April 13th, 2009
12:34 PM ET

Bo knows kibble

[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."]

Jack Gray
AC360° Producer/Writer

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.


Follow Jack Gray on Twitter
Related posts:
In Dog We Trust
#%$@ and the Labradoodle you rode in on

soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Troy Acker

    "Im feeling Bo-delicious!"

    April 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  2. Jennifer - Michigan

    Hi Jack,
    Very funny post today. It is a fun story, thanks for taking the time to write it. Also thanks for the laughs today. Hope you had a nice Easter. Have a great day today.

    April 13, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  3. Betty

    I love Bo. He is adorable. I hope he gets plenty of love and will be able to live his life as a dog, not a dog trophy. Good story.

    April 13, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  4. Tina

    I hope they Xray "Bo" and check him for hidden microphones.. since he's coming via the Kennedy's.. Sorry couldn't resist! 🙂

    April 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  5. Emmanuel Jean Gilles

    Bo is charming and bo's story as sharing by Mr Cooper is pretty good news. I wish Bo a two terms at the WH.

    April 13, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  6. BettyAnn, Nacogodches,TX

    Presidential Portuguese Pup Jack!
    Awww, who couldn't love that face? I'm in puppy love! I want to give Bo a big ((((hug)))).
    Yeah, yeah, I am disappointed that the Obama's didn't rescue a homeless pup, but I do love Bo! Then again, I never met a dog I didn't like. Or a dog person that I didn't like.
    Oh, hell, I like most people too! ( except Simon!)
    I do think that this is an important story! Even If President Obama did not adopt his first pet, did you know he is making a donation to the D.C. humane society anyway? That makes me feel better. He's back in my good favor which I am sure he now breathes a sigh relief. lol
    My Granddog mix looks like a dwarf Portuguese Water Dog who needs braces. I'll post a pic on twit sometime.
    I do hope that your readers choose to rescue their pets. And, to those who think that a first dog is not worthy of news time, remember the many who have said, " You can judge a society by how they treat their animals."
    That is enough kibble for now. See u on the tweet @BettyAnnTX
    Presidential Tail WAGS!

    April 13, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  7. Arlene

    Wow, Cindy from GA needs a dog : ). They make the world a happier place.

    BTW, great article. It made me smile and love my dog even more. Great job Jack!

    April 13, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  8. Carol

    THANKS~~~~We all need a big smile or (good laugh)

    April 13, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  9. JR Miami, FL

    Jack, your blog and Twitters are delightfully refreshing filled with lots of humor. LOL!!! You are an excellent writer. I hope we see a book soon. "Jack Gray and the Labradoodles"?

    April 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  10. C4days


    Thanks for the humor, I needed that. Since so much doom and gloom these days, if it wasn't for my dog Coco I would have gone insane since being laid off six months ago. Keep on making me laugh! Have a good day!

    April 13, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  11. Christine Young, Newton, MA

    If we were all dogs, the world would be a happier and safer place.........

    April 13, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  12. rhona

    Funny. So glad I discovered your Twitter thanks to AC.
    signed, a fellow black lab owner.

    April 13, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  13. Tammi

    I agree Vickie...cindy in GA...chill out! I can't believe you are serious 24/7! Geeze! Someone is in serious need of a smile.

    April 13, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  14. Cindy

    Thank you for the article about the Obama's new puppy. It is happy news and we could all use a little more of that! It seems like the Obama's put a lot of thought into the breed of dog that best matched their family, and that they were considerate of when the puppy arrived. They waited until they were all settled, the girls had their spring break alreayd, and the President and First Lady were back from their European trip. The puppy will need a calm, consistent environment as it is introduced to it's new home.
    Thank you too, Anderson, for covering this story. Dogs are the best.

    April 13, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  15. tracey-st.louis,mo

    thanks for the smile jack! loved it! ~regards~ @its_tracey

    April 13, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  16. Cindy

    @ Vickie...yes, that is right...it's just a dog so why are the media and 360 covering it so excessively? Like I said before there are other stories that should be covered but won't to enable them to fawn over the Obama's and the dog. That is ridiculous! What's even more ridiculous is that it'll be done all week long instead of covering stories that really matter and effect people.


    April 13, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  17. Laura

    I love how Cindy 'could care less' about this story but she is the one who wrote the longest comment !

    April 13, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  18. Alexandre

    Bo definitely ranks among the most adorable WH residents in a very long time but let's be fair. Barney and Miss Beazley were not slackers either in the looks department, did you ever take a good look at those whiskers and eyebrows? and how striking they looked on the lawn chasing their toys and biting reporters! Let us not castigate or defame the Scotties because of their unfortunate human family pairing...

    April 13, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  19. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Happy days are here again!---Welcome aboard "Bo,"--and my regards to BoBo.

    April 13, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  20. Lilibeth

    Oh, Jack! LOL again with your post! Maybe one day Bo and Sammy can hang out together.

    Edmonds, Washington

    April 13, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  21. Beth Floyd

    You're a great writer. I like your sense of humor

    April 13, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  22. Bob in Dallas

    Are we really sure "Bo" was born in the USA. He may not be eligible for "First Dog" status. The Republicans need to get on this one!

    April 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  23. D

    I enjoyed this article. People, relax you are acting like more important thing are not being cover. Let's come up for a breathe of air!

    April 13, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  24. gayle mccauley Malden,Mass.

    Go BO!!! A lot of your readers like to make people smile too, Jack.Like attracts like.Thank you! Sammy ,take two aspirin and a nap,you'll feel better soon! : )

    April 13, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  25. Lois Clay

    I personally want to thank you for this delightful story about Bo. No, everything in the news does not have to be somber and depressing. I get to the point where I don't even want to know what is happening because of the depressing way things are presented. Thank you again, Anderson, for the laugh and smile on my face. I, too, have a dog and 4 granddogs; all of which are dear to me. They always cheer me up and make my day much more pleasant!!

    April 13, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  26. Ginika - Reading, England

    Hey Jack,

    Nice into to d first dog. Makes it a lot more interesting.

    April 13, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  27. Mewa

    I loved it, it was fun reading about the first dog.

    April 13, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  28. Annie Kate

    Bo – nice name for a dog. Infinitely better than his Secret Service moniker. Seeing how Bo was returned by his first owners, I hope the Obama girls didn't get a lemon – there are lemon laws for cars; I wonder if they apply for dogs. At any rate with that Secret Service name of Gassy, I truly hope that the name does not reflect upon Bo's personal habits. We used to have a dog that could clear a room in 30 seconds. Good dog other than that one unfortunate characteristic.

    Thanks for the smile this morning – nothing stupid about a feel-good story. Especially now....and a puppy has the enduring charm that makes you smile over and over again.

    April 13, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  29. Linda Strasberg

    That is a wonderful and luvable looking pooch...do you think they'd appreciate receiving a complimentary set of www dot pottytrainerforpups dot com?

    April 13, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  30. Sharon S

    Cute Story and really cute dog!! I hope they plan on taking him swimming a lot!!! These dogs love the water, will be fun to swim and play with in the summer!!!
    Too cute!

    April 13, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  31. Arachnae

    I was shocked, SHOCKED to learn that the Obamas got a dog, putatively from PORTUGAL, that knows nothing about pirate fighting. What were they thinking?

    April 13, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  32. vanessa from silver spring, MD

    Biden hair plugs.lol

    Great post today Jack.

    I'm so happy the First Family finally got their dog. And i love the name they gave the dog, "Bo"

    April 13, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  33. Vickie

    Wow Cindy in GA,

    Take a chill pill. It's just a dog. 🙂

    April 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  34. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    Hi Jack, I really enjoyed the chat about the First Pup on AC 360, and who says dogs aren't news? I cannot imagine where people would be without them, or light-hearted stories like yours, that make us laugh and smile. I saw a picture of Bo on TV, and he's adorable. Looks like the Obama girls' long wait for him was worth it.

    April 13, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  35. Michelle, CT

    Sorry Jack, I love dogs more than people and sandwiches, but the reporting on it is excessive. How some things are reduced to a brief line in a news bulletin, and other things, like the dog and Mrs. Obama's clothing, are given full segments is something I can't rationalize.

    April 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  36. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    I'm all for happy news stories. A little girls' first puppy is a huge thing. If her daddy happens to be the POTUS, more power to news networks for covering it. That's one lucky puppy to have two little girls loving it so much.

    And as for the name change, Shakespeare said it best "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." I think Bo will respond to the love. What a gig being First Dog!

    April 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  37. Pamina

    You are awesome!! I for one, could use a smile once in a while! I can't wait to see the new Presidential pooch- you know who will be walking that dog at 3 in the morning!!
    Have a good day.

    April 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  38. Anna, HK

    Glad to hear the Captain is safe, pleased to hear there is 'glimmers of hope' to the economy......, & 'Bo' has finally arrived!

    And, Easter break is over, back to work tomorrow... 'highs & lows, lows & highs'.... mix it all up... it's what life is.... all about....

    April 13, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  39. Heather,ca

    Morning Jack,

    Bo is a cutepaw. Hes the luckiest dog around. Hes first paw. He has the largest backyard to play in. Im just waiting for a cat to be added and then the real fun begins. I have a catdog. My cat acts like a dog. I can just picture this years White House Xmas tree getting attacked and all hell happens. I think Newt is as Dana Bash put it being a real "Grinch". When the Bush's had their two dogs it was news. Remember the Barney "cam". That was cute but it was sorta stupid and lame. But we were all nice and respectful about it. Bo is a member of the family for the children and if you attack Bo then you are calling the children stupid. I say Sammy should go and do a little paw to paw with Bo.

    April 13, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  40. Bella


    April 13, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  41. Jasmine-Spokane, WA

    Jack, you just made my day.
    Biden's hair plugs? Pure gold.
    Loves your posts! 😛

    April 13, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  42. MarieAnne Sam

    I love Jack's style of writing and the wit behind it. It kinda makes you think and suddenly make you roll with laugher. A dose of very refreshing antics is very welcome amidst this gloomy economic doom!

    April 13, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  43. Ann

    I'm still disappointed Obama didn't support a pet rescue. There are so many wonderful dogs that need homes in America. It would have sent a positive message for saving wonderful animals from death in the shelter system.

    Also, everyone needs a laugh, even from the news. It's a nice break to not have to take something too seriously. Thanks for the great blogs, Jack.

    April 13, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  44. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    Hi, Jack!

    I agree with you. The choice of the first dog can seem futility or infantility at such a critical time, but stories like these are essential to lull people so desperate and at a time so suffered.

    Did you have think how it must be the anxiety of girls? The arrival of a 'first dog' (and this 'first dog' has a double meaning) is an unforgettable moment. Sammy to tell us, right!

    I think that as the President Obama, 'Bo' also went through arduous electoral process. lol ...
    The Obama's family will love. The dog looks so sweet.

    Ah, Jack, you know that your posts also make people smile at times bad. Thanks, Jack! 🙂

    April 13, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  45. Dee, New York

    I am just wondering how a dog can be called "Charlie" for his first six months and suddenly be renamed. Won't he have some sort of identity crisis? We got a dog from the SPCA and kept her given name- bad enough that she had to adapt to a new environment.

    April 13, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  46. Lfeik12

    Jack I love it! you really should write a book with all your stories and pictures in it! I'm sure it would be a best seller. Thanks for making me smile.

    April 13, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  47. Cindy

    HMMM..I guess Bo will become just like his owner..all style and no substance! He should fit in pretty well since he's mixed and comes from the high falutin Kennedy dogs. Just hope they can keep him out of the water...Kennedy's have a penchant for getting into trouble with it! IE..Ted.

    And yes...there is time to do lighter lesser news but not at the expense of leaving out more important stuff that should be covered. And as long as you make it a one night thing and don't carry on all week about it! There are MANY, MANY news stories out there that 360 and CNN can cover besides this. So make this a one night thing and MOVE ON! I could care less about this. I watch to see news...not joking and fooling around. If you want to see or do fluff go to E! or TMZ. If you can't do real reports and can only handle fluff then you shouldn't be on CNN anyway.


    April 13, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  48. Alyzabeth

    I've heard about the tendency of this breed to loan shark but I didn't believe it till I saw it in print on CNN's website! Might need to watch this doggie!

    April 13, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  49. Paula V., Boston, MA

    "Bo came from a breeder in Texas"...sounds like a Republican dog to me. Maybe Obama should have gotten two dogs – one Democrat, one Republican, just to be fair.

    April 13, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  50. jane MI

    Loved your story! It was great to start the day with some laughs....And your soo right, nothing wrong about talking of the First Dog...We all really
    need something to smile about these days...

    April 13, 2009 at 11:20 am |
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