Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog named after singer Bo Diddley, was a gift to Malia and Sasha Obama from Sen. Edward Kennedy.
At the time, Kennedy’s family had three Portuguese Water Dogs: Splash and Sunny, and the newest member of the family, Cappy, a pup from the same litter as Bo, affectionately named the “Hope and Change Litter.”
Since the Obamas had planned to rescue a dog, after receiving Bo as a gift, they instead pledged a donation to the Humane Society of the United States.
The Obamas are Bo’s second adoptive family, after the first one returned him to the breeder.
Portuguese Water Dogs once existed all along Portugal’s coast, where they were taught to herd fish into fishermen’s nets, retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and to act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore. They have distinctive webbed feet, one of the reasons they are such good swimmers.
PHOTO: White House