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Bo has Online Presence

January 2, 2010

Since the very first moment President Obama was elected there was talk online of a puppy, possibly a Labradoodle, probably a rescue. His daughter Malia suffers from allergies and so the choice needed to be hypoallergenic. (There is actually no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog but that’s a whole other issue.)

In the end the decision was seemingly taken out of their hands by a gift of Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog, by Senator Edward Kennedy, who owned three of these dogs himself. Portuguese Water Dogs do not shed, and have been described as being ‘a lively outgoing character with a mind of it’s own’ by the Portuguese Water Dog Club of Great Britain. Sounds like they didn’t stray too far from the Labradoodle after all, in character at least.

The most interesting thing about Bo is his amazing online presence. Other First Dog’s have had some. President Bush’s dog Barney had his own website and regularly appeared in the ex-President’s official messages. But something about Bo has definitely captured peoples imaginations on a different level.

Bo was officially introduced on The White House blog on the 12th April (with several professional, shiny PR photographs available for you to download), but his life as part of the First Family had already been leaked. Previously called Charlie, a unofficial website had already been created around him with no sign of where the leak had come from. His introduction video on The White House Vimeo channel is the ‘Most Played’ out of the 527 uploaded, seen by over 27 thousand people. It also features in the top ten ‘Most Liked’, alongside videos of the President addressing Congress and one of his most iconic speeches addressing the Muslim world from Cairo. He has even spawned an unofficial blog here, which is both entertaining and informative. (How else would I know that there is a gingerbread White House with a marzipan version of Bo? Or indeed that there was a gingerbread White House at all?)

Bo has brought a softer side to the White House in difficult times. Recession and the ever increasing terrorism threats have led to a shaky world. And I don’t care if he is ‘just a dog’, he is a dog that is providing me with much online amusement. May his ever increasing online presence continue, and maybe, just maybe, we could all do with a little bit of Bo inbetween those important speeches.

Bo’s First Day from White House on Vimeo.

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