'Bo' Is a Go: Obamas Reportedly Pick a Dog

Six-Month-Old Portuguese water dog is a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy.

ByABC News via GMA logo
April 12, 2009, 9:10 AM

April 12, 2009 — -- Arguably, it was more talked about than the top Treasury post, more debated than the Department of Homeland Security: Who would be America's first pooch?

But now we have an answer: It's Bo, a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog the Obamas are reportedly adopting, said to be a gift from the don of Portuguese water dog lovers, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.

The president's daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, have named the black-and-white puppy Bo, according to The Washington Post, because their cousins have a cat named Bo and first lady Michelle Obama's father was nicknamed Diddley. Like Bo Diddley.

It was, for a while, the best-kept secret in Washington. Secret meetings were held on the subject, and a clandestine rendezvous was arranged just weeks ago between Bo and the Obama girls.

They hit it off, sources told the Post.

Bo is expected to arrive Tuesday.

Bo will probably be more liked by staff then the last first hound, Barney, the Bush White House dog, who famously took a bite out of a reporter.

Top Bush aide Gordon Johndroe jokingly spoke of Barney's image crisis.

"I think America has been shielded from Barney somewhat," he quipped.

But Bo has some more likable predecessors to follow. FDR's dog Falla received more fan mail than many presidents. LBJ's beagles were good listeners, and the president famously was photographed holding one of the dogs by the ears. The Clinton's dog Buddy stood by the president during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Millie, in the first Bush White House, even was credited with writing a book.

"And I think we've got a great first dog," the elder President Bush once said, "and that dog knows more about foreign policy than Gov. Clinton and [then-Sen. Al] Gore."