Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Squawk Jefferson's Presidential Pet Gallery

Maybe it's because the media focuses so much on how cute and cuddly I am or how mischievous I can be, but not many people know that I am a pup of very refined tastes. At night I like to curl up on the sofa with a bowl of organic dog treats made of the highest quality ingredients. I kick back, put a Bizet opera on the record player, and just calm my mind after a long day of political hubbub and media blitz. That's my idea of relaxation. Other times I go for a quiet stroll through the White House rose garden, admiring the delicate blossoms and checking in on the sparrows and robins. But my favorite thing to do is to walk the halls of the little known South Wing, which is home to the Squawk Jefferson Presidential Pet Gallery, clandestinely created in 1803 by Thomas Jefferson's highly intelligent pet mockingbird, Squawk.

Because I love my readers, I'm going to let you have a peek at some of these exquisite works of art. Until now, only presidential pets have been allowed the privilege of viewing these fine pieces. But just as my Pops is a vanguard and instigator of change, so is his dog. Thus, I present to you my favorite works of art from the Squawk Jefferson Presidential Pet Art Gallery. RIP, Squawk, and thank you for your dedication to pets everywhere.

Squawk, Thomas Jefferson's highly intelligent mockingbird, mixed media. In addition to founding the pet gallery, Squawk helped write the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. For the final document, Jefferson, at his peers' urging, cut out the phrase "We hold these truths to be self-evident..squawk!...that all birds are created equal...squawk!...that they are endowed by their Creator with certain...squawk!...unalienable Rights, that among these are Water...squawk!...Seed and the pursuit of a...squawk!...Comfy Nest."

Grins, John Quincy Adams' patriotic alligator, oil on canvas. Grins spoke out against injustices in the weaving and paper-making industries at any and all opportune moments, but not many people listened to what he had to say because they were really afraid of him.

Nanny and Nanko (I'm not sure which is which), Abraham Lincoln's goats, oil on canvas. Despite the unfounded rhetoric you might read about them, they had nothing to do with the writing of the Emancipation Proclamation and instead spent much of their time rummaging through Lincoln's trash.

Benjamin Harrison's possum, Winston, oil on canvas. He also had no practical skills.

Theodore Roosevelt's feisty pony, Algonquin, oil on canvas. I'm not sure why there was a bowl of snakes on the sidewalk when Algonquin posed for this painting, but I'm glad Sasha and Malia are just as repulsed by snakes as I am! It would just not do for the Obamas to keep vipers in the White House!

Mike, Bess Truman's loyal Irish setter, oil on canvas. Does anyone remember poor ol' Mike?

Checkers, Richard Nixon's Cocker spaniel. Not many people know this, but Checkers was actually the canine counterpart to "Deep Throat" and was known in inside circles as "Deep Bark."

Liberty, Gerald Ford's golden retriever, oil on canvas. Like his master, Liberty was very clumsy and once knocked over an eight-foot-tall house of cards that Ford had been working on for six months while in office.

Buddy and Socks (peeking from behind the tree), the Clintons' chocolate lab and black-and-white cat, oil on canvas. Unlike most Democrats and Republicans, Buddy and Socks proved that "enemies" can get along. Those two didn't even know the meaning of "bipartisanship." RIP, my furry friends.

Socks, oil on canvas. Here we see Socks on his way to a congressional hearing on stricter regulations in the pet food industry.

Who knew George W. Bush had a pet cat named Willie who roamed the second floor of the White House? But then again who knew a lot of what went on in that administration? I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's Karl Rove's pet rat, Rat Head, on the left.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Code Name: Yokohama

The Director of the Secret Service woke me up from a puppy nap about five minutes ago! Thought I was dreamin'. Wow, he sure was nice. He said I was very important and assigned me three agents! I dunno...they seem like they might be rookies! I'll give them a chance, though! We're gonna meet up tomorrow night for karaoke and sake!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Beanie Baby Bo

Ty has turned me into a Beanie Baby!


I sell for $4.99. What's next? A Bo Cabbage Patch Doll? Oh, the humanity!

Look at the photo closely. I'm not just a Beanie Baby--I'm a Beanie Baby 2.0. I guess when Ty comes out with the 3.0 upgrade I'll be history. Fortunately, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of "me" go to local animal shelters. Let's hope it's a big portion!

Monday, April 13, 2009

T-Minus One Day: Performance Anxiety

In less than 24 hours, I'll be moving on up...to a deluxe pad on Pennsylvania Avenue. Between you and me, I'm worried. No, I'm not worried that the Obamas won't treat me well. I'm not worried about getting enough food or water, or potty breaks on the White House lawn. I'm not worried about getting lost in such a big place. What am I worried about then? I'm worried about the past.

Last night, curled up on Ted Kennedy's green vinyl BarcaLounger, I had trouble sleeping. So I got up, fixed myself a dish of warm milk, and headed to the library. Whenever I can't sleep I like to read a good book. I pawed a few of the titles until I came across "Tails of the Republic: A Compendium of Presidential Pooches, 1789-2008."

All was well and good until I opened the hefty, dog-eared, leatherbound volume and laid my eyes on the dozens of distinguished First Pups who have gone before me. It didn't take long before I realized I was in over my head. Listen, I may sound smart and together and even kinda cool, but I'm just a six-month-old puppy! What do I know from the White House? I started to panic. Just look at some of the amazing canines who blazed a trail straight to D.C. before me:

Fala, FDR's Scottish Terrier

This handsome guy not only starred in a movie about a typical day in the White House but also was made an honorary private in the U.S. Army, knew all sorts of tricks, and even had his own press secretary! During the Battle of the Bulge, U.S. soldiers would often ask each other the name of FDR's dog, expecting the answer "Fala," as a safeguard against German soldiers trying to infiltrate U.S. ranks.

Yuki, Lyndon B. Johnson's Rescue Mutt

Yuki was found at a gas station by Johnson's daughter, Lucie. This white mongrel was known for his exquisite singing voice. Above, you can see Yuki engaged in a boisterous duet with the president—or perhaps he was yappily protesting the Vietnam War. The canine world may never know.

I could go on and on with further examples, but what's the point? You already fell in love with Checkers, Nixon's bouncy cocker spaniel. G.W. Bush's Scottie, Barney, had his own full-time reality show on the Internet via the White House "Barney Cam." Buddy, Bill Clinton's chocolate lab, though not in the spotlight often, apparently brokered many peace agreements in war-torn parts of the world, while George Bush, Sr.'s dog Millie was a gifted accordionist and highly sought-after telepath.

What's an unsophisticated six-month-old Portuguese water dog to do? How can I even hope to reach the bar when it's been set so very, very high?

Even worse, what if I end up like this poor pooch:

Feller, Harry S Truman's Dog for, Like, One Day

Have you ever seen a sadder looking mug? Feller, a cocker spaniel pup, was sent to the White House in 1947, a Christmas gift to Truman from a U.S. citizen. But no dog lover was the 33rd president. He immediately regifted Feller to the White House physician, garnering outrage from the public. What if I get to the White House and the Obamas don't want me? What if I end up like doe-eyed Feller, who became known across the land as "The Unwanted Dog"? What if Obama regifts me to Tim Geithner or Rahm Emanuel—or worse, Harry Reid? Oh, please, please, Sasha and Malia, hold on to me tight and never let go!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

T-Minus Two Days: The Kennedy "Stay-cation"

This morning I met the First Family. They seem like a decent bunch of folks. Actually, I can't wait to move in with them on Tuesday. You see, I've been staying with Ted Kennedy (temporarily) until all my arrangements are squared away at the White House. That day can't come fast enough!
For the past week, Kennedy has had me up until 3 a.m. doing tequila shots and listening to his scratchy old Jimmy Buffet LPs. He's been making me wear this ridiculous lei (see photo) for the past three days. And you thought Spuds MacKenzie was a party animal. This morning's hangover was outta control. Forget dog breath—I had the worst case of Cuervo mouth north of the border. Kennedy suggested a little "hair of the dog" to heal my ails, but I stuck it out with a few bites of Beneful and a couple of Alka-Seltzers. Obama family, come get me already! By the way, friends, if I get any scoop on Chappaquiddick you'll be the first to know! Bark at ya later, Bo