The Most Important Dog in America Arrives at White House

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America, meet Bo.
America, meet Bo. Photo: Getty Images

Despite the White House's best efforts to keep it under wraps, the identity of America's First Puppy was leaked over the weekend. Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog, arrived to meet his new family wearing a lei and bearing, presumably, lots and lots of love and kisses. The Washington Post had been promised an exclusive on the dog, but they were scooped by a rogue blog that turned up with pictures of the girls with Bo on Saturday.

Here's the short version of the story: Despite the Obama family's desire to rescue a dog, they ended up having to go through a breeder because they specifically wanted a PWD, a breed that rarely turns up in shelters. Ted Kennedy helped locate the puppy, who had been rejected by a previous family (and the Obamas will make a donation to the Humane Society of D.C.). Malia and Sasha named the dog "Bo" because they had a cousin with a cat of the same name, and because their grandfather's nickname was "Diddley."

According to the Post:

Bo charmed the first family, a source who was there said. He sat when the girls sat, stood when the girls stood. He made no toileting errors and did not gnaw on the furniture. Bo has, after all, been receiving lessons in good behavior from the Kennedys' dog trainers. These lessons have been taking place at a secret, undisclosed location outside Washington. Bo, though he was raised elsewhere, already has a keen sense of who's in charge inside the Beltway. When the president walked across the room during the visit, Bo followed obediently.


As a follow-up, this morning the Post also has a slightly tawdry account of how Bo was sired:

"There was a little kissy kissy, huggy huggy, licking of the ears," [breeder Julie] Parker recalled in an interview yesterday. While Parker sipped a Budweiser and held Penny's leash, Watson did what stud dogs do. Was it love? Apparently not. "I don't think Watson cares," said Parker, who hadn't heard that her dog sired the First Puppy until we called her yesterday.


How quickly we reach the TMI level these days, even when it comes to dogs. Still: YAAAAAYYYY! A puppy in the White House!!

The First Puppy Makes a Big Splash [WP]