Bo (dog)

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Bo official portrait.jpg
Official White House portrait of the First Dog
(May 2009)
Other name(s)First Dog of the United States[1][2][3]
Charlie (by previous owner)
SpeciesCanis lupus familiaris
BreedPortuguese Water Dog
BornAmigo's New Hope[4]
(2008-10-09)October 9, 2008
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedMay 8, 2021(2021-05-08) (aged 12)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Nation fromUnited States
Known forPet of the Obama family
TrainingDawn Sylvia (Hume, Virginia)
Can sit, present paw/shake, lie down, roll over, get off, wait[5]
OwnerObama family
Parent(s)Dam: Penny
(Amigo's Phor What Its Worth)
(Boyd, Texas)
Sire: Watson
(Valkyrie's Dr. Watson Is Here)
(Ambridge, Pennsylvania)[6]
Breeder: Julie Parker[7]
Appearancetuxedo/black and white
Named afterObama girls' cousins' pet cat
and also Bo Diddley

Bo[8] (October 9, 2008 – May 8, 2021) was a pet dog of the Obama family, the former First Family of the United States.[2] Bo was a neutered[9] male Portuguese Water Dog.[2]

Barack Obama and his family were given the dog as a gift after months of speculation about the breed and identity of their future pet.[10] The final choice was made partly because Malia Obama's allergies made a hypoallergenic breed necessary.

Bo was occasionally given the title "First Dog of the United States of America".[1][2][3] In August 2013, Bo was joined by Sunny, a female dog of the same breed.[11]

Adoption[change | change source]

"Michelle Obama and her oldest daughter walk a small black dog whilst Barack Obama and their youngest daughter walk a short distance behind them"
The Obamas walking with Bo

The Obamas originally wanted to adopt a dog from an animal shelter, but made no promises.[12] In the summer of 2008, Best Friends Animal Society, an animal welfare organization, gathered 50,000 signatures on a petition asking the family to adopt a shelter animal.[13]

Bo is a gift through a breeder and is not a shelter dog. Dog expert Cesar Milan said Bo was part of a larger group known as "rescue dogs". He was unsuccessful in his first home when plans for him to be friends with an older female dog did not go well.[14] The Obamas pledged a donation to the DC Humane Society in a show of support for shelter dogs.

Some animal welfare supporters criticized The White House for not adopting a shelter dog.[13] The Humane Society of the United States released a statement thanking the Obamas "for taking in a second-chance dog," but also discouraged going through breeders.[15]

Death[change | change source]

Bo died of cancer on May 8, 2021 at the Obama residence in Washington, D.C., at the age of 12.[16]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dave, By (April 20, 2009). "Vigilant press spots Bo, the first dog, out for a walk |". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "The White House – Blog Post – Meet Bo, the First Dog". Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved August 10, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cooper, Helen (April 12, 2009). "One Obama Search Ends With a Puppy Named Bo". The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2009. Other Web sites, which have been tracking the saga of the selection of the first dog, were in a frenzy over the weekend.
  4. Silva, Mark (April 12, 2009). "Obamas' dog Bo: 'Amigo's New Hope'". Archived from the original on April 16, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  5. "Obama Dog Trainer: Bo Already "Sits, Shakes, Rolls Over"". Us Weekly. April 15, 2009. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  6. "The Obama Dog Blog: Cappy's Breeder Rejects Obama Dog Connection". April 15, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
  7. Sostek, Anya (April 14, 2009). "First dog's father from Ambridge". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
  8. "Bo Obama gets a playmate! Obamas adopt another dog". Retrieved January 21, 2017.
  9. Hess, Amanda (April 13, 2009). "PETA Encourages Obamas to Neuter Neutered Dog". Retrieved April 15, 2009.
  10. "World | Obama family 'picks first puppy'". BBC News. April 12, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
  11. Feldmann, Lindie. "New little girl arrives at White House. Meet Sunny Obama. (+video)". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  12. Greene, Nick (April 15, 2009). "Obama's criticized for breaking promise of adopting dog from shelter". London: The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on April 17, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Obama's will adopt, rather than buy, a dog". San Jose Mercury News. 11 May 2008. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  14. Visitant, Carol (April 16, 2009). "5 Things You Don't Know About First Dog Bo – Barack Obama". People. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2009.
  15. "The HSUS Congratulates First Family on New White House Dog". Humane Society of the United States. April 12, 2009. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  16. Pasquini, Maria (May 8, 2021). "Michelle and Barack Obama Mourn the Death of Beloved Dog Bo". People. Retrieved May 8, 2021.

Other websites[change | change source]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
George W. Bush's Scottish Terrier
White House pet dog
April 14, 2009–January 20, 2017
Served alongside: Sunny
Succeeded by