Presidential Pets
August 19th, 2013
08:07 PM ET
12 months ago

New member of the Obama family introduced

Updated at 9:33 p.m. ET on 8/19

(CNN) – There's a new Obama in town.

Sunny – a female Portuguese Water Dog – is joining Bo as “first pet,” the White House announced Monday.

Photos showed the all-black animal roaming the White House North Lawn with what appeared to be a pink flamingo dog toy.

Bo, a male of the same breed, came to the White House shortly after the Obamas first arrived at the White House in 2009. The coats of Portuguese Water Dogs are hypoallergenic, meaning Sunny and Bo won't affect first daughter Malia's canine allergies.

In a post on the White House's website, Sunny is described as "full of energy and very affectionate," whose name was chosen to "fit her cheerful personality."

She was born in Michigan, and is just over a year old, the White House said.

Sunny’s coat is completely black - unlike Bo, who has black and white “tuxedo” markings on his chest and feet.

The Obamas made a donation to the Washington Humane Society in honor of their newest pet, the White House said.

Bo first arrived at the White House in April 2009, after months of speculation about which type of dog the Obamas would bring into the executive mansion. Obama made a campaign promise to his daughters that if he was elected president, they would get a new pet.

While the president originally expressed a desire to adopt a shelter dog, Bo eventually won out for his non-allergenic coat. He came from a breeder that was also favored by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

The White House wasn’t Bo’s first home – he didn't fit in well with his first owners and was returned to the breeder. When Kennedy learned the puppy was available, he arranged to offer him to the Obamas.

Bo spent a month with Kennedy's trainer before coming to the White House. His name - which happens to be the president's initials - was explained by the first family as homage to the first lady's father, who went by the nickname Diddley.

Since arriving more than four years ago, Bo has appeared countless times with the Obamas, including in White House videos and photos. He donned bunny ears for a spot promoting the annual White House Easter Egg Roll this spring.

In their blog post Monday, the White House predicted a similar regimen for Sunny.

“We suspect Sunny will follow in Bo's footsteps and keep the President company in the Oval Office, go for walks with the First Family after their 6:30 family dinner and even ’jump up on the First Ladys lap from time to time!” the White House wrote.


Filed under: White House
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Laura A. Kane

    Well said!!!!-Michael in Houston!! Some people need to "get a life and a real issue to complain about"!!!

    August 20, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. asdrel

    I can hardly wait to see how the haters spin this story to create a reason to criticize the Obamas.

    August 20, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Dicazi

    What on earth makes this a political story??

    August 20, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Chelle

    Bart, can't reply on your comment. Portaguese Water Dogs are not "boutique" dogs. They are an old working retriever in the same family as poodles etc. Boutique dogs or designer dogs are those crosses that cost a fortune, the breeders know nothing about genetics and are basically expensive mutts.

    August 20, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. Al

    Am I the first to report that the Obama dogs have 42 secret service agents assigned to walk, scoop, & feed them their caviar and Kobe beef. Just kidding, I'm sure a couple hundred tea-billies beat me to that.

    August 20, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. ANdy

    Too many dogs in white house. Who care about them, take your American please !

    August 20, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  7. ANdy

    Your people are now all poor !

    August 20, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
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