August 23rd, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Preparing to be 'empty nesters,' the Obamas turn to Sunny

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

(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."

Filed under: President Obama • White House
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Great idea to get another dog. It's good for Bo and it's good for the First Family.
    Sunny is adorable.

    August 23, 2013 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Perhaps they are simply AGAIN taking advantage of the public nickle.

    August 23, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  3. Marie MD

    @yes Rick because other presidents have not had various animals during their term.
    Just to enlighten you and whatever you think it's our nickel.
    Sixty eight percent (68%) of presidents had dogs. Twenty percent (20%) cats. There have also been canaries, goats, horses and even cows along with rabbits and even turkeys.
    The real ones not the rethugs /teatrolls who now do nothing in congress starting with KY.

    August 23, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  4. ST

    Unbelievable that Rick McDaniel hates even the dog! For god's sake, this small animal know nothing about being hated. This hatred has gone so far even beyond its borders. Those who can see through this, can notice something these republicans carry in their belts.

    August 23, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  5. TONE

    @Rick Mcdaniel
    do you hate this President, and his family because they are black or because he is a democrat? i am not getting it you hate the dog?

    August 23, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  6. Joan

    The people making stupid, critical comments about the Obamas getting another pet obviously don't realize how ignorant they sound. The Bush's ended up with two dogs. Was that horrible? They didn't seem to think so back then. The hatred of the Obamas by some people seems like a disease. Pretty sad.

    August 23, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |