America’s First Dogs Take Their White House Duties Seriously

Some would say Bo and Sunny live “the glamorous life,” but it comes with great responsibility — and they meet it head on.

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Making sure American pets are safe during an emergency is the theme of a recent video Bo and Sunny made. Via The White House/Facebook

Being the top dogs in the nation definitely comes with some perks.

You are waited on paw and paw, get to meet and make new human friends almost every day and get to travel with the first family of the United States.

However, with great honor comes many duties and responsibilities and, as CBC DC reports, First dogs Bo and Sunny have done their share of “representing” our nation… and being ideal companions for the Obama family.

“They can sit on my lap, they sit on my chair, they cuddle with me,” Michelle Obama told the news organization. “I like to lay on the floor with them and blow in their face. I like to make them run and chase each other. But they’re so cute, I just love to just cuddle them and massage them.”

"Brother and sister" find some spare time to play in the snow. Via The White House/Facebook

“Brother and sister” find some spare time to play in the snow. Via The White House/Facebook

But when the cuddling is done, duty calls — a lot.

“Everybody wants to see them and take pictures,” Michelle told CBC DC. “I get a memo at the beginning of the month with a request for their schedules, and I have to approve their appearances.”

From entertaining crowds at the annual Easter Egg Roll to welcoming tourists on the anniversary of the President’s inauguration, one or both of the dogs is there, usually by the first lady’s side. They reportedly also have cheered up wounded service members and brought smiles to hospitalized children who Michelle visits every holiday season.
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Both Bo — a 7-year-old male with a distinctive white chest and front paws — and Sunny — who is an all-black female and almost 4 — are Portuguese Water Dogs.

The Obama family received Bo in April 2009, a gift from the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts). He reportedly helped President Barack Obama keep a promise to daughters Malia and Sasha that they could get a dog after the election. Sunny joined the family in August 2013.

President Obama plays with Bo during their early years in the White House. Via The White House/Facebook

President Obama plays with Bo during their early years in the White House. Via The White House/Facebook

“First Pups” are not new to our country. Reportedly several dogs called the Executive Residence home including President George H.W. Bush’s English Springer Spaniel, Millie; President Bill Clinton’s Chocolate Labrador Retriever, Buddy; President George W. Bush’s Scottish Terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley; and even President Lyndon B. Johnson owned a pet Beagle, uniquely named Him.

But despite the special recognition and love that Bo and Sunny receive, Michelle Obama said they still do what dogs like to do best — get into trouble.

“You know what she [Sunny] does sometimes?” the first lady said. “She leaves the kitchen and she’ll sneak and she’ll go poop on the other end of the White House.”

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