President-Elect Barack Obama really got my attention on election night when he told his daughters that they would be getting a puppy to accompany them to the White House. This was a promise he had made before the campaign began and I was thrilled that he is getting his daughters, Malia and Sasha, a dog companion. They are looking for a dog that is safe for someone with allergies and their preference is a shelter dog. I do want to correct one misconception. Contrary to popular belief, many shelter dogs are purebreds that come with papers. I am a shelter dog and I am a purebred myself. I am sure the right purebred shelter dog will be found. I am so excited to find out who First Dog will be.
I intend to apply for the position of First Dogs Chief of Staff. White House pets have played important roles over the years and I want to make sure that the standards stay high. I was appalled when Barney bit that reporter. Did you see the incident getting played over and over on TV and on the web? I do not blame Barney; I blame the reporter and the person with Barney. That overhand reach was just asking for a nip. If you do not know, we see that kind of overhand, downward approach as aggressive behavior. I will be writing about this subject in a future column.
I will be filling out the Expression of Interest form on the Change.org web site to join the Obama-Biden Administration. The role of the Chief of Staff is really simple in concept. In general, a chief of staff provides a buffer between a chief executive, i.e. the First Dog, and that of the executives direct-reporting team (handlers, chefs, walkers, media, etc.). As chief of staff I will be working behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes and deal with issues before they bubble up to the First Dog. There will be lots of politics, egos and issues to deal with. Often times I will act as confidante and advisor to the First Dog, a sounding board for ideas.
I ask you to look at the web site www.presidentialpetmuseum.com and to click on pets so you can see the various First Dogs, as well as first, second and multiple pets that have lived in the White House. This is important information. Read all about the kittens and horses, dogs and sheep, birds and elephants. Over the years First pets have provided comfort to the White House occupants and hours of coverage for reporters. What they do is newsworthy.
I will be listing all of you gentle readers as a reference so I want to give you a preview of some of my initial actions as the First Dogs Chief of Staff.
Obedience training and Good Citizenship training is a must for a First Dog and for all of the people who will be involved in supporting the office of First Dog. Here is an example:
First Dog must eat prior to attending events this will avoid begging and inappropriate eating. An upset stomach from eating something inappropriate may lead to unfortunate consequences and provide an unwanted photo op.
First Dog must be allowed to visit the facilities prior to and at appropriate times during events. A puddle on a hotel carpet would be embarrassing.
First Dog handlers will not permit strangers to touch First Dog without appropriate directions.
So on and so forth. An agenda must be set to allow for appearances at events that enhance the pet companion bond and it must be set to provide maximum impact with minimum cost to the taxpayers.
The hours for the First Dog should be during the hours when Melia and Sasha are at school. Whenever the First Daughters are unavailable the First Dog is relieved from official duties and becomes the First Pet. After-hour responsibilities are to be determined by the First Family but shall include hugs, kisses and frequent private outings.
Well gentle readers, do put in a good word for me if you get called for a reference. I will only accept the position if I can continue my writing to you so dont worry that I will abandon you.
Keep your tail high and your feet dry. Love, Daisy Mae.