on this critically important issue.

Michelle: "So we had a conversation around the dinner table about a month ago because this came up, ‘When is the dog coming?’ So we figured a year from now in the spring we would be settled, one way or another, and we shook on it."

Barack: “And we also have a year to test whether they are sufficiently responsible.”

Michelle: “They are responsible. Malia is responsible.”

Barack: “They're responsible for a 9- and a 6-year-old, they are responsible. But whether they're going to be responsible for.... Whether they'll be responsible in the middle of the winter to go walk that dog...."

Michelle: “...We're getting a dog.”

Barack: “... when it's cold outside."

Michelle: “The dog is a done deal.” [She looks into the camera, addressing her girls:] You guys are getting a dog. Don't let Dad...."

Barack: “The dog is a done deal ... who is walking the dog, that's what we're concerned about.”

--Robin Abcarian

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