President Keeps Promise to Daughters by Bringing a Dog Into the White House

Mystery solved: The Obamas have chosen Bo, a Portuguese water dog.
Mystery solved: The Obamas have chosen Bo, a Portuguese water dog. (By Pete Souza -- White House Via Associated Press)
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

President Keeps His Promise to Daughters

-- The country has a new first dog.

Bo moved into the White House yesterday, fulfilling a promise President Obama made last year to daughters Malia and Sasha that they could get a dog.

Bo is a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog, sometimes called a Portie or a PWD. Bo was a gift to the girls from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who is a fan of the breed and has a puppy from the same litter as Bo's. The breed is hypoallergenic, which means it's better for people who are allergic to dogs, and Malia Obama is allergic.

President Obama had said he wanted a dog from a shelter. But hypoallergenic dogs are not that common in shelters.

Bo isn't from the pound, but he's sort of "rescued." Bo's first owner couldn't keep him because it didn't work out with that family's other dog, so he was sent back to the breeder in Texas. Kennedy thought Bo would be good for the Obamas and sent the puppy to his own dog trainer for a while. A secret visit to the White House last month sealed the deal: Bo had found his fourth, and final, home.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company

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