No Little 'Buddies'; First Dog To Be Fixed
By Danielle Whelton/CNN
WASHINGTON (March 11) -- First dog Buddy will be neutered for "health" reasons, not because of any clashes he's had with first cat Socks, a White House spokesman said Tuesday.
The 7-month-old chocolate Labrador's impending surgery was revealed in a letter from President Bill Clinton's physician to singer-actress Doris Day, who heads a foundation that promotes animal birth control.
In her letter, Dr. Connie Mariano informed Day, "The president has asked me to inform you that, with the advice of their veterinarian, the first family plan to have Buddy neutered."
Day, president of the Doris Day Animal League, wrote to the White House in December raising the issue.
White House spokesman Barry Toiv said no date has been set for the operation and Buddy has not been informed. "Buddy's a little too young to understand," Toiv said.
Though they are reluctant, Toiv said the first family was "inclined" toward neutering for "health" reasons, and "dog overpopulation."
Reporters traveling with the president in Cleveland Tuesday asked Toiv if the neutering decision was prompted by the conflicts between the publicly combatant first pup and first feline. "I don't think that Buddy's behavior was an issue here," he said.
With the operation, the two animals will have more in common as Socks is also neutered.