First Puppy

By Jennifer Parker

Apr 12, 2009 10:02am

It’s the big news of this Easter weekend: the first family has finally settled on a dog.

Bo, a six-month-old Portuguese water dog, will join the first family in the White House on Tuesday, fulfilling a presidential campaign promise President Barack Obama made to his daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7.

The dog is a gift brokered by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

The senator, who is battling brain cancer, is such a dog-lover, he frequently takes his own Portuguese water dogs, Sonny and Splash, with him to work on Capitol Hill and has written a children’s book about their adventures.

Kennedy has been at the center of some very high-level negotiations in Washington, but this one takes the cake.

News leaked out about the first puppy yesterday morning on a new website called "TheFirstDogCharlie."

When Obama came to our studios in January at the Museum in Washington, D.C. for our exclusive interview, he brought his daughters, who got on my executive producer’s headset in the control room, giving me the question they most wanted their dad to answer.

"While you were getting made up," I told Obama, "they went into the control room and played director and producer. And they actually gave me a question they want me to ask you. You know exactly what it’s going to be."

Obama laughed, "Uh-oh. Go ahead."

On behalf of Malia and Sasha Obama, I asked, "What kind of a dog are we getting and when are we getting it?"

Obama said, "They seem to have narrowed it down to a labradoodle or a Portuguese water hound …medium-sized dog, and so, we’re now going to start looking at shelters to see when one of those dogs might come up."

"So, you’re closing in on it?" I asked Obama.

"We’re closing in on it. This has been tougher than finding a commerce secretary," the president-elect joked at the time.

Indeed, it took another three months for the president to make good on this very important campaign promise to his daughters.

On our "This Week" Roundtable this morning, ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper said a Portuguese water dog is optimal for children who suffer from allergies, as does Malia.

The Obamas have pledged to make a donation to the DC Humane Society because the dog is a pure-bred, and not from a pound.

Welcome to Washington, Bo Obama.

–George Stephanopoulos

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