Who Is Bo Obama, Anyway?

Have you heard the news? The Obamas got a dog, and they’re naming him Bo! There were some conflicting reports about Bo over the weekend (is he, in fact, from a shelter?), so we thought thought we’d straighten out things regarding the new First Dog.

  • Bo is a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog (also known as a Portie).
  • Ever since President Obama made his campaign promise to daughters Malia and Sasha, the media hasn’t stopped talking about Malia’s allergies and how their dog must be hypoallergenic. Bo will not make her sneeze.
  • Sadly, Bo isn’t a shelter dog. Michelle had been fairly adamant that their puppy would most be a rescue dog, but Bo came from a breeder. He is a bit of a reject, however, because he was purchased by someone else and then returned to the breeder after Bo (then known as Charlie) annoyed his owner’s older Portie.
  • Bo was a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy to the Obamas. After the previous owner returned him, Kennedy brought the dog to Virginia to be trained in elegant manners that would fit a pup who lived in the White House. Now, Kennedy and Obama share more than their party affiliation — Kennedy recently bought a third Portuguese water dog that is Bo’s sibling.
  • The name Bo is reportedly a reference to the Obama girls’ grandfather, whose nickname was “Diddley” (Bo Diddley was one of the earliest rock ‘n’ roll singers.)
  • He is awfully cute.
  • [Washington Post, EW, CBS News]