Buddy, America's first dog and President Clinton's trusted companion, will likely undergo an operation to make sure he brings no little Buddys into the world.
As with most decisions the president makes, this one was made after consulting with friends, experts and interest groups. Actress Doris Day, a longtime animal welfare activist, was one of many who appealed to the president to demonstrate support for canine family planning.
Although no date has been set for the procedure, White House spokesman Barry Toiv said the president "is inclined" to have Buddy fixed because of concerns for the chocolate Labrador's heath and for canine overpopulation.
Toiv confirmed that Day's group, the Doris Day Animal League, received a letter from the White House saying that the first family planned to have Buddy neutered.
White House officials were reluctant to talk about how a dog like Buddy--whose home is the White House and who is usually accompanied by Secret Service personnel most places he goes--would have the opportunity to procreate.
"The counsel's office has told me I can't answer that question," White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said with a smile, mimicking a phrase he and others often use to avoid answering questions about the investigation into whether the president had a sexual relationship with an intern.