A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 223: The Smallest Appointment

February 6th · 2 Comments

I am concerned that President Obama has passed two and half weeks in office already, distracting himself with Economic-Stimulus-This and Closing-Guantanamo-That, while one of the hairiest questions of his presidency hangs fire: who will be our First Dog?

You’ll recall that, in the misty-eyed moments after he won the election, Obama walked onto the stage at Grant Park with his beautiful family and, just in case everyone wasn’t already blubbering onto their campaign buttons, promised his daughters a puppy. Yet here we are on Day 17 of the Obamanation, and we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of the Fido-in-Chief.

We have a nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but no dog? What gives, Mr. Prez?

In my role as informal adviser (call anytime, Barack) I recommend a certain class of pooch. Before moving to New York I encountered this species only once, in a Paris cafe. I speak of course of the small city dog. Ninety-six percent of Manhattan canines are just slightly beefier than a coin purse, making for easy storage behind the radiator during a landlord inspection.

Word on the street is that President #44 favors a mid-size model, but I can only hope these reports are wrong. Mr. President, here are four reasons you ought to go small for the 21st Century.

Convenient To-Go Size. The stereotypical presidential dog, such as Richard Nixon’s Vicky, Clinton’s Buddy or Reagan’s Lucky, is the rough-and-tumble, go-fetch sort that requires open space. Unlike other presidents, though, Obama hails from Chicago and understands what it’s like not to have a lawn. He knows that America loves things modular. Today’s president needs a dog that can be hand-carried onto Air Force One and tossed easily into an overhead bin if it won’t stop barking back at Joe Biden.

Furthermore, a dog ought to be just the right size for Malia or Sasha to stash in a backpack and show off to their new buddies at Sidwell Friends School. Imagine the clownish fun when he escapes and Secret Service agents go lunging after the little bugger.

Do the Least Harm. If the Obamas acquire some clumsy mutt, imagine how the White House could suffer: the Mary Lincoln rug gnawed, the Eleanor Roosevelt plates smashed, the Mamie Eisenhower draperies drooled upon. We need a leave-no-trace animal that won’t shed on the Rosalynn Carter dinette set. I nominate a Chihuahua. A tiny, trembling creature has such limited urine output that it could damage only small items, such as the George W. Bush Presidential Library, which was accidentally left rolled up next to the Oval Office toilet.

A Furry Stimulus Package. Everybody knows that fashion lines rise and fall on the First Family’s sartorial choices. The Obamas could jolt a industry, and poke a wet nose under the economy, by dressing their little prince in one of the quilted jackets or fake-fur vests I’ve seen this winter on the streets of New York. C’mon, Barack; the houses of dog couture deserve a bailout at least as badly as do Citibank and Wells Fargo.

Dainty But Deadly. A small canine, aided by a few months of rigorous training at Quantico, could be a stealthy tool for the King of Cool. Imagine if, at just the right moment, somebody bit Vladimir Putin’s ankle during negotiations over oil leases in Azerbaijan. Imagine the boon to our diplomacy if Joe Biden learned to shut his mouth when he felt a warm, wet sensation on his left foot.

Now that’s some change I can believe in.

Tags: Personalities · Politics · Sights & Scenes · Why I Love This Town

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Les // Feb 6, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Lala would sign on as first pooch, but there’s entirely too much dancing around at the white house. Inside joke for those who’ve shaken it up in her presence, and have the scars to prove it.

  • 2 Sulley // Feb 7, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    First off, the king of cool was Dean Martin, and as soon as this stimulus monstrosity is passed, the hounds of hell will be revealed at leash in the hands of our hero.

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