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First Dog Rex Faces Tonsillectomy

January 13, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ First lady Nancy Reagan is warning that she might have a worried look on her face on Tuesday - her frisky year-old spaniel Rex must have an infected tonsil removed.

Elaine Crispen, Mrs. Reagan’s press secretary, said Monday that the year- old, brown-and-white King Charles spaniel has an infected tonsil and must be taken to a veterinary hospital for an overnight stay to have it removed.

Mrs. Crispen refused to say where the dog would be taken or identify the veterinarian performing the procedure. An aide to Mrs. Reagan will transport Rex to and from the hospital, Mrs. Crispen said.

″If anyone thinks I look worried tomorrow, it’s because of the puppy,″ Mrs. Crispen quoted Mrs. Reagan as telling her Monday. The first lady is scheduled to appear Tuesday at the state visit of the president of Ecuador.

President Reagan gave his wife the 16-pound puppy several weeks before Christmas as an early holiday present. The dog replaced Lucky, the 65-pound Bouvier sheep dog that had grown too large for the White House and was taken to the president’s ranch in California over Thanksgiving.

The president knew the dog had the infection when he gave it to Mrs. Reagan, Mrs. Crispen said. The breeder suggested trying medication to treat the animal before resorting to surgery, but the medicine did not do the job, she said.

The first lady planned to give the puppy a slipper to chew on to remind him of her during his stay at the animal clinic, Mrs. Crispen said.

Rex is scheduled to return to the White House on Wednesday, she said.

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