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Fast friends Bo (left) and Sunny hang out on the White House’s North Lawn. (Pete Souza / The White House)

Meet Sunny, the New First Puppy

America’s First Family adopts another Portuguese water dog

By Jennifer Marino Walters | August 26 , 2013

Bo Obama is no longer the only First Dog barking around the White House. On August 19, the First Family welcomed a new puppy—a playful female named Sunny. Like Bo, the curly-haired Sunny is a Portuguese water dog.

“Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo—full of energy and very affectionate,” White House officials said last week. “The First Family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality.”

Though Bo and Sunny are the same breed, Sunny is all black, while Bo is black and white. She is 14 months old, and Bo is nearly 5 years old. The two quickly became friends, running around the White House’s North Lawn with a pink flamingo dog toy.

“[Sunny] jumps higher [than Bo]; she’s friskier,” Obama told reporters. “He is trying to keep up, [but] he’s loving it.”


The Obamas got Bo shortly after they moved into the White House in 2009. During his 2012 victory speech, President Obama said, “For now, one dog’s probably enough.” But he changed his mind because he felt Bo was getting lonely now that the President’s daughters, Malia, 15, and Sasha, 12, are growing up.

“[Malia and Sasha] are not always around between school [and] sports practice,” Obama told reporters. “So Bo was getting a little down in the dumps inside the house.”

First Lady Michelle Obama is also happy to have a new “baby” to care for. She has been trying to train Sunny—who has already had a few accidents on the White House floors—and to teach her to sit and catch.


Once Sunny is settled, she will likely share some of Bo’s “official” duties. Bo has visited wounded soldiers and sick children at the hospital, greeted White House guests on tours and during the Easter Egg Roll, and “inspected” the White House’s holiday decorations.

Bo has also had a lot of leisure time, including vacationing with the First Family on Martha’s Vineyard and having a “doggie play date” in October. Sunny can look forward to lots of fun as well.

“We suspect Sunny will follow in Bo’s footsteps and keep the President company in the Oval Office, go for walks with the First Family after . . . dinner, and even jump up on the First Lady’s lap from time to time!” wrote White House representatives.

In honor of Sunny, the First Family made a donation to the Washington Humane Society.

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