[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/12/art.bosolo0412.wh.jpg caption="Bo, a six-month old Portuguese water dog, was given to the first family by Sen. Ted Kennedy."]
Well, by now you’ve heard the details: the newest member of the First Family is a six-month old male Portuguese Water Dog whom the Obama girls have named Bo and Secret Service agents have codenamed “Gassy.”
I’m sure at any moment we’ll receive a statement from Dick Cheney’s dog calling Bo “a socialist whose policy on playing fetch is putting America’s national security at risk.” And as soon as they hear the word “Portuguese” the president’s critics will be complaining about him outsourcing yet another job overseas.
Anyway, Bo came from a breeder in Texas to whom he was returned by his original family. The official word is that the family’s older dog didn’t like him. Something about Bo’s penchant for loan sharking, black market cheek implants and halfway houses in Pompano Beach, Florida. The tabloids are going to love this guy once he discovers the D.C. bar scene.
Bo, of course, succeeds Barney and Miss Beazley, the Bush family’s two Scottish Terriers who, frankly, did not set the bar for First Dogs particularly high. Miss Beazley is now waiting tables at a Dallas strip club and Barney was last seen knocking over a Radio Shack.
According to The Washington Post – which was supposed to have the exclusive until it was scooped by TMZ (take that Woodward and Bernstein) – Bo was well behaved when he met his new family for the first time. He neither peed on the carpet nor ran off with Vice President Biden’s hair plugs.
The Post also reports that Bo comes from the same lineage as Senator Ted Kennedy’s Portuguese Water Dogs. Trust me when I say that that’s good news. I’ve met two of Senator Kennedy’s dogs, Sunny and Splash. And I must say that not only are they delightful they also make a mean clam chowder.
And I guess I might as well pre-emptively address the comments and Twitter replies that I know are coming from those of you – Newt Gingrich I’m looking in your direction – who say talking about the First Dog is “stupid.” No one is suggesting this is the most important story out there. It certainly is not. Not even close. But it is a story that makes people smile. And, in a time when the headlines are dominated by partisan vitriol, economic anxiety and mass shootings, there is – I firmly believe – nothing wrong with allowing oneself a few minutes to smile.
And, on that note, I will step off my soapbox and take my own dog for a walk. If she's not too hungover.
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