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First Family’s Dog Finally Gives Birth

March 18, 1989

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Millie, the first dog, was nursing her litter of six pups today after giving birth at the White House with first lady Barbara Bush serving as midwife, a spokeswoman for Mrs. Bush said.

″Mom and babies and midwife are doing fine,″ said spokeswoman Anna Perez, who said the puppies were born over a five-hour period ending at about 2 a.m. this morning.

″It was a wonderfully uneventful birth,″ Ms. Perez said, adding that the litter contained five females and one male.

Today the puppies were ″nursing vigorously,″ and Millie had eaten as well, she said.

Mrs. Bush took Millie out for a walk twice today.

Word that Millie was about to deliver came about 9 p.m. Friday as the Bushes were entertaining a group of guests for a movie, ″New York Stories,″ in the White House theater following dinner.

Mrs. Bush slipped quietly out, and, according to Ms. Perez, ″At the end of the movie, the president announced we had two puppies and more on the way.″

Subsequently, ″the president was in on one birth, lending moral support,″ and he brought Mrs. Bush a folding mattress in the remade White House beauty salon where the birthing room had been set up.

Ms. Perez said she was talking on the phone to the first lady when, ″She said ’Here comes George with a bed. Isn’t that sweet?‴

According to Ms. Perez, the sire of the litter was another springer spaniel, Tug III, owned by a family friend, William Farish, who also gave them Millie. Tug III lives at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky.

″The puppies are all promised, but for the next four to six weeks they will live upstairs at the White House,″ the spokeswoman said.

Millie’s pregnancy had already caused an upheaval in sleeping arrangements at the highest level of the nation’s government.

Earlier Friday, President Bush disclosed that although the puppies were born in a whelping box in the beauty parlor, the dog had been spending her nights in the first family’s bedroom.

Bush said he’d been spending the nights by himself.

″The dog refuses to go to the doghouse is the problem,″ Bush told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One.

He said the dog adamantly refused to use ″a beautiful pen made for her to have this blessed event in,″ and insisted on remaining in the White House master bedroom.

On Friday, Bush had a bed moved into the beauty parlor for the first lady, Ms. Perez said. He then went to bed by himself in another room, she said.

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