Bo Obama, First Dog

Bo Obama, First Dog

The Easter Puppy brought a gift for Sasha and Malia Obama this weekend: their eagerly anticipated dog. Who says the administration doesn’t follow through on campaign promises?

There has been media confusion due to nomenclature mix-ups and the quaint custom of  “news embargoes” among dead-tree reporters (the dog’s debut is slated for Tuesday). Worse, all adult news editors are on vacation this week, and the smarter interns (who now research and write all U.S. news) are on Spring Break.

The facts so far:

Name:  Bo, supplied by the Obama girls. The 6-month-old male pooch was formerly called “Charlie,”  and his AKC registered name is Amigo’s New Hope, but the dog won’t be confused. At this point the pup probably just answers to the electric can opener and the rattling of the doorknob and food bowl, anyway.

Title: Consensus has settled on “First Dog,” but we like “First Pooch” and the term coined by Kriston Capps of DCist, “First Hypoallergenic Friend.”

Breed: Portuguese Water Dog is the official AKC term.  This type of dog is also called Cão de Água Português (in Portuguese, natch), Portuguese Fishing Dog, Portuguese Water Spaniel, and “Portie.” 

Color:  Black with a white ruff, perfect for DC’s many formal occasions (white dinner jackets are now optional in summer).

Coiffure: Retriever Clip. The other option, the Lion Clip, is too silly for words (look at this). Curly coat; not wavy, Jheri-curled, processed, or relaxed.

Scoop: Not the pooper-scoop, but the first to get the story — weblog (though the Washington Post claimed otherwise). Associated Press knew about Bo earlier but respected their source’s wishes and embargoed the story.

Affiliation: Democrat;  a gift to Sasha and Malia from Portie-owning Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts, a state with a large Luso-American (Portuguese-American) population, notably along the South Coast (New Bedford, Fall River). 

We are seeking venture capitalists to underwrite our new line of  “Bo Bones,” linguiça-flavored dog treats.  Maybe the Prez would want to invest, since linguiça is so popular in his home state of Hawaii that McDonald’s features this Portuguese-style sausage for breakfast.

“Linguiça” is too long for a dog name, and “Sausage” is only for dachsunds, but if the Pup-Formerly-Known-As-Charlie doesn’t like “Bo,” how about “Link?” The girls would still have to keep him out of the Lincoln Bedroom, though.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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22 Responses to “Bo Obama, First Dog”

  1. enigma4ever Says:

    it’s great isn’t it…makes one smile…knowing that those girls waited for 2 years…and they are getting their “pooch”…puppy…and yes, that a promise was kept…

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    Update: White House photos.
    Bo’s Birth Family.

    NEW! Bo’s White House debut (video: CNN via YouTube)

    But WAIT! There’s MORE! Bo on Twitter.

    Hey kids! Read Bo’s picture book.More here.

    5 Things you Didn’t Know About Bo.

  3. Bianca Says:

    Advice to the new puppy owners: “What all Good Dogs Should Know, The Sensible Way to Train”. We used this book as a “textbook” in our obedience classes along with the experienced trainers. The sooner the family learns common training principles, all together, the better. And the cute illustrations are easy for the kids to understand. Good luck and have fun with your new pup.

  4. Marilyn Says:

    Best looking thing in the White House to date….Give them HELL Bo!

  5. Joel Carson Says:

    Go Bo! It’s great to have a top dog in the White House.

  6. Chorizo Says:

    Linguiça sounds like a good name for a registered name with the call name being Ling. My full name is Fado’s Rio Chorizo with Chorizo or Choriz being me call name. Rio was my kennel name at my 2llgd Grandmother’s house.

    Most of Fado’s Kennels dogs have Portuguese names.

  7. ebbie880 Says:

    I’m really excited for the girls and am glad the Obamas were able to get a dog that was compatible with Malia’s allergies. I’m sure Bo will be well taken care of and loved. Congratulations Sasha and Malia!

  8. Richard EP Says:

    Portuguese WaterDog under Scrutiny…


    reciprocal = Do Portuguese Water Dogs eat linguiça?

  9. Mike Licht Says:

    Chorizo Says: My full name is Fado’s Rio Chorizo with Chorizo or Choriz being me call name

    Bom garoto (Good boy)! But most Luzo-Americans (like the Furtados) spell that other type of sausage “chourico.”

  10. Chris V Says:

    The first dog is great! Cute dog. Every house (even the White House) needs a dog!

  11. Top Posts « Says:

    […] Bo Obama, First Dog The Easter Puppy brought a gift for Sasha and Malia Obama this weekend: their eagerly anticipated dog. Who says the […] […]

  12. andrea Says:

    I don’t know, but why are u asking me that? lol

  13. mario gomes Says:

    Well,as a portuguese citizen, I think Bo will eat linguiça if you give it to him. I even think he can eat sardines or codfish. But what if, as American born, he is used to eating hamburguer? Good luck to Bo and bring him to Portugal one day, to visit his ancestors.

  14. Mike Licht Says:

    Andrea writes: I don’t know, but why are u asking me that? lol

    Your blog is international and concerns matters of taste.

  15. rita Says:

    So glad the Obamas got their long awaited dog.

  16. Olivia Says:

    I am 1 year older than Sasha and I think this is a great gift for the the children and the whole family. They will Love Bo. 4 weeks ago I got a portugese waterdog named America and i love the breed

  17. pawsinsd Says:

    That breed was the first I thought of for them. Unfortunately it will probably be cared for by trainers and just stop by Marine One for a photo op. Not a good job for a water dog, but as to hypo-allergenic dogs it’s right up there. Let it sniff the maids and waiters and butlers and it’ll be OK.

  18. Anne Says:

    Loved seeing Obama and the girls run with Bo / Charlie. Dogs are great ways to have fun getting exercise – see

  19. Arbor Day in DC « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] The beaver kits in the Washington area should be big enough to leave the lodge in a month or so. Please help protect them from an insane new invasive species, the Portuguese Water Dog. […]

  20. Rom Says:

    Bo Obama is the MAC Daddy of Dogs in Washington D.C.

  21. Helene Heisey Says:

    Helene Heisey…

    […]Bo Obama, First Dog « NotionsCapital[…]…

  22. Herny Teoxon Barnes Says:

    “Great Danish, Beagle with lox and cream cheese, collie-flower and German Shepperd pie.”

    Gleeful Romney supporters fired off jokes:

    “What does Obama call a dog riding on the roof of a car? Fast food.”

    “What does Barack Obama call a dog show? An international buffet.”

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