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Bo Obama's anniversary: First year as First Dog (PHOTOS)

Bo and family greet the public at the White House Easter Egg Roll last week. (Jason Reed/Reuters) See also our gallery of Bo's first year in photos.

The most adorable non-school-age member of the Obama family -- first dog Bo -- celebrated his first year in office on Wednesday with little fanfare, not even a mention on the White House Web site. But then, the Portuguese water dog may not realize he's internationally famous.

A gift from the late Ted Kennedy, Bo was born in October 2008 (pedigree name: Amigo's New Hope) and briefly lived with another family before making his formal White House debut last spring. Since then his major job has been to look increasingly cute in photos (Bo racing on the South Lawn, giving Oprah a high-five, barking at Santa, frolicking in his first snow). He has also made the first family even more all-American: The first lady walks him in the morning, the president at night.

Bo in snow, December 2009. (Alex Brandon/AP)

"We go out, and we're walking, and I'm picking up poop, and in the background is the beautifully lit White House," he -- the president, not Bo -- told a reporter last fall. "It's quite a moment."

The puppy brought instant fame to the relatively obscure breed. "Oh, you have the Obamas' dog!" people always say to Shannon Stagg when they see her three Porties. The president of the tri-state PWD club loves to reply: "No, the Obamas have our dog."

He also helped the public identify dogs suitable for people with allergies, said Lisa Peterson, spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club, and "started a great national conversation about responsible dog ownership." The family went through the entire process -- researching breeds, looking at shelter adoption, finding dogs that could work with Malia's allergies -- before settling on Bo. "I think they did an exceptional job. They're an active family; the match couldn't be better."

Now there are books, T-shirts, blogs and a White House baseball card devoted to Bo. But unlike Socks or Barney (and the hysterical Barney Cam), there's no page on the White House site about the reigning first dog.

In the meanwhile, he'll have to settle for being a star. Last month the History Channel's "Life After People" series had Bo wandering through the empty White House, then clamming on the Chesapeake Bay and living on seafood. Well, he is a water dog.

Previously: First Dog Is "Crazy," Says First Lady
White House Dog Photographed, Remains Cute
He Knows Where All the Bones Are Buried
First Dog Bo Obama strolls in the snow, is adorable

SEE ALSO: A gallery of Bo's first year in photos.

By The Reliable Source  |  April 15, 2010; 1:02 AM ET
Categories:  First Family  
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Here are my Happy Birthday wishes (in verse) for Bo (whom I hope to meet one day in Shirlington):

Happy (belated) birthday Bo.
I’ve got a dog your age too, you know.

Buddy’s also about one year old,
And funny-looking, truth be told.
But we love him anyway.
It’s pure joy to watch him play.

Buddy likes the water too--
There’s a great dog park in Shirlington we take him to.
It’s really big, with a stream that runs through it.
Here are the directions if you want to go to it.

Maybe we’ll see you there someday.
After all, even the First Dog needs to play.
I know you have the Rose Garden to run around in,
But there’s no water there to splash around in.

Best of all, Shirlington’s gratis,
And not just for those with celebrity status.
(Public parks like that are another great service governments provide
When they’re with adequate revenue supplied.)

I read in the paper that your “dad” walks you at night
(That would cause quite a stir if he brought you alright).
Right after work is the best time to go
(If dad’s too busy, you can bring someone else and appear incognito).

If you go, be sure you take Glebe Road (it’s a lot faster),
And do try to bring along your "master."
He’s been working hard lately and could use a diversion,
And this would be a nice excursion.

Maybe Benson and David Frum’s dogs could come along in addition
(After all, dogs don’t care about party affiliation).
So, how about it? Come on, it’d be fun.
Hope to see you in Shirlington.

(Read more articles, listen to music, get directions to Shirlington, and watch videos at

Posted by: RayinDC | April 16, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

PS: Buddy is my dog.

Posted by: RayinDC | April 16, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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