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Column: Top Picks For A Presidential Canine

This story was written by Soojin Yoon, Daily Trojan

On Jan. 20, 2009, Barack Obama will officially be designated the 44th president of the United States.

But even though theres more than two months to go before Obama assumes the position, voices across the country are coming up with a Herculean list of tasks for the president-elect: Fix the economy! Stop the War! Eliminate the BCS!

And while Im sure the Obama-Biden camp has a very similar agenda to the above, they can do little to implement any plans of action before President Bushs term is over.

So while Obama counts down the days until his lame-duck predecessor leaves office, he is left with only one dilemma that he can resolve before beginning his residency in the White House finding a canine worthy of holding the title of First Dog.

Before the start of his presidential campaign, Obama told his 7- and 10-year-old daughters they could get a dog at the conclusion of the long, hectic election season.

True to his word, the president-elect acknowledged this promise by giving the future presidential pooch a shout-out in his victory speech.

He is now faced with the epic challenge of finding the right dog for his family. Such a process is hard enough as it is, let alone with an entire nation scrutinizing your decision. To complicate things further, his eldest daughter, Malia, is allergic, requiring the presidential pet to be as loveable as it is hypoallergenic.

Obama has said he would like to adopt a shelter dog, but given that many of those breeds shed a lot of hair, odds are the presidential pooch will not come from such humble beginnings.

Who will, then, follow in the pawsteps of Barney, Spot, Buddy, Millie, Rex and Checkers? Lets examine the next best candidates for Obamadog.

The GoldendoodleThe hand-picked favorite of Malia Obama herself, the goldendoodle is a crossbreed between a poodle and golden retriever.

Characteristics: Highly intelligent, charming, confident and eager to please. Barack Obama in dog form.

Drawbacks: Overly friendly, with little to no guarding instincts. Barack Obama in dog form?

Distinguishing characteristics: Loves to swim. Who wouldnt want to play a game of Marco Polo in the White House swimming pool with their pet?

Bichon FrisA non-shedding, lap dog that looks like a cloud with legs.

Characteristics: Feisty, but sensitive and cheerful (See: McCain, John).

Drawbacks: Often labeled as stubborn, and requires daily grooming to prevent the non-shedding hair from getting matted and tangled.

Distinguishing characteristics: Commonly displays sudden bursts of energy, running around in circles until it tires out and collapses on its back. Could serve as a great icebreaker during tense talks with world leaders.

Peruvian Hairless DogThis dog is from Peru. It has no hair.

Characteristics: Affectionate but protective, lively, agile and fast.

Drawbacks: Lack of hair makes the dog cleaner than most other breeds, but the skin requires care in the way of moisturizing and protection from extreme temperatures. Also prone to acne and blackheads, which could make the family dog an unsightly distraction in photo ops.

Distinguishing Characteristics: Ancestry traces back to the Inca Empire incorporating anything from one of the worlds greatest civilizations in world history into the new presidential term cant hurt.

GreyhoundA serious contender for top billing next to the Goldendoodle.

Characteristics: Thin, intelligent, affectionate, quiet and gentle.

Drawacks: Lazy. Some have referred to the greyhound as the fastest couch potato. Additionally, because of the dogs mutant-like strength and speed, owners must take special precautions, such as 5-foot-high fences and permanent leashes to try to curb the inbred desire to chase prey.

Distinguishing Characteristics: The greyhound is the fastest breed of dog on the planet, capable of reaching speeds of up to 41 mph. Imagine the arm strength the Obama girls would develop playing endless games of fetch on the White House lawn.

If the Obama family does in fact choose any of the breeds Ive listed above, Ill take full responsibility, assuming my words help to nudge them in the right direction.

While many have offered their self-aggrandizing opinions on which dog would be best for the Obamas, ultimately, its irrelevant as to which breed they end up choosing,

There are few things in politics that everyone can agree on, but one would be hard-pressed to be infuriated by whatever type of dog they decide on.

Unless of course, youre a cat lover.

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