SLIDESHOW: It’s Good to be Bo: The First Dog’s Paw-fect First Year at the White House

It was exactly a year ago the first pooch Bo moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, forever entering the hearts of the nation and even accomplishing the difficult task of softening the hard-nosed, sometimes tough-to-please, occasionally grumpy press who cover the White House (and also write this blog).

Bo has enjoyed what could be seen as a paw-fect (sorry, we couldn’t resist!) year as the first dog. The Portuguese water pup has gotten access to one of the most famous residences in the world. He’s frolicked on the well-manicured White House lawn with first daughters Sasha and Malia, moseyed the historic hallways, wagged his tail into the Oval Office, played football with the president and taken way-too-cute photos (insert high-pitched puppy voice here) playing in DC’s massive snowstorm dubbed “Snowmageddon.”

Moments with Bo have proven to be one of the more playful aspects of covering the White House beat, and a sometimes a welcome distraction.

The Fox News staff who covers the White House has some funny memories of the first pup from the past year:


I’ve seen and interacted (read petted and goofed around with) Bo about a dozen times. He likes to romp around the North Lawn with his White House minder in tow. Bo is given pretty wide latitude and is almost never on leash. Bo is approachable and he approaches. Like every dog, he loves to be petted and almost never barks. Bo is most surprising when he dashes up to you in the dark, which happened to me a couple of times in December and January. Bo’s little white patch of hair is virtually invisible in the dark so he can approach stealthily and, if you’re not prepared for him, give you quite a start (hint: this happened to me once….no, I didn’t pass out, but I leapt back as if I was about to step into a bear trap). But even when Bo surprises you, he’s easy to deal with. Bo doesn’t linger, though. He’s not the kind of dog that is content to laze at your feet and meditate while you pet him into sleepy submission. He’s more of the playful, darter type who comes up, says “Hi” gets 30-seconds of human affection and then dashes off to see what’s happening in some other nook of the North Lawn. And who wouldn’t if they were Bo? Also, in case you are wondering, I’ve never seen Bo relieve himself on the North Lawn. Bo, you see, is a classy dog.


He's a nice dog.  Never barked at me.


He seems like a nice dog. And there have been no reports of him biting reporters. At least not yet!


He's jumpy and easily excitable. I once saw Bo on the lawn, he came over and swirled around me then let out a hearty bark. Bo’s totally photogenic.


The night of the WH Holiday party for the press, when my guest and I left the party, guess who was coming into the White House property? Bo and his handler who had clearly been out for a nighttime walk. Bo was extremely calm as a group of about 15 party-goers oohed and aahed over him and pulled out their cameras. Bo avoided the rowdier guests, but he stopped for us and let us pet him. And, as a dog owner, I can tell you Bo is very well groomed and was just about the softest dog I’ve ever petted!

And Bo can be seen on occasion by tourists – last summer I was taking some guests on a public tour of the White House. It was a multi-generational group, and while the grandparents and parents very much enjoyed the tour, the kids could not have cared less about the White House’s antique furniture, portraits of presidents and first ladies, or the historical stories I told. But as we left the White House building, we spotted Bo being walked on the north lawn by his handler. The kids loved it – finally giving them something about the tour they liked and would tell their friends about!


Bo is quite simply the cutest, friendliest, fluffiest dog you can ever imagine. I remember covering the president’s Marine One departure as he was leaving for his first trip to the Middle East. The press, while certainly interested in any news made, was still going through the motions of another president leaving on yet another trip. Then, out bounces Bo and the media brightens up with renewed energy and vigor, circling the little guy, petting and fawning over him (myself included). The press even peppered Bo with questions about the trip. And that first dog is pretty bright, he - like other Washington types, knows the art of dealing with press questions…ignore! He did not comment, or bark.

Here is video from Bo's first day at the White House last year:

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And here's a slideshow looking back at some of his best moments: