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As Obamas head to Hawaii, they leave their dog behind

By Anne E. Kornblut
HONOLULU -- President Obama and his family are due to arrive in Hawaii on Thursday afternoon to begin a 10-day vacation, but one member of the family -- Bo, the puppy -- is not making the trip.

White House officials confirmed that the Obamas' Portuguese water dog stayed behind when Marine One departed the White House on Christmas Eve. Hawaii has strict quarantine policies, requiring 120 days of pet isolation to contain rabies. And a 10-hour flight could test the discipline of any young dog. So Bo will be boarded until the family returns in early January.

Officials did not immediately disclose the puppy's whereabouts, nor confirm that Santa Claus would be able to find him to fill his stocking on Thursday night.

By Anne E. Kornblut  |  December 24, 2009; 3:51 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Cast of Characters  
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Next: McCain's flight home includes an impromptu Q&A on health care


OMG has anyone seen Michelle's arms. The Obamas are true royalty.

Posted by: cr10 | December 27, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Why is this a headline? The Obamas I am sure have left the dog in good hands.

Many great and good people have survived boarding schools and houses. Wherever BO is, he's having a wonderful holiday-- filled with love. Why attempt to make the Obama's guilty of cruelty to animals.. if you don't have all the answers?

"Happy Boxing Day". Now we need to think how we can "Box" enough food and clothing for the many people who are in need given the depression.

Posted by: Victoria5 | December 26, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Ten days of boarding a puppy is a heck of a lot worse than a 10hour flight.

Oh, and to update you on Hawaii's actual kenneling laws- a 4 month record of vaccines is all that is required, and then there is no quarantine.

But that would have required planning ahead.

Posted by: tru-indy | December 26, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Please don't tell me they left the dog with Michael Vick.

Posted by: Jerzy | December 25, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody really care that while the Obama's spend 4k per day, not to mention fuel cost, vacationing in Hawaii, whether a dog stays home? I don't. It sure would have been nice to see the Commander in Chief, instead of delaying his vacation one day to make a photo-op speech about a bill which has yet to be passed, to instead, head for Afghanistan or Iraq, to say thank you, in person, to the troops. Someone once told me, that when you demonstarte, you motivate. Mr. Obama does not see this as important, and it is a sad commentary.

Posted by: jemvbcarmagh06 | December 25, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Hawaii requires a regiment of shots and an inspection period prior to arriving in Hawaii, it is usually a 4-6 month period.

A Hawaii state identification "chip" is placed in the dog. On arrival the veterinary record and chip are inspected and the dog is then allowed in Hawaii.

However the Obama's are on vacation in a rented house, that combined with the 10 hour flight would make good sense to board the pet.

A dog arriving in Hawaii without the pre-certification veterinary inspection, chips and shots has to remain in quarantine for 90 days.

They need a vacation and so does "BO". Merry Christmas.

Posted by: COWENS99 | December 25, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

About vacations: George W lived in Texas; President Obama lives in Chicago but grew up in Hawaii. Lots of people go to their childhood homes (in the larger sense) for holidays and he has a long standing tradition of Christmas in Hawaii. Besides, he has only taken 12 days of vacation since he became President. I'm sure this is less than most of the people reading this took last year.

Posted by: mayainma | December 25, 2009 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Lots of people travel for Christmas. Lots of those people have pets who can't go with them, and they must find a friend to look after their pet, or board their pet at a kennel. This is really not news. At least two of my friends are boarding their pets for the holidays, and we are not exactly "elites"-- more like middle class working stiffs.

And the Obamas going to Hawaii for Christmas isn't much of a shocker either-- um, that's where he's from? How is this different than a Bush going to Texas, or Reagan to California, or Nixon to San Clemente, or ...?

Having trouble working up any excitement about this at all-- I"m only commenting because I"m shocked -- SHOCKED-- that anyone else has managed to do so.

Posted by: raisinmountaineer | December 24, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Its funny, every time Bush went on vacation for more than 3 days to a messy ranch in Texas, everyone cries elitism, but with Obama,
he goes to Hawaii, at Taxpayer expense, and all people can talk about is if his dog is boarded or not, meanwhile his policies will result in record debt and his new healthcare plan moves us closer to becoming a fascist socialist state, what a country!

Posted by: fairfaxgoper | December 24, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse
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Posted by: huangzhixian179 | December 24, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: yeswecan3 @LiberalbelieverinrealAmericanvalues
I thought the same thing at first. Then three thoughts came to mind. First, why should somebody else be responsible for taking care of another person's dog during the Christmas vacation. Second, the media wouldn't give that "lucky" person a moment's peace. Third, Bo is probably living better than I am at that kennel. LOL.

Do you know that the reason kennels exist is to board animals when their owners go on vacation? It seems that by boarding Bo, the Obama's are contributing to the economy, helping a small business. I would think you people would be happy about that. Bo may be living better than some people but then again there are a lot of pets living better than some people so what is your point?

How about just accepting the fact that Bo would have had to go to Hawaii four months ago in order for him to be there for vacation.

Posted by: catmomtx | December 24, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Those people are going to be spending the holidays at home with their families, not dog-sitting the first pooch.

Posted by: feinatic | December 24, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

welcome home Prez Obama.....Mele Kalikimaka from Kaua`i

Posted by: hina025 | December 24, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I thought the same thing at first. Then three thoughts came to mind. First, why should somebody else be responsible for taking care of another person's dog during the Christmas vacation. Second, the media wouldn't give that "lucky" person a moment's peace. Third, Bo is probably living better than I am at that kennel. LOL.

Posted by: yeswecan3 | December 24, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

With all the people who work at the White House, Bo has to be boarded?

Posted by: LiberalbelieverinrealAmericanvalues | December 24, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

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