CHICAGO (CBS) – It wasn’t all bad news this week for ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was just socked with a 14-year prison sentence. On Friday, he and his family picked up an adorable addition: an 8-week-old puppy.
Blagojevich and his wife, Patti, and their two daughters traveled to Chicago’s PAWS animal shelter to get a Maltipoo named Louella, which had been rescued from the city pound. A Maltipoo is part Maltese, part poodle.
Blagojevich said the tiny, tan-haired Louella would join the family’s other dog, a 3-year-old of the same mix named Skittles. The former governor said Louella likely would be renamed Twix, which is the name of another candy.
All kidding aside, Blagojevich said the two dogs would help his daughters — Amy, 15, and Annie, 8 — cope. Blagojevich is to report to federal prison on Feb. 16 to begin serving his stiff sentence for his conviction on a string of corruption charges.
“We feel these are tough times for our family, and this little puppy and Skittles over here are comforting,” a relaxed Blagojevich told reporters at an impromptu news conference. “And they’re just something that our little girls can love and cuddle with and get comfortable with.”
Blagojevich also got in a plug for PAWS, 1997 N. Clybourn Ave., a no-kill shelter. The family went there last week to select a dog; Friday was the night of pickup.
“This is a wonderful place,” Blagojevich said. “PAWS places (animals) in homes that are filled with all the things that really matter in life, which is love and companionship and family.”
Blagojevich said his family is holding up. His daughters, who were accompanied by a young friend, appeared excited about the new addition.
“We’re going to be good,” he said. “We trust in the higher purposes of things, our deep faith in God. I believe it’s all going to work out the way it ought to. So much about life is how you confront and face adversity.”
Blagojevich has been under intense media scrutiny this week, before and after his sentencing in federal court. Photographers had been watching his house Friday as he left and spilled the beans about picking up the new dog.
This weekend would be dedicated to getting the dogs acclimated to each other, Patti Blagojevich said.