MONTREAL(RPRN)04/13/09 – After a very long and very impatient wait (not only on the first childrenâ€™s part, on ours too), the First puppy has finally been welcomed into the White House. The name of the long awaited first pet? The Obama girls have named him Bo. Apparently, the girls have a cousin with a cat named Bo, and first lady Michelle Obamaâ€™s father was known by the nickname of â€œDiddleyâ€. Bo Diddley – the artist – was known as â€œThe Originatorâ€ for being the first to break down cultural and color barriers by bringing African American blues to rock and roll, and global acceptance. So, given the parallels, it all seems very fitting.
The news of the Portuguese water dogâ€™s arrival leaked onto the internet yesterday despite a previously, um, water tight vetting operation between the white house and Senator Ted Kennedyâ€™s office (the six-month old pup is a gift from the senator and his wife, Victoria, to the First girls, Sasha and Malia). Reports first surfaced on a mysterious website called http://firstdogcharlie.com; this despite White House efforts to delay the news until a big debut planned for Bo on Tuesday afternoon, and a promised puppy exclusive to the Washington Post.
According to a source for the Washington post, Bo is beautifully well behaved and a real charmer, despite his slightly rakish appearance. During a previous introductory session with the first family â€“ known around the White House as â€œThe Meetingâ€ â€“ he passed muster by sitting or standing along with the Obama girls, making no toileting blunders or marks on furniture, and instinctively knowing whoâ€™s Number One â€“ following behind President Obama as he crossed the room during the visit.
â€œHe’s sooooo cute,â€ the Postâ€™s source said, apparently referring to the puppy as well. â€œIt’s very exciting. They had a great meeting.â€
Exciting indeed: Bo is the Obama familyâ€™s first pet (no doubt owing to Maliaâ€™s allergies – Bo is hypo-allergenic), and neither of the first parents had dogs growing up. Younger girl Sasha was reportedly very excited, while the more sober Malia focused on all the â€œresponsibility issuesâ€ involved in caring for the puppy, according to the source.
Other than the failed attempt to keep the First puppyâ€™s arrival under wraps until his intended debut on Tuesday, Boâ€™s origins also diverge from plans the Obamas have had to adopt a rescue dog.
Faced with the fact that carefully bred non-allergenic dogs like Portuguese water dogs rarely end up in shelters, the Obamas have pledged to support abandoned pets in another way – they will be making a donation to D.C.â€™s Humane Society – so both girls with allergies and homeless dogs can benefit from this adoption.