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Dog ‘Bo’ to join Obamas

By The Associated Press Modified: April 13, 2009 at 4:32 am •  Published: April 13, 2009
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WASHINGTON — Bo? No jest.

The first family has settled on a first pet — a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog that the Obama girls are naming Bo.

The selection was one of the White House’s most tightly kept secrets.

President Barack Obama’s daughters, 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha, picked a black and white pup, a White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Associated Press late Saturday. The dog was not in the White House as of Saturday evening.

The dog is a gift from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who owns several Portuguese water dogs.

"We couldn’t be happier to see the joy that Bo is bringing to Malia and Sasha,” Kennedy said in a statement. "We love our Portuguese water dogs and know that the girls ... will love theirs, too.”

The Washington Post reported in its online editions Saturday night that Obama’s daughters chose the name Bo for the pup because the first lady’s father was nicknamed Diddley. The name for the dog was an apparent reference to the singer "Bo” Diddley.

Obama promised his daughters a puppy during the campaign.

The president and first lady had said their choice was down to either a Portuguese water dog or a Labradoodle because they were considered good pets for children who have allergies, as Malia does.