I'm already mad about First Dog Bo, and not only because I have a serious case of puppy fever and he's incredibly cute. I'm an unabashed dog lover and the owner of a beautiful blonde cockapoo named Cassie who, like Bo the Portugese Water Dog, doesn't shed and thus is better for people who may be allergic to dogs or vacuuming. Cassie is now 10 and though I don't share this information with her, the vet calls her a "senior." I thought a frisky new friend might make her happy in her golden years until I consulted with our smart pet expert Steve Dale, who asked if Cassie likes to be around other dogs. "Not really," I answered honestly. "So would this puppy be for you or for Cassie?" Steve asked, seeing right through my motives.
In fact, those questions are ones Bo's original owners — the ones who named him Charlie but found he wasn't a "good fit" for his family — should have asked themselves before bringing the adorable one home to meet their older dog. Like most PWDs, Bo — who arrives Tuesday — is likely to have more energy than the president, which I know Sasha and Malia will love. Even after those important trainers he's been working with make him good-mannered and suitable for living in an historic house filled with antiques, he's sure to bound about the living quarters with irrational exuberance and tear up the South Lawn like a greyhound running a race for big money.
Of course, the Obamas —none of whom, reportedly, have previously owned pets — are not the first to have a dog in the White House. But the only one I ever got to meet was Buddy, the chocolate Lab acquired by President Clinton during his residence there. Buddy (who coincidentally had the same name as my previous non-shedding dog, a Wheaton Terrier) was allowed to schmooze with reporters on occasion and was doing so without restraint at a press picnic on the White House grounds when, looking for a little affection, he nosed up to my then 8-year-old daughter Alicia. She gave him lots of pets and attention, until his Secret Service detail found him.
White House photo by Pete Souza