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Portuguese water dog to be US first pet

It's decided: The Obamas have chosen a six-month-old Portuguese water dog to be the first pet.

In what was one of the White House's most tightly kept secrets, United States President Barack Obama's daughters, 10-year-old Malia and seven-year-old Sasha, have settled on a black and white pup, said a White House official speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The dog, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, who owns several Portuguese water dogs, will make his big debut on Tuesday afternoon.

The Washington Post reported online at the weekend that Obama's daughters chose the name Bo for the pup because first lady Michelle Obama's father was nicknamed Diddley. The name for the dog is most likely a reference to singer "Bo" Diddley.

White House aides said the office of the first lady arranged an exclusive deal on the dog story with the Post.

Throughout Saturday, celebrity Websites and bloggers had been abuzz with rumors of the first family's selection of a Portuguese water dog; one site even claimed it had pictures of the first pet.

The president, for his part, earlier had embraced the frenzy: "Oh, man, now, that's top secret," Obama joked last Friday to reporters.

Obama promised his daughters a puppy during the campaign.

"This is Washington. That was a campaign promise," Obama joked on Jay Leno's talk show last month. "No, I'm teasing. The dog will be there shortly."

The President and First Lady had said their choice was down to either a Portuguese Water Dog or a Labradoodle because they were good pets for children who have allergies, as Malia does.


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