The Obama girls long awaited puppy is Bo, a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog, The White House will soon make the official announcement later with the Washington Post being given the details.

From the Post’s Manuel Roig-Franzia, ‘The identity of the first puppy leaked out yesterday despite White House efforts to delay the news until the big debut planned for Tuesday afternoon. The little guy is a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog given to the Obama girls as a gift by that Portuguese water dog-lovin’ senator himself, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. The girls named it Bo. Malia and Sasha chose the name, because their cousins have a cat named Bo and because first lady Michelle Obama’s father was nicknamed Diddley, a source said. Bo’s a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he’s got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee.”

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Obama Dog Watch: Finalists in the Hunt for a Dog

The Obama family is nearing a decision on the breed for the first dog.

Before President-elect Barack Obama began his interview on the ABC program “This Week,” which was broadcast Sunday, his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, asked the host, George Stephanopoulos, to slip in this question: “What kind of a dog are we getting, and when are we getting it?”

When asked, Mr. Obama laughed “They seem to have narrowed it down to a Labradoodle or a Portuguese water hound,” he said, adding that the next step is to canvass shelters.

“We’re closing in on it,” he said. “This has been tougher than finding a commerce secretary,” a reference to the recent withdrawal by Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico as his original selection for that post.

Both breeds — a Labradoodle at top, a Portuguese water dog below — were chosen to reduce Malia’s allergy to dogs and have big Democratic backers. Senator Edward M. Kennedy owns two Portuguese water dogs, Sunny and Splash, which often flank him as he walks the halls of the Capitol. Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has a Labradoodle (part Labrador retriever, part poodle) named Brother.

Fulfilling his promise to get a dog is just one of the personal decisions that Mr. Obama and his family face as they settle into Washington.

Mr. Obama said the family planned to visit a number of churches to see “what’s comfortable.” Every president since James Madison has attended St. John’s, the Federal-style Episcopal church across Lafayette Square from the White House. But several predominantly black churches are eager to lure the Obamas, like Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, where Bill Clinton twice attended inaugural prayer services.

One family matter that appears to be going well is the Obama girls’ transition to their new school, Sidwell Friends.

“They seemed to thrive,” Mr. Obama said in the interview of their first week at the private school. “I’m trying to figure out why it is that they don’t seem to be fazed by anything.

“People think — you know, folks think I’m cool. They are a lot cooler than I am. They just don’t seem to be intimidated.”

[Source: The New York Times]

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Barack Obama’s Canine Companion

Barack Obama’s Canine Companion

ABC News’ Lindsey Ellerson Reports: As President Harry Truman once wisely noted, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have suggested that whether or not they live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year, they will take the former president’s advice.

The Obama family has used the promise of a pet as a bargaining chip in asking their daughters, Malia, 9 and Sasha, 7, for their support during the long campaign season. The American Kennel Club (AKC) took it upon themselves to offer the Obamas some guidance in finding the appropriate canine friend.

The AKC is asking Americans to cast a vote for the best qualified “first pet” for the Obama family, limiting the list of selections to hypoallergenic breeds because of Obama’s daughters’ allergies. The public has been given five solid canine choices including the Bichon Frise, the Chinese Crested, the Poodle, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and the Miniature Schnauzer.

Click here to vote.

It’s important for the public to evaluate several characteristics when choosing a presidential pup. As a presidential pet, the dog will need to be well behaved during its potential interactions with high public officials, a good travel companion, given the busy White House schedule and in the case of the Obama family specifically, small enough that the young girls are able to walk the dog. Thus far, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has been voted the premier choice, but the public has until August 19 to cast a ballot.

While the Obamas have decided a dog will be a part of their family, the timing is still up in the air. During a May appearance on Good Morning America, the couple was asked whether their two daughters had yet to receive the dog they were promised.

Sen. Obama responded that Malia and Sasha have “a year to test whether they are sufficiently responsible,” but was cut off by his wife who insisted, “They are responsible…we’re getting a dog.”

When Obama replied that he was concerned about who would be the official pet walker, the potential first lady said, “You will. You will all be walking the dog.”

“Okay. All right,” Obama conceded.
[Source: ABC News]
[Picture Source: www.visitingdc.com]

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