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With his photogenic looks, Bo (and later Sunny, too) provided lots of ideas for the White House Christmas decorations. The dogs have been featured as robots and replicas and even on the first family’s holiday card. They’ve also come along for celebrations, both for the winter holidays and for the famed annual Easter Egg Roll.
The dogs traditionally accompany First Lady Michelle Obama to the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., when she reads the patients ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. In 2012, the kids got a kick out of 4-year-old Bo sweetly crawling into the First Lady’s lap for story time.
When he was reelected in November 2012, President Obama made clear in his victory speech that a second term didn’t exactly mean a second dog. “I am so proud of you guys,” he told his daughters, before joking, “But I will say that for now, one dog’s probably enough.” So when the family announced the arrival of another Portie the following summer, it came as a surprise to the nation. The family said Sunny, who was 1 year old, was “full of energy and very affectionate” — and she made fast friends with big brother Bo. A cute video released at the time showed the Porties romping around happily on the White House lawn.
Puppies will be puppies, even in the White House, and Sunny made headlines a few months later, when she knocked over a little girl who was visiting the White House for the holidays. Sunny was so excited to meet 2-year-old Ashton Gardner that she jumped up on the toddler and accidentally pushed her over. Thankfully Ashton wasn’t hurt — and she didn’t seem fazed by the incident. The First Lady was close by and pulled Sunny back, while helping the girl to her feet. She then introduced the two, and Sunny gave Ashton a kiss.
The dogs met lots of famous people during their time in D.C., including Pope Francis. The head of the Catholic Church visited Washington in September 2015. After a formal welcome on the White House lawn, the pontiff headed inside with the president and first lady. There, Francis, who’s named for the patron saint of animals, was delighted to greet the first dogs in the Blue Room. Official White House photographer Pete Souza captured their interaction and shared it on social media with the caption, “Yes, this happened.” The picture quickly went viral.
Yes this happened. Pope Francis greets Bo and Sunny in the Blue Room. #popeindc A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on Sep 23, 2015 at 4:09pm PDT
Yes this happened. Pope Francis greets Bo and Sunny in the Blue Room. #popeindc
A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on Sep 23, 2015 at 4:09pm PDT
Now, the countdown is on until Bo and Sunny depart the White House — the only home they’ve ever known — with their family. Luckily for Washingtonians, they may still be able to catch a glimpse of the pair once in a while. The Obamas have rented a home in the city, where they plan to stay at least until Sasha finishes high school.
What are your favorite memories of Bo and Sunny? Share them in the comments below.
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