Dog Tale: How Bo Became First Pooch

It was puppy love at first sight.

The first family fell in love with a six-month-old Portuguese Water Dog they named Bo from the moment they saw the curly-haired, white pawed pooch -- but the cuddly pup almost didn't end up at the White House, and his tale is a remarkable one, the Washington Post reported.

Bo's began life as a part of a litter of 10 pups born at a Texas breeding facility, Amigo Portuguese Water Dogs.

The owners of the facility, unaware that Bo would be destined for the White House, bestowed upon the 10-dog bounty the title “Hope and Change Litter.” Naming the litters is a tradition at Amigos, the Post reported.

Sen. Ted Kennedy came to the farm in search of a new pup and had his eye on a pooch with curly hair who pushed his way to the front of the petting line. That pup was Bo -- then named "Amigo's New Hope," according to the paper.

Kennel owner Martha Stern said she talked Kennedy out of picking the pup because she thought a "less pushy" dog would be better suited for the Kennedy family -- already proud owners of two older Porties.
The pooch was sent then to a woman in Washington who had an older Portie already. She renamed Amigo’s New Hope, Charlie. But that pairing was not to last.

Charlie had too much energy for her existing Portie, who got annoyed when Charlie tried to nurse. The Washington woman sent little Charlie back to Amigos in March, and the family set out to find another good home, the Post reported.

That’s when Kennedy stepped in and suggested a family that might like the little furball. 

Soon after the Obama girls had a super secret meeting with their potential puppy and he charmed them immediately. Of course, dad had to approve as well, and when the president entered the room, Bo was reportedly said to have "followed obediently," the Post reported. 

 "We couldn't be happier to see the joy that Bo is bringing to Malia and Sasha. We love our Portuguese Water Dogs and know that the girls -- and their parents -- will love theirs too," the Kennedys said in a statement to the Post on Saturday.

That’s how Bo became the First Dog. The White House is set to officially introduce him on Tuesday, putting to rest months of speculation about the presidential pooch that has captivated the nation.

"This breed possesses a lot of energy, so without training or a job to do, the dog may entertain itself by running full-speed down the West Wing or barking at Republicans," said Mary Burch of the American Kennel Club. "That type of behavior may not make the best impression on visiting dignitaries, so we recommend that the Obama’s enroll Bo in an obedience class."

The Obama girls named the pup "Bo" after Michelle Obama's father, who was nicknamed Diddley, as in Bo Diddley. The girls' cousin also has a cat of the same namesake, the Post reported.

The Obamas, who had said they preferred to choose a shelter dog, may trigger a backlash of sorts for ultimately selecting a pure-breed.

That's what happened to a breeder who sold a German shepherd puppy to Vice President Joe Biden. The breeder, Linda Brown, said animal activists harassed her incessantly.

"Never, never, never again," Brown said about selling a dog to anyone with a high profile.

The Obama's solution: make a donation to the D.C. Humane Society, according to the Post.

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