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.


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

soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Diana

    Doesn't BO look so much like Obama himself? He walks and runs like Obama too. B stands for Barrack and O for Obama. That's soooooo cute!!!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 2:29 am |
  2. LIsette

    Uhh is the first dog name after the president itself .. BO for Barack Obama .. none caught that I guess ...

    April 14, 2009 at 12:29 am |
  3. Tanya

    Jack, I loved the article on Bo Obama!!!!! Regardless of how people like Cindy and Mike feel you did the right thing.I enjoy watching CNN and the other news shows affiliated w/CNN, Why? Because I get a variety of news, good,bad,happy,sad etc. I"ve never watch so much news in my life.I enjoy all of you and the articles. If I don't something i have a choice not the watch or hear it. GET A GRIP PEOPLE!! I would rather have a smile and day. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!!!!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:17 am |
  4. Susan S

    This is delightful! With the news filled with stories about Somali pirates, the economy, unemployment, etc., a little levity is welcomed. Welcome Bo!

    April 14, 2009 at 12:09 am |
  5. rp

    it is very nice to focus on the good things like dog ,and other stuff,but the are more important issue here ,that need to be discuss like Goldman saks who lost 2.1 billion in the last quarter of 2008 ,and surprisingly made 1.8 billion in three months.we need investigation on these people.

    April 13, 2009 at 11:55 pm |
  6. Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    Hi Jack: Another smile-filled blog post today! Now that I'm thinking of Sammy and Bo, I can't help but wonder what you'd get if you mixed a Labrador with a Portuguese Water Dog....

    A Labraportie?

    Hmmm…..get ready Jack, I think the Labradoodle is going to have some competition now. :mrgreen:

    Hail to the First Dog!

    April 13, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  7. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Jack, you've become so popular and rightfully so! But, I do remember when I could submit a comment at the end of the day and it was maybe 1 of 40!

    I'm excited that the Obama girls are finally getting their dog. But prolly not as excited as them....I am glad that you guys have continued to follow this story and bring it to us. We do need some good news in the midst of all the tough stuff that continues day in and day out! Thanks Jack and the entire CNN crew! 🙂

    April 13, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  8. John

    Please cool it on the dog coverage. Use the airwaves/bandwidth for things of significance. We don't care about this "candy news"!! Help make things better!

    April 13, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  9. Rich in Phoenix

    How remarkable that Anderson Cooper on Monday's show chose to focus on the 1st dog. Government spending is leading us to nearly $10,000,000,000,000 deficit. (if my math is correct, that is $33 thousand for every man, woman and child in America) over the next 10 years. Is there something about those figures that might catch the attention of a reputable journalist? Is there someone in the press that is looking out for taxpayers? Were there any Senators or Representatives that actually read the bills that they passed? There would be enough news about government shenanigans to keep a show going for ever. But our journalists are going to the dogs.

    April 13, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  10. deborah ricce

    oh yeah, bo obama is the cutest little thing. will he be wearing cloths
    after tomorrow or is that outfit just for today. oh well, just kidding.
    i think he is so cute and cuddley. how big will he get?

    April 13, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  11. blount

    I love it. Who don't want a dog. cute, cute, cute, to cute

    April 13, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  12. Lampe

    Obama has at least managed to keep at least one campaign promises. He let his daughters, have a dog. Of course I do wonder, if Kennedy, hadn't made a gift of the dog to the girls, would they still be waiting to get a dog ?

    April 13, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  13. Linda

    Wish the media would interview a knowledgable Portie owner willing to "tell it like it is". This is a great breed, but not for : families with young kids, couch potatoes, people not willing to do almost daily brushing and daily walks/exercise, who can't affort grooming costs. This breed was almost extinct, and thanks to the loving efforts of breeders and owners, they have carefully been bred to avoid passing along genetic problems like what has happened due to the popularity of Labs and Dalmations: which ended up in shelters once their "cuteness" from the movie wore off. Please pass this along. It would be tragic to ruin this ancient breed.

    April 13, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  14. Lilibeth

    Hi Jack, I just noticed at the end of your post, where it says "More About", you have "First Dog Bo Obama" as his own category. I love it. Too cute!


    April 13, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  15. David, Indiana

    I think this puppy will be very happy with the Obama girls. Animals always know when they're loved and I'm sure Bo has found a good home.

    As for the news question, how about "All the news that's fit to print" as a rule? The first dog is big news. It's true the media has sort of whipped up this frenzy, but frenzy it is, so we don't have any choice at this point but to go with it. I mean get some perspective here. We've seen wall to wall coverage of celebrities getting dui's complete w/ helicopter video A minute here and there devoted to a moment of domestic bliss for the first family is completely appropriate.

    Man I'm glad to get that off my chest. Thanks Jack.

    April 13, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  16. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Hey, I like good news as well as the next guy, as long as it's NEWS (ie the pirate rescue, the flight that landed in the Hudson). This endless obsession with everything Obama is just TMI. Seriously, can you think of anything other than paparazzi celebrity coverage that comes even close? They get 10 times the coverage for just doing what every other President and their families have done. It's a vitual freak show.

    April 13, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  17. Michelle

    Bo is way too cute. I am looking forward to seeing moving
    pictures of the puppy. I did a google search the public's
    interest in presidential pets is nothing new. Lighten up

    April 13, 2009 at 8:48 pm |
  18. lynn

    Mike in NY: Every media outlet is covering this story, even Fox News...you and Cindy need to chill out and accept the fact that over 60% of the population like this family and are heartened by the fact that they are so normal.

    The picture of Pres. Obama and Bo running in the hallway made me smile...and that is a good enough feeling with all the problems out there.

    April 13, 2009 at 8:30 pm |
  19. BettyAnn, Nacogodches,TX

    All ya'll leave Cindy alone if she does not want to hear a story about man's best gassy friend, Bo.
    Lordy, my RESCUED rottie Hillary (true story) is so gassy we have to air the house out. BUT, on a "lighter" note,
    everyone thinks it is nice to be able to blame it on the dog.

    April 13, 2009 at 8:16 pm |
  20. Deborah Lodge, Philadelphia

    Bo Bama.

    April 13, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  21. Pati Mc, Camp Hill, PA

    Love the fact that you used the word "vitriol". Its my favorite.

    April 13, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  22. Jacqueline, NY

    @ Cindy & Mike, Just how MANY, MANY people do any of us need reporting on the same thing (usually Bad, Sad, Horrible) news pounding it all in to our heads like MAD. You know, one could always do what I do when there is something being reporting on that I don’t care about, or feel I haven’t any use for. I Tune it out. Turn it off.

    The Power Is In YOUR hand. And you too, can go else to look for more serious, depressing news.
    Have a great day!


    April 13, 2009 at 7:53 pm |
  23. Jacqueline, NY

    LOL! Very funny, Jack, especially the part about Cheney - very funny!

    "...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."

    Jaaaack! Just because Sammy prefers the seedier side of life, doesn't mean all dogs do. Besides, Bo looks rather innocent– Hmm... on second thought, so does Sammy. Oh, well, at any rate, innocent until proving guilty, remember?

    April 13, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  24. Ken

    This is impawsible and impawrable. Nough said. I'm totally apawpletic about the news.

    April 13, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  25. Lexie

    Haha! Gassy! Love it!

    Great blog 😀

    April 13, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  26. Don, WA

    I like reading Jack Gray articles; well written and in the modern spirit of that guy who wrote Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn – and would read the JG book when it arrives.
    As for dogs, people say "All Dogs go to Heaven." But I think they come from there. From "First Dogs" to last.

    April 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  27. Lauren--NY

    Jack, thanks for sharing your talents with us. Your blogs are always hilarious, and good on you for your little soapbox moment–I firmly agree. Just because it isn't your job to entertain us doesn't mean that there should be a ban on levity. Well said, sir. Kudos to you for holding your ground in the face of some rather harsh rantings.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  28. SheilitaR

    I am upset that a shelter dog which would have badly been in need of a home was not adopted, This would have set an example for Americans who have gone crazy with this EXPENSIVE designer pooch madness in spite of the economy... So very many lovely tens of thousands of mutts from shelters need homes will receive lethal injections this year... This "Bo" is quite an ugly dog. and I am really disappointed that the Obamas accepted this animal, even if it were a gift...

    April 13, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  29. kenny

    Bo is a nice puppie.I think the first family will have a new friend to play with.I hope they won't use a" S" word on the pet as the righty always say.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  30. Miss J

    Cindy, why would you want to drive yourself crazy listening to depressing economic news 24/7?

    April 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  31. Tess

    Jack I read every word of your delightful Bo story! Yes, I smiled and returned a couple of times, through the story, to take another look at Bo's photo! Great name also!

    April 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  32. Christina

    After the day I had at work hearing about how we have had our budget cut this was the smile that I needed. You are right there just are not enough stories out there anymore that make us smile and remember that there are still good things in the world. I love your blogs keep them coming.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  33. Scott Hornsby

    Golly, Jack. Thanks goodness for dogs and blogs! Please keep up the excellent and witty writing and be sure to keep Tweeting! Can't get enough of you, man.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  34. Tarja, Finland

    Who cares what Newt Gingrich is saying! We dog owners know better !We have our hearts in the right place.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  35. Mike Syracuse, NY

    @Cindy, you are right. Think about all the other huge news stories we could be covering like; the Obama's swing set, the Obama's garden, the Obama's basketball picks, the Obama's church search, the Obama Easter Egg hunt, the Obama's meet Octo-mom, and the Obama's favorite hemorrhoid cream. Why there are dozens of Obama stories we've barely touched on. We need an all-Obama-all-the-time network just to keep up.

    April 13, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  36. Lucy A. Puniwai

    BO-BAMA!!!!!!! It has a certain ring to it! I like it!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  37. Stacy

    Finally! I was feeling quite strung along by this whole puppy thing.

    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.

    Plus? Look at that rainbow colored lei. This puppy is obviously a promoter of the evil homosexual agenda. I'm sure Michelle Bachman will be making a statement any minute now.

    Thanks for the funny, Jack.

    To Cindy, you never disappoint.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  38. Nicole Chew , Jeannette Pennsylvania

    White House Newcomer lifts leg on The Washington Post?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  39. mark

    Hey, Jack, your hilarious! Do you have to smoke something to come up with your blogs, or does this come naturally?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  40. Vanessa, TX

    Hiya Jack..I actually like talking about the First Dog..somebody told you otherwise?? what??lol
    Frankly, I'm surprised by the name that was choose. When I saw "Bo", i saw it in capital letters, figured the dog was named after the POTUS..I just thought that was weird. It was until later that I realized it was "Bo" not BO..thank goodness I got that straight...I agreed w/ Anderson on the dog name, Moose...that name would have fit the puppy beautifully..how many other Portuguese Water Dogs are named after a bodybuilder??

    Thanx for making us smile, Jack, amidst all these tragedies and economic troubles.. 🙂 Enjoy your day, Luv ya lots!

    April 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  41. L Carilo, Highlands Ranch, CO

    @ Cindy in GA. Having a bad day? Come on...this isn't you, what's going on?

    April 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  42. L Carilo, Highlands Ranch, CO

    Put a smile on my face. Thanks Jack.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  43. Miss J

    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.

    I've been telling him this for the longest time!

    Hi, my name is BO-BAMA

    I laugh at the silliest things – I thought that was funny! Maybe that's what the new dog will be known as.

    April 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  44. shamil athman

    look its bow the wonder rainbow dog:!!! 😀

    April 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  45. Carol B.

    Hi there. It's nice to hear about the first pup update. It doesn't mean the news has gone to the dogs. For additional pup culture, there's always Wegman's dogs or one of many, wonderful, still life montages in the Y.T. video, "Le Parapluie,' (music by George Brassens & photo montage by Gerado Zuniga). A must for any b&w photography fan!

    April 13, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  46. guttzy

    Hi, my name is BO-BAMA

    April 13, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  47. BettyAnn, Nacogodches,TX

    @jack~ I just talked with my friend Bo who was Senator Ted Kennedy's driver and he (laughingly) said that he IS the first dog and he would like to lift his leg on the bailout in the oval office.

    April 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  48. Rebecca Richard-Maley

    I think the dog should have been named "Carl Rover." Just let your imagination run wild with all of the possible story lines . . .

    April 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  49. BettyAnn, Nacogodches,TX

    I have a good friend who used to drive Senator Ted Kennedy and family. His name is Bo. Coincidence? Probably, but a funny one! XO

    April 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  50. PK

    After reading your comment, I am surprised that you are a CNN follower. You sound more like a FOX NEWS person. YIKES!!!!
    Lighten up girl and don't get your jollies by berating other people.

    April 13, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
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