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First lady defends dog

WASHINGTON -- In keeping with the political dictum 'don't get mad, get even,' Barbara Bush predicted Thursday that her English spaniel Millie will get the last word in a tilt with a magazine that labeled her the ugliest dog in town.

The 'ugliest' tag was hung on Millie by The Washingtonian in its current 'Best and Worst' issue.

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When Zaire's President Mobuto Sese Seko was leaving the White House after a luncheon Thursday, President Bush spotted his wife walking with Millie on the South Lawn and he escorted Mobuto over to say goodbye.

Reporters took the opportunity to ask Mrs. Bush about the assessment of the White House pet. 'Ask her, she's writing the book,' said Mrs. Bush with a smile. 'She'll get the last word.'

Mrs. Bush wrote an 'autobiography' of her dog C. Fred, and intends to write another opus for Millie.

The magazine says, 'The first lady loves her (Millie) and she's a wonderful mother. She has not bitten the president during their showers together. But let's face it: this is a very homely springer spaniel.'

The president responded to the knocks on the family dog during an interview with Los Angeles Times reporters Wednesday, saying, 'I know you guys don't write the editorials, but our dog was named the ugliest dog in Washington ... and I'd like to see some defense on the West Coast. Imagine picking on a guy's dog.'

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