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Page last updated at 21:08 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 22:08 UK

Obama unveils presidential pooch

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President Obama and family show Bo around the White House grounds

Barack Obama has officially unveiled Bo the presidential pooch, praising its "star quality" to reporters.

The "First Puppy" - a six-month-old black-and-white Portuguese water dog - frolicked with Mr Obama and his family on the White House South Lawn.

Mr Obama promised his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, seven, a dog to reward them for coping with his campaign.

The dog does not shed hair and is said to be less aggravating for Malia who suffers from allergies.

While Mr Obama's wife held Bo on a leash for reporters to admire, her husband proudly announced: "He's got star quality."

Bo - who sports a white chest, white paws and a white goatee - was named by the Obama daughters.

He was a gift from a close friend of the family, Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Mr Kennedy, who owns three water dogs himself, said in January that he was "proud to endorse the Portuguese water dog as the next First Dog of the United States".

He said the breed would be a "perfect fit for the Obama Family" as the dogs have a "can-do and hopeful spirit" and were smart, resilient, determined, optimistic and tireless.

The choice of the US presidential pooch had been a pet topic for the nation's press ever since Mr Obama promised his daughters a puppy during the campaign.



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