August 19th, 2013
08:07 PM ET
5 years 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. mike

    how is this freaking news

    August 19, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  2. Sue

    But did they actually rescue the dog from the Washington Humane Society or did they get the dog from a breeder? I doubt they did the right thing yet again and making a donation won't cover up the fact they are keeping overbreeding alive and well.

    August 19, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    While there are literally millions who would are going hungry and would love to buy good food instead of eating dog food , our "president" buys another purebred. These animals cost at least 1,000.00 or more .Signs of the times!!!

    August 19, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  4. Faye

    What a cutie. I hope they are both 'fixed". Just so everyone is "clear" there is NO such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. If you are allergic to dogs, you are allergic to ALL dogs, fact! Still a cute pair!

    August 19, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  5. vahurst

    these dogs sure do live a ruff life!!

    August 19, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    wow.. such news.

    August 19, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  7. Laz

    Hmm. It irks me to see this as a "NEW" article on CNN. Is there nothing else more important?

    August 19, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  8. Joe from Kalispell

    Must have been tough weighing the decision between pick a new family dog or dealing with domestic and global issues.

    August 19, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  9. John

    Still smarter than any republican

    August 19, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  10. alexie z

    Aww.. what heart warming 'retchhh' excuse me, story. Coming to a theater near you: Wag The Dog 2!

    August 19, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  11. Good

    Hmmm ... Me thinks there will be little Bo Diddleys soon!

    August 19, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. Matt

    Very cute. Glad to see that Bo has a friend.

    August 19, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  13. Rob

    Think I just puked in my mouth a little. Another great piece of journalism by CNN.

    August 19, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  14. humberto

    The dog is going to jump up into someones lap ??? That figures.

    August 19, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  15. Annie

    Beautiful dogs

    August 19, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  16. CJPA

    Welcome, Sunny! I suspect you will get a lot of love in your new home and fit right in. Have a happy life with your new family!! 🙂

    August 19, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  17. billmelater1

    "go for walks with the First Family after their 6:30 family dinner" ? On Obama's Vacation the family had ONE dinner together according to NBC news. So would you expect any difference at the white house? Nooooo

    August 19, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  18. Sandra

    Manufactured Teaborg outrage in 3..2..1..

    Teaborg #1: Portugese? Portuguese? Darned illegal alien Mexicans! Does he even bark in English?

    Teaborg #2: Probably snuck across the Rio Grande.. as it IS a WATER dog!

    August 19, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  19. Trevor

    These dogs get treated better than the American people...

    August 19, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  20. Frank

    I feel bad for the dog.

    August 19, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  21. Patines

    There got to be a commercial idea behind this. Maybe selling "ex First Pets" puppies" later on.

    August 19, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  22. Wow CNN

    Are you kidding me? This is news? Come on CNN, this stuff belongs in the tabloids.

    August 19, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  23. ted

    Very good news. beats all the rest of the stuff you read and hear. Hope Sunny enjoys her new home.

    August 19, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  24. Postmaster23

    Guess the American taxpayer will be spending another $120,000 a year on a trainer. Sheesh

    August 19, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  25. Josh Malibu

    Very well! I'm impressed. People like to here about the first family. Kinda shows that the First Family is still an all american family. I wouldn't suggest reality show status, but with a few details here and there, America seems to be pleased. Is Sunny trained to behave in the office or does he do dog things like chase a bawl, wrestle and shake a stufffed animal. What would really be funny is if like Barack is on the phone and one of the guards is playing fetch with the dog. The guard rolling on the floor laughing as Sunny licks him in the face. Bet the guard would have dog hair on his coat. Barack "Im on the phone. Shhh." josh malibu

    August 19, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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