Some things to know about Bo Obama, White House dog

McClatchy NewspapersApril 14, 2009 

WASHINGTON — Here are some things we know now about Bo Obama, the first family's new dog:

He's not a barker, even when confronted by a pack of at least 100 camera-, microphone- and pen-wielding journalists eager to cover any story besides the economy.

He hasn't had an accident inside the White House — yet.

All the Obamas, including the president, claim they'll take turns walking him.

He's been fixed. He has webbed feet. If he's true to his breed — a Portuguese water dog — he'll crave tomatoes.

He's black, with white front paws.

He might have play dates with Sen. Ted Kennedy's dogs, who are the same breed.

He'll be allowed into the Oval Office, but he won't be allowed to sleep with the first daughters, Malia, 10, or Sasha, 7. The White House isn't saying where Bo will sleep.

With the much-anticipated arrival of the dog Obama promised his girls during the presidential campaign, the four Obamas showed off their pup for the first time late Tuesday afternoon on the South Lawn of the White House.

"I finally got a friend," Obama joked, a reference to President Harry Truman's famous line about how to find a friend in Washington: "Get a dog." Malia's reaction was a little less sarcastic: "I love him! He's perfect!"

The sisters' enthusiasm pierced the chilly, misty, dreary backdrop. Michelle Obama held the leash for most of their roughly 15-minute outing, but Malia took the leash awhile and bouncing Bo tugged her behind him, up a slope and back down. The first family walked him past a line of cameras, and a couple of journalists bent to pet the pup.

Despite previously leaked pictures of Bo wearing a Hawaiian lei, Tuesday he wore a red collar. The president quipped that his dog had "star qualities" and said they were "very pleased" with him.

He's a gift from Kennedy and his wife, and comes from the same litter as the Kennedys' newest dog. He met the Obamas' goal of rescuing a dog, in the sense that he'd earlier been placed with another owner but wasn't a good fit. A spokeswoman for Michelle Obama said that, so far, Bo, whose hair is kept short, isn't triggering any of Malia's allergies.

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McClatchy Newspapers 2009

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