Presidential Pets
August 19th, 2013
08:07 PM ET
11 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. Gwendolyn Carter

    Congratulations! Sunny looks like an awesome pet. I love dogs, and I think it is always good to have two dogs so they have companionship. I love the First Family, and I enjoy reading about their family life at the White House.

    August 20, 2013 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  2. surferspoint

    So, instead of donating the money to charity, they splurge on themselves.

    August 20, 2013 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  3. Jay

    I'm sure glad the Obamas got their priorities straightened out while the country is falling apart.

    August 20, 2013 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  4. MAC

    The Obama's obviously are not worried about CO2 from their dogs even though they both contribute to global warming.

    August 20, 2013 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  5. Terri

    I would never spend $2000.00 on a dog even if I had it. They are very cute, though. If they haven't been spayed or neutered there may be another white house scandal.

    August 20, 2013 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  6. Michael

    That's great. Now how about you cover real news like how the Obama administration is trying to bring back SOPA, or how his administration wants to get rid of requiring warrants to wiretap cellular phones.

    I voted for Obama twice, and I'm honestly regretting it at this point. CNN needs to start covering the actual issues and degradations to personal freedoms that are happening rather than fluff pieces like this.

    August 20, 2013 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  7. Everette Twinning

    Here's two new names that fit the bill – change 'Bo' to 'Fair Share' and the youngster to 'Part Time'. That way, they become America's dogs as well.

    August 20, 2013 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  8. dan

    this is why we have budget cuts, so the emperor can buy mutts that cost anywhere between 1000.00 – 2000.00 and the worst part about it is the mutts look like them.

    August 20, 2013 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Bo and Sunny deserve lots of treats. Beautiful dogs that they both are.
    To the haters, yes, now "they" have to pick up poop of two dogs or take them for a walk. Sort of what we do when we can't do it ourselves due to work or vacation reasons. We hire a pet sitter.

    August 20, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  10. Dixie

    Hope the girls enjoy their pet.

    August 20, 2013 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  11. CHAPLAIN ANTHONY ADIMABUA

    dogs are lovely to live with. skiloo is the name of my dog. He is an interesting friend. Am glad that Obama likes dogs. Tony from Nigeria.

    August 20, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  12. Scott in Michigan

    Great – will each dog now take it's own plane when going on vacation?

    August 20, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  13. mym82

    And how much is this dog going to cost us?????

    August 20, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  14. IvotedforObama

    Uh Oh! Let me hate on these dogs now because Obama got them. Funny how all the whiners here had no problem with Bush's dogs.

    August 20, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  15. rh

    Are they both fixed, or are we going to fix the economy by breeding puppies?

    August 20, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  16. Wake up People!

    This would normally be a feel good story about the First family. But since it's the Obama's it's filled with the usual jealous snipes.

    The level of hatred and disrespect toward this couple is astounding.
    Carry on Amurikkka, the world is watching.

    August 20, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  17. Malory Archer

    Lots of haters on this thread. Sorry that your lives are so miserable, but since your ilk is always preaching "personal responsibility" perhaps you should put that to practice and start looking inward instead of bashing the President and his family/pets for your own shortcomings.

    August 20, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  18. DogLover

    A family has a right to choose what kind of dog is suitable for them and purchasing a purebred from a good breeder, rescue or shelter are all good options. While the donation to the shelter is nice, there's absolutely no need for anyone to be pressured into feeling guilty about deciding what's right for their family. What matters is dog-owner compatibility and that the owner is making a commitment to be responsible for the dog for its entire lifetime.

    August 20, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  19. Fed up vetran

    Really CNN? The country is falling apart and this makes Top Headline news?

    August 20, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  20. Do

    Amazing how an article about a dog still attracts blind vitriol.

    August 20, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  21. mick

    Aww, they are so cute. Congrats Obama family!

    August 20, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Most of the haters sound like they've don't realize that they've been living in hamster cage, complete with a hamster wheel for them to run on, courtesy of right wing media.

    August 20, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  23. cac

    WGAF about the big "O's" new dog. Believe there are more important issues to report on.

    August 20, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  24. Natrldiver

    Just another excuse for the Obama's to spend taxpayer monies shuttling their fur bags around the country on private jets while they travel. The Obama's are a perfect example of waste, fraud and abuse.

    August 20, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. OHMY

    Will the dog caretaker get a raise now from the $102,000.00 dollars he is now making from the tax payers not the O's because he now has a second dog he has to care for. It is one thing to get a dog you make a part of your family and care for and something else to pay someone else to take care of it

    August 20, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
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