Man of the House

White House dog? Here's the perfect candidate

Malia, Sasha, have I got a pet for you -- complete with many lovable quirks.

Cujo

MR. PRESIDENT, MEET CUJO: Cujo, shown during one of the rare moments when he's not running in circles or vomiting, is definitely White House material. At least that's what his owner says. (Chris Erskine)

GM is turning into a 99 Cents Only Store. Circuit City outlets are disappearing faster than Carmen Electra's career. Yet, all anyone can talk about is what kind of dog Malia and Sasha should have once they get to the White House. Let's settle this right here. I nominate our sweet little beagle, Cujo, for the role. Cujo seconds the motion.

Cujo is a storybook pup, cuddly and affectionate. When he burps, bubbles float from his mouth, and he chases them into a grassy glen. He likes to shadowbox with songbirds, or rub noses with bunnies. And he's always getting his head stuck in the honey pot while trying to make friends with bees. I'm going to miss that little scamp so much.

But a big-hearted dog like Cujo deserves the finest home possible. And the new first family deserves a first-rate first dog.

Now, Malia and Sasha, forget what your dad's aides may dig up about Cujo. You know how the media distort things. Forget all that stuff someone wrote about him having a bladder the size of a shot glass, or how he likes to sleep with his business end on my pillow. Some have suspected he doesn't know his head from his heinie, which I think makes him instant White House material.

He comes with a beautiful handler, our 25-year-old daughter, who had to move home recently -- why, I'm not sure. Mighta been the economy. Mighta been because she missed her dad so darned much.

Please note that she sleeps in on weekends -- till noon, at least. So one of you will have to walk Cujo on Saturdays and Sundays, starting at the first twinkle of dawn. He's 3 now yet not quite leash trained. We think he might be one of those "special" dogs. Or suffer from ADD. Attention Dog Disorder.

Malia and Sasha, you're going to love Cujo, you really are. There's nothing like a dog to bring life and energy to a new home.

He is at his best in the mornings, jittery and ready for the day -- like one of those Starbucks clerks who sips too much of the product. That amazing White House staff will adore him . . . so playful and full of mirth. Wait till he snatches the Thanksgiving turkey right off the buffet table.

Here's a little background on Cujo. My daughter rescued him as a pup, we think from a junkyard in Guam. He is a beagle (think Snoopy) but possesses many traits of other fine breeds. For instance, he'll chow down on the furniture like a shepherd. He'll fragrance a room like a lab. He'll piddle in the corner when no one is looking, like Billy Carter. Hey, I never said he was perfect.

His favorite shows are "Monday Night Football" and "Dancing With the Stars," which he likes to TiVo and watch over and over again, as if there is no one else in the house. He's also drawn to syndicated sitcoms. I've even seen him laugh at George Lopez, so he may very well be deaf.

Allegedly, Cujo's been fixed, but he still thinks about sex all the time and looks at me hungrily while I towel off after showering.

Truth be told, we're not even sure he is a he. From the way his belly is starting to sag, he might be pregnant. (Puppies!)

Like I said, mornings are his best time. What he'll do -- and this will drive you a little nuts, trust me -- is tap dance by the front door until you've walked him three or four times. We haven't trained him, he's trained us. He'll be glad to train you as well.

Did I mention that Cujo likes bones? My knee, my elbow, my ankle. We think he's still teething, which is something babies do. Cujo apparently has several rows of teeth (like a shark) and four stomachs (like a cow). Somehow, he can't keep anything down, which might be why he eats all the time. The other day, he threw up a toaster.

And like a shark, he's very territorial. For instance, he doesn't like when I sit next to my bride, Posh. He'll burrow between us on the couch or in bed. I guess he's just trying to protect me from Posh's advances. I'm pretty sure he thinks he and I are married.

So talk to Dad. He's a busy guy, can't burden him with details. If he balks, talk to Mom. If she passes, maybe the Bidens will take him. You could go visit Cujo after school and indulge his love of children and running in circles till he vomits and passes out.

Mr. Biden seems more like a dog guy anyway, older and only semi-aware of his surroundings. He'll barely notice when Cujo starts gnawing at his dress shoes during Cabinet meetings. Mr. Biden will probably have giggle fits when Cujo first reaches the toes. Then watch out. What happens next . . . well, good thing you girls are growing up around politics.

chris.erskine@latimes.com
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