Obama Goes to the Dogs

President adopts a second Portuguese Water Dog, Sunny.

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President Obama and his family have adopted a second Portuguese Water Dog to serve as a companion for the first White House canine, Bo. The new presidential pet's name is Sunny.

"Sunny is the perfect little sister for Bo – full of energy and very affectionate – and the first family picked her name because it fit her cheerful personality," said a White House spokesman in a news release posted on the White House web site.

"We suspect Sunny will follow in Bo's footsteps and keep the president company in the Oval Office, go for walks with the first family after their 6:30 family dinner, and even jump up on the first lady's lap from time to time," the spokesman added in a folksy style that gave the news media a fun story during the dog days of August.

[READ: Walsh | Obama Escapes Washington But Not His Critics]

Sunny was born in Michigan in June 2012. She arrived at the White House Monday.

In this image released by The White House, Bo, left, and Sunny, the Obama family dogs, on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, Aug. 19, 2013.
In this image released by The White House, Bo, left, and Sunny, the Obama family dogs, on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, Aug. 19, 2013.
 

Presidential pets have become popular White House residents over the years, with special appeal to children. Franklin Roosevelt often had his picture taken with his Scottish Terrier, Fala, who became internationally known. George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara enjoyed the company of their Springer Spaniels, Millie and Ranger. Bill Clinton had Buddy, a Labrador Retriever, and Socks the cat. George W. Bush and his wife Laura were particularly fond of their Scottish Terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley.

[READ: Do You Have a Dog in This Election? Pets Are Presidential]

But few first families could match the menagerie of Theodore Roosevelt, his wife and six children. Their family pets included a small bear, five guinea pigs, a hen, a lizard, a blue macaw, a pig, a pony, a rabbit, several dogs and cats and a garter snake.

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  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com and on Facebook and Twitter.