New top dog at the White House

IT was a tale of two BOs — Barack Obama, President of America, and Bo, the newest addition to his family, a loveable curly-haired pooch.

Yesterday, the Portuguese Water Dog was finally sworn in at the White House, ending months of speculation as to who would become the First Family’s top dog.

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

But whether or not he was called after grandad or dad is likely to remain highly classified — what we do know for definite is that the dog was donated by the president’s friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.

The First Family’s choice for First Dog has sparked a copycat frenzy with the Kennel Club reporting a 125% increase in the number of people asking about the hypoallergenic breed in recent months.

Britain’s Kennel Club, a dog-owning and breeding organisation, said it had received 1,646 calls in the last five months about the Water Dog breed, a rise from 730 calls for the same period the previous year.

The Kennel Club said it expected to see an increase in the number of people wanting to buy Portuguese water dogs in the coming months.

The dog is not adopted from a shelter or a rescue group, disappointing thousands of dog lovers, but the Obama’s have pledged to make a donation to the Humane Society in lieu of a rescue adoption.

Catherine McCormick-Lelyveld, a spokeswoman for First Lady Michelle Obama, told the Chicago Sun-Times: “They were looking at shelters, but in the end the Kennedys learned of this litter mate of their dog who needed a home, and they wanted to give the girls a gift — and here we are.”

Bo took up residence on Pennsylvania Avenue yesterday, fulfilling a promise made by their father last November after election opponent John McCain had conceded defeat.


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