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. Bessy


    Now I am looking forward to reading all the negative comments about the Obamas' purchase of a new dog! It may take awhile, but surely the negative comments will surface. As for myself, I am happy for the family and also for Bo, who now has a companion.
    It didn't take too long. LOL

    August 20, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  2. Free Man in the Republic of Texas


    Let's talk new dog.
    Let's talk Martha's Vineyard vacation !!!

    I think it was Thatcher who said
    sooner or latter you run out of other peoples money.

    August 20, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. B S

    Waste of tax dollars.. and who cares about a presidential dog. What a waste of a news article!

    August 20, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Joan

    The silly and rude comments by some on this board about the First Family getting a second pet are an indication of the deep seeded hatred still festering in the country. Get real people. They got a second pet which will get lots of love and also made a donation to the Humane Society. What's wrong with that? If it is your duty to criticize the President and his family at least find a sensible topic. This is just ridiculous.

    August 20, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    The most ignorant of these comments are the ones referring to "dog caretake" and a six figure salary. Sounnds like something straight from the right wing radio waves to me. Allow me to demonstrate just how far some folks have been led by the nose.

    There is no "dog caretaker" as the White House, and theire never has been. Bo has been looked after by the same individual that looked after George W. Bush's dog, the White House gardener. Anyone who told you differently, and you believed it, is laughing at for being so gullible.

    August 20, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. ThinkAgain

    OHMY: As posted elsewhere, the Obama dogs are taken care of by the same person who took care of the GW Bush dogs: The White House gardener.

    Hey, while you're contemplating how the right wing lied to you about this one, why not consider what else they've been lying to you about? (Hint: EVERYTHING)

    August 20, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Data Driven

    @Rudy NYC,

    White House Gardener = Socialism!

    August 20, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Malory Archer

    Free Man in the Republic of Texas


    Let's talk new dog.
    Let's talk Martha's Vineyard vacation !!!

    I think it was Thatcher who said
    sooner or latter you run out of other peoples money.


    Yeah, except "other peoples money" didn't pay for the Obama Family's vacation or purchase their pets. Time to take your little strawman and go back to school.

    August 20, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. kim

    lmfao at some of you idiots who think your tax dollar payed for that dog. They do actually have their own flipping money you know. Right? Just because he is not raping our country like the Bush administration did you all are consumed with hate that he has to TRY and FIX what the republicans Boffed up! So leave the Obamas and their damn dog alone you freaks!

    August 20, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  10. ThinkAgain

    @Free Man in the Republic of Texas: "16.9 TRILLION in NATIONAL DEBT"

    Check out "Top 100 Federal Funding Sources in The Texas State Budget" published by the State of Texas – and then get back to us about how much you hate "socialism."

    P.S. Were you also this upset when GW Bush was keeping the cost of 2 wars and Medicare Part D off the books? THAT – and Bush's failed economic policies of cutting taxes during wartime (NEVER done before in our nation's history), rewarding companies that outsourced American jobs and deregulating Wall Street created the vast majority of the debt. The only reason you noticed it was because President Obama had the stones to comes clean with the American people about real total of our debt instead of keeping it swept under the rug.

    August 20, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    "The most ignorant of these comments are the ones referring to a "dog caretaker" and a six figure salary. Sounds like something straight from the right wing radio waves to me. Allow me to demonstrate just how far some folks have been led by the nose."

    Good. That seemed to shut them up for now. Guess they're all busy now, tuned into their radios for the next faux talking point.

    August 20, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Bobbi

    Why would the announcer say that Bo cost $2,000 when he was given as a gift from the late Sen. Edward Kennedy?

    August 20, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. Jane

    Some things should be beyond political criticism and surely a new companion pet should be! Congrats to the Obamas on their new family member! Bo and Sunny are not political!

    August 20, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Norma Vessels

    Bo looks so happy, and Sunny looks so happy. Let them be happy .. brought to you by "Not paid for by the tax payers' money."

    August 20, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  15. dwicjan

    Hope these dogs have been spayed and neutered. Don't know how prolific this breed maybe but two dogs are enough for most households. I have two pit bulls that were adopted.

    August 20, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. larry

    the pretender in chief has a new dog. no, no he didn't divorce michelle. although the confusion is understandable. we should all shout hallelujah that cnn is there to cover the top stories and earth shattering news events.

    August 20, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. infindel

    I figured it would've been a pit bull.

    August 20, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. OK


    Will the dog caretaker get a raise now from the $102,000.00 dollars he is now making

    Gotta hand it to you wingnuts, you are so willing to publicly humiliate yourselves by repeating falsehoods over and over again. By the way, were you frothing at the mouth over Bush's dogs? They were frequently walked by members of the Presidential staff? I thought not.

    August 20, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. SuperDave

    Now that the very important matter of getting ANOTHER dog has been expertly handled by our Commander in Chief, perhaps now we can concentrate on the unemployed, underemployed, and disenfranchised people that are forgotten. Not to mention our embarrassing status in the world.

    August 20, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Frank Ucklinton

    Maybe the story should say the white house gardener got a new dog. He/she is the one taking care of it – and getting paid by us to do it. Great story CNN. And what about that debt?

    August 20, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Scott

    What's funny is I remember pure liberals who would scream about articles like this on FOX News when Bush was president, and now conservatives are screaming about CNN writing articles like this. Heads up people both stations are biased one way or the other.

    August 20, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Brian

    Of course it is not a rescue dog, the Obama's wouldn't stand for those rejects.

    August 20, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  23. Michael in Houston

    Its absolutely pathetic that there are some that can take a story about the President getting another dog and turning that into some ridiculous personal attack on the President. Are you people THAT miserably unhappy and unable to move through such moments without blasting away with your garbage??
    And you wonder why so many in this Country just dont get you folks in the GOP. Your absolutely trivial and relentlessly droning on and on over the minutae. Some of you really need to take some time on the couch with the Doc and work through your personal issues because trust me......its not a good look. You act weak and skinny.

    August 20, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. Freedom Storm

    "How can Obama deny air support for Americans under attack in Benghazi, but send the Marines to fetch his dog and basketballs after forgetting them when going on vacation?" (paraphrased) … … Patriot Post

    Also, Hillary has been most appreciative of what he’s been doing for her lately, too.

    August 20, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Nina

    It would have been nicer if they had adopted a shelter dog.

    August 20, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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