Thursday, April 23, 2009

Advice From Barney


TO: Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog
The First Puppy

FROM: Barney, the Scottish Terrier
Former First Dog

Congratulations, kid, on your selection as the First Pup. Well done. I think you’re going to enjoy your four-year stint in The White House. Who knows? It might even be an eight-year stay. Believe me; if my boss can get reelected, anyone can!

First things first. Don’t let them stick you in the basement. It’s cold down there and not at all comfortable. Remember, you’re the First Dog. So check out the whole building and find a spot that YOU like. Might I recommend either the Green Room or the Lincoln Bedroom. Just don’t pee on the carpet. That really seems to tick everybody off.

Now you’re going to have a lot of humans trying to lead you around and tell you what to do. But unless it’s the President or the First Lady giving you orders, you can pretty much tell them to take a hike. If any of those Secret Service guys get a little too pushy, a bite or two on the ankle will let them know who’s boss, if you get my drift.

I’m sure your nose has already helped you discover where the White House kitchen is. If you’re like me, you’ll be spending a lot of time there begging for scraps. Thanks to all the banquets they have, the pickings are prime. One small word of advice. If they’re entertaining the Premier of China or the Prime Minister of South Korea, best to make yourself scarce unless you want to end up on the menu.

I see you’re going to belong to the president’s daughters Malia and Sasha. It’s great to have kids to play with and all. But if you really want to secure your place in the White House hierarchy, best to spend some time in the Oval Office with the president. After all, he’s the alpha male and if you’re in tight with him, you’ll be on easy street.

When I was First Dog, I always found that the big boss appreciated it if I did some of his dirty work for him. Like the time that French president came to visit and I peed on his leg. My owner shook his finger at me and said "Bad dog!" over and over. But we both knew that was just an act. After the French guy left, I got sirloin steak every day for the next two weeks.

One word of caution. That football-shaped thing that the president is always carting around with him? Well, it’s not really a football. Don’t make the mistake I made and go running off with it thinking your owner wants to play catch. I’m not sure what’s inside that thing but the bullet scar on my left ear still reminds me that it’s not worth finding out. Trust me, kid, stick to playing with a frisbee.

So here’s hoping you have a great time in The White House. It really is a lot of fun. One final word of advice. Steer clear of the Vice President’s office unless that scary guy Cheney is gone.
(for more Portuguese Water Dog-related humor, check out

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