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Published: Thursday, 2/26/2009

Obamas poised to pick First Dog

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Barack and Michelle Obama are leaning toward getting a Portuguese water dog as the family pet, possibly in April, for daughters Sasha and Malia. Barack and Michelle Obama are leaning toward getting a Portuguese water dog as the family pet, possibly in April, for daughters Sasha and Malia.
CHITOSE SUZUKI / AP Enlarge

WASHINGTON - This isn't just another wag-the-tail story: The Obamas are getting a dog in April and are looking for a rescue Portuguese water dog.

First Lady Michelle Obama tells People magazine that the target date for the arrival of the family pet is after her daughters' spring break trip in April, though 7-year-old Sasha is convinced the dog is coming April 1.

"So Sasha says 'April 1st.' I said, 'April.' She says, 'April 1st.' It's like, April!" said Mrs. Obama.

The Obama girls - Sasha and 10-year-old Malia - attend the private Sidwell Friends school, which has spring break March 20-29 and a day off for students on April 13.

The family wants a rescue Portuguese water dog who is the appropriate age and match.

"Temperamentally, they're supposed to be pretty good," Mrs. Obama said. "From the size perspective, they're sort of middle of the road - it's not small, but it's not a huge dog. And the folks that we know who own them have raved about them. So that's where we're leaning."

The first couple and their daughters have been going back and forth on possible names. Among the two Mrs. Obama mentioned - and nixed - were Frank and Moose.

"Oh, the names are really bad. I don't even want to mention it, because there are names floating around and they're bad," she said. "You listen and you go - like, I think, Frank was one of them. Frank! Moose was another one of them. Moose. I said, well, what if the dog isn't a moose? Moose. I'm like, no, come on, let's work with the names a little bit."

Barack Obama and his wife had promised their daughters that they would get a dog after the election.

In the interview, the First Lady discussed the family's daily routine in the White House, her efforts to keep things normal for her children, and a recent girls' night in. She said on Feb. 19, when the President traveled to Canada, she invited secretaries and policymakers to the White House for popcorn and a screening of the movie, He's Just Not That Into You.

She said she and her husband rise at 5:30 a.m., exercise in the White House gym, and typically have breakfast together. The White House chefs cook "mean waffles and grits," she said.

"We have dinner as a family together every night, and Barack, when he's not traveling, tucks the girls in," she said. "We haven't had that time together for [years], so that explains a lot why we all feel so good in this space."

The interview with Mrs. Obama appears in tomorrow's editions of People. The First Lady, dressed in a sleeveless, bright pink lace dress, is on the cover.



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