Facts about Bo Dog
Bo the Dog Biography
As the family pet of President Barack Obama and his family, Bo was the “First Dog” for nearly eight years while Obama was in the White House from 2009-2017.
Bo was a Portuguese water dog who was six months old when he joined the First Family in April of 2009. After Barack Obama’s election to the presidency on November 4, 2008, he told his daughters Sasha and Malia in his acceptance speech, “You have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.”
Bo was chosen months later, in part because Malia Obama has dog allergies and Portuguese water dogs are hypo-allergenic. Bo was a gift of Senator Ted Kennedy, who is a fan of the breed. According to The Washington Post, the pup “had been living with another family, but it wasn’t a good fit, so the Kennedys acquired him for the Obamas.” (His previous name was Charlie, the paper said.)
Bo succeeded the previous First Dog, Barney, a Scottish terrier belonging to George W. Bush. Another Portuguese water dog, Sunny, joined Bo in the White House menagerie in 2013.
Bo died on May 8, 2021, according to a statement posted by former First Lady Michelle Obama on social media. She said, in part: “This afternoon was a difficult one for our family. We said goodbye to our best friend —our dog, Bo — after a battle with cancer.”
Bo the dog was bred in Pennsylvania and born in Texas on October 9, 2008, according to an April 2009 report in The Washington Post. Sunny was born in Michigan in June of 2012, according to the White House… The George W. Bushes also had a second Scottish terrier, Miss Beazley, which President Bush gave to his wife Laura in 2005… Previous First Dogs have included Buddy, the chocolate labrador of Bill Clinton, and Millie, the White House dog under George Bush the elder… The term “First Dog” is a play on “First Lady,” the title traditionally given to the president’s wife.
Something in Common with Bo the Dog
4 Good Links
- CNN reports on the First Dog's demise in 2021
- The Washington Post breaks the story in 2009
- Tracing his birth and trail to the White House
- Early 2008 analysis from ABC News