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A dog's life at the White House

THERE'S a new sensation in the White House - Bo, the first family's new dog, finally arrived on Tuesday.

The 6-month-old curly-haired black-and-white Portuguese Water Dog has excited a media frenzy in the United States, with TV networks, newspapers and Websites closely tracking the Obamas' search for a dog.

Media outlets competed to be the first to reveal the identity of the "first dog," one of the most closely kept secrets in Washington since United States President Barack Obama disclosed on election night that he had promised daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, a dog after the vote.

Bo, a gift from Senator Edward Kennedy, took his newfound celebrity in stride as the Obamas took turns walking him on the south lawn of the White House in front of a larger-than-normal White House press corps.

"I finally got a friend. It took some time," Obama joked, referring to former United States President Harry Truman's famous line: "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

The Obamas had narrowed their search to a Labradoodle or Portuguese Water Dog, a water-loving breed that get its name from its long history of helping Portuguese fishermen gather fish in nets, retrieve tackle and carry messages between ships.

Journalists passed up the opportunity to press the president on world affairs, quizzing him instead about where Bo would sleep and who would walk him.

"We will all have to take turns walking the dog," said Obama, although the question appeared to be who would be walking who after Bo broke into a run. As for sleeping? Inside the White House, but "not in my bed," Obama said.


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