White House Welcomes First Dog

"Bo" the Portuguese Water Dog was a gift from Sen. Edward Kennedy.

The first dog has finally taken up residence in the White House.

The Obama family has welcomed a 6-month-old Portuguese Water Dog puppy named Bo, a gift from Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, who owns three Porties – Splash, Sunny and Cappy.

Bo first visited the White House several weeks ago, the Washington Post reports. In the secret meet-and-greet dubbed “The Meeting,” Bo charmed the family and followed the president around the room.

Bo is “sooooo cute,” an unnamed source who was at the meeting told the Post. “It’s very exciting.”

The Obama daughters, Sasha and Malia, who picked the dog’s name, were also “excited,” and discussed who would walk and feed Bo, and when.

“They’re approaching this responsibly as a family,” the source said.

The Obamas have long stated their desire to adopt a rescue dog. But PWDs are not that common (only 62 on the AKC’s list of the most popular breeds last year according to registrations), and rarely end up in animal shelters. The Kennedys acquired Bo from another family, who said the dog was not a good fit.

The president had announced his intention to get his daughters a dog during the campaign. The family-friendly “Labradoodle” (Labrador Retriever-Poodle mix) and PWD were early favorites because they are considered good pets for people who have allergies, as Malia does. 

The pick will surely increase the popularity of the PWD. But a White House staffer warns the breed is not for everyone. “They’re very energetic. They play, play, play. Then they sleep.”

Want to read more about the Obamas’ new puppy? Click here.

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