It’s official: Obamas welcome new first dog, Bo the Portuguese water dog


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Perhaps the most highly anticipated arrival at the White House since President Obama himself is Bo, the newly anointed first dog, who debuted to a crowd of media onlookers today.

‘He’s got star quality,’ the president said of Bo, a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog who’s lived in four homes already in his short life. The Associated Press has the details:


He was born in Texas, then moved to his first owner’s home in Washington, D.C., then spent nearly a month with Sen. Edward Kennedy’s dog trainer in Virginia, and now is moving to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. ... Bo was given up by his first owner because things weren’t working out with the family’s other dog. Kennedy and his wife,Victoria, who had two Portuguese water dogs from Bo’s breeder and acquired a third from Bo’s litter, thought Bo would be perfect for the Obamas, and gave the dog to the Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha, as a gift, the dog’s breeder and a spokeswoman for Michelle Obama said.

Rumors of the first dog’s imminent arrival reached a fever pitch last week, with hints coming from Washington insiders suggesting that the pup had already been chosen, that it was a male Portuguese water dog, that he’d been enrolled in obedience training while the president traveled overseas.

An unnamed source told Chicago’s WBBM Newsradio that the puppy was a gift, possibly from prominent Portuguese water dog owner Sen.Ted Kennedy and his family. WBBM reported that a spokesperson for the senator said it would be ‘news to us’ if in fact the Kennedys had given the puppy to the Obamas.

Say what you will about the rumor mill, but it certainly proved right this time.

Bo, whose American Kennel Club registered name is Amigo’s New Hope, was originally called Charlie by his first owners. AKC spokeswoman Daisy Okas says his new name may present some training challenges for the Obamas, since ‘Bo’ sounds a lot like ‘No.’

Okas recommends that the Obamas hire a trainer. We’re pretty confident they’ve got it covered.

-- Lindsay Barnett