(CNN) – Even the leader of the free world can't make time stop. And just like every other parent, President Barack Obama is being forced to watch his children grow up. His two daughters, Sasha and Malia, are still years away from heading off to college, but Obama said he and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, are still bracing for it.
"What I'm discovering is that each year, I get more excited about spending time with them, they get a little less excited," Obama said of his two daughters in an exclusive interview with CNN "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo to air Friday.
So what’s a parent watching his daughters grow up to do?
How about get a dog – another dog - to ease the pain? Earlier this week, the Obamas announced the addition of a new member of the family, a Portuguese Water Dog named Sunny. And in just a few days, the president said Sunny has livened up the pace for himself and the first lady – and provided a happy face at the end of the day.
"I think there is an element from Michelle and me, we see what's coming, and we need to make sure that we have somebody who greets us at the door when we get home," Obama continued.
Not everything has gone smoothly since Sunny moved in; the president said there have already been "a couple accidents." But rest assured, he added, the new pup won't leave any permanent markings at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
"We live in rental housing," he said. "We didn't have to put down a deposit, but we are making sure that it gets cleaned up for the next occupant."
The Obamas already have a Portuguese Water Dog, Bo, who the first family brought to the White House in 2009. Getting Bo was a promise Obama made to his girls in the 2008 presidential campaign.
And it's not the just the president and his wife who have had to adjust to the girls growing up. Bo, Obama said, had gotten used to the companionship of Sasha and Malia, and was feeling a bit lonely as they began to spend more time away from home.
"They still have some responsibilities for him, but they're not always around with school, sports practice, all that stuff," he said. "And so Bo was starting to look a little down in the dumps inside the house."
The president said Sunny, a 1-year-old female from Michigan, has turned that around.
"The truth is, she's faster than he is, she jumps higher, she's friskier," Obama said. "He is trying to keep up. But I think that ultimately, he's loving it. I think that ultimately it's going to be great for him in the long term."