In Offense of Bo by Robyn

Barack Obama’s dog BO, originally uploaded by

Tired of playing defense, Robyn goes on the offensive.

I was one of the many Americans who opened up their newspaper (browsers) today to see DC’s newest DCelebrity Bo, the new White House Dog. But I was NOT one of the many Americans who cooed at the photos of the 6-month-old pup romping around the White House lawns with a stiff-suited Obama running after him. Why? Because I don’t like Bo.

First of all, a Portuguese Water Dog? While I’m no Westminster judge, I do watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet and count the film Best in Show as my all-time favorites, and I’ve never heard of such an animal. Why does the White House need a Portuguese Water Dog? Someone please show me where DC’s sandy beaches are. And wouldn’t you think the Obamas would have gotten a Lassie lookalike, or goofy Chesapeake Water Dog, or even a slightly-stupid but always happy Labrador retriever (my childhood lab liked to take naps in the middle of the road those things are NOT smart). Or what about a super-smart Border Collie that can double as an advisor of some sort? Hasn’t Obama ever seen Babe?

Secondly, Bo is just plain ugly. You can’t even see his eyes due to his retro hairstyle, he’s got two pointless white front paws, and he has a ratty tail. My parents’ overweight three-legged mutt, Sammy, is cuter. He wouldn’t even shake Bo’s paw, partly because he can’t, but also because Bo is downright offensive.

I’m in offense of Bo.

Do you think Bo is a proper presidential pup?

54 Comment

  • all this post really says is that the author is clueless, is only interested in remaining clueless, and thinks she is funny.

    the portuguese water dog is a hunting breed trained to assist fisherman. There are plenty of waterways in the area so the selection is appropriate for the region. But why should that really matter when the dog, and its owner, represent the entire country, not just this city?

    As for all the other breeds, aparantly the author hasn’t bothered reading any of the thousands of articles written about malia’s allergies.

    and as for the feet, perhaps the author should spend a little more time looking at the feet of all those puppies on the puppy bowl. All puppies’ feet look like that. And a rat tail has no fur. PWDs do have some fur on their tails.

  • I’m with the author. Bo is kind of ugly. I know, I know, he’s a gift from Ted kennedy who takes his two dogs everywhere. but I like cute dogs — what happened to the labordoodle? Bo is bowlegged and cross eyed and that thing on the end of it’s tail? hmmm… anyway, I think “not telling” is a little high strung about dogs. chill out dude.

  • You know, the Obama girls are already in love with him. One of them exclaiming, “He’s perfect.” They are excited and happy and learning what it means to be responsible for caring for another life. I guess that is all that matters. It really doesn’t matter what we think.

  • The dog is fine. However, one day, I’d like to see the President pop into the humane society and take home a mutt or two and a couple of cats.

  • The dog is fine. However, one day, I’d like to see the President pop into the humane society and take home a mutt or two and a couple of cats.

  • i think he is one of the cutest dogs I have ever seen. If the Obamas want to get rid of him, I’ll take him.

  • Did this column just jump the shark?? Really Robin? I know this is supposed to be a “controversial” column, but kicking puppies is kind of low.

  • My aunt’s family has a dog like this due to my cousin’s severe allergies. While I don’t think its the cutest dog in the world it has a great personality and almost human like hair that is allergen free. It is a helpful solution for families that really want a dog but have to deal with allergies.

  • Is Robyn really so clueless as to not know why the Obama’s picked the PWD? Do your homework before you start kicking puppies. As for Labs, I’ve known quite a few and adopted one myself because they are very intelligent dogs; like people they need a good education.


    Seriously, though, Malia’s got some terrible allergies. That’s why they chose him.

  • I think Bo is cute! I find it amusing that the author is comparing Bo-bama to a show dog. He’s NOT a show dog! He’s a family pet, and if Malia and Sasha love him, that’s all that matters!

  • I never trust dogs with a swatch of rainbow colored fur around their necks.

  • I think Bo is cute. Unfortunately with all the fur they have to do what is called a “lion” cut on him, which explains the weird fur ball on the tail. I do the same thing to my long haired cat. It isn’t the prettiest look, but knotted fur clumps all over their rear ends and tails are pretty unappealing too! And the PWD has hair in lieu of fur so that people with dog allergies (I am one of them) can actually interact the dog without turning into a giant hive. Trust me on the giant hive thing, it really sucks and it makes you want to scratch off all your skin! So perhaps the dog isn’t the “prettiest”, but the girls seem to like him, the parents seem to like him and from my understanding he was already rejected once from his first home! Also, I believe the Obamas gave a nice donation to the Humane Society, due to the fact they were unable to adopt a shelter dog.

  • Oh my gosh- it’s a dog – do we really care that much?

    Herb – love your comment

  • “You can’t even see his eyes due to his retro hairstyle”

    I’m looking at the photo that accompanies this very article and, um, I can see his eyes.


  • I like the blog for it’s freshness and localized perspective but the In Defense/Offense has got to go. It’s trite. Try again.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Seriously people – IT WAS A GIFT. I repeat – A GIFT. Would you really say no to Ted Kennedy? Really? Say no and give back a puppy that your young kids probably already love and just happens to be one of the few breeds you are able to have due to your kid’s allergies?

    what is wrong with you?

  • I’ll respect that dog as soon as he removes the lei he got in Hawaii. If he does that, we’re cool.

  • It’s a dog! Does it really matter that much? Hell, some presidents had animals such as horses and goats! Shall we judge them for cuteness as well? And make sure it was saved from a farm in West Virginia where it was going to be turned into glue?

  • I think Bo is adorable and can’t get enough of the photos, coverage, etc. I know that the Obama’s puppy is not important in the grand scheme of things, but he’s a welcome break from all of the other depressing news of late. Puppies (ALL puppies) just make me smile – I can’t help it!

  • I’m so honored you guys are taking this seriously.

  • Aw I think Bo is adorable. And I love the name Bo, I knew a dog growing up with that name, who was a black lab. And while getting a dog from a shelter would be ideal, one of the daugthers has an allergy so they needed a hypoallergenic dog, which I would imagine is tougher to find in a shelter. And did you see that video? Such an energetic puppy, I’m bursting from cute overload.

  • I think he’s gorgeous. And a gift from Ted Kennedy, the lion of Massachusetts and brain cancer survivor. Who could say no? BTW I am a volunteer at the Washington Animal Rescue League and our dog adoptions have been through the roof since Obama said he was getting a shelter dog. A Recycled Portie is fine by me.

  • I, Allistair, of previous Columbia Heights doggie fame, am in love with Bobama. He’s showing his doggie gay pride with his beautiful necklace (this translates to shell necklaces in the gay male human world). I am hopeful that one day I can steal him away from his celebrity and fame to visit Meridian Hill for a picnic and play time (Sammy can come too). He’s a doggie stallion, rarrrrrrr. Don’t be so critical…there are few breeds that are hypoallergenic (i’m lucky enough to be one). Bo was a gift from above (Massachusetts).

  • I’m a little confused. Is Robyn writing a “humorous” post? If so, obviously the “humor” is lost on most and strikes me as below typical PoP standards. It’s kinda at the level of ‘yo mama jokes. If it’s not a humorous post, then it’s just catty.

  • bo is the first openly gay presidential dog and is a champion of lgbt dog rights! he has volunteered countless hours at the coming-out lgbt support hotline (he doesn’t really answer the phones, but he’s great for morale) and he was key in passing legislation for equal pet protections in his native portugal.

    he’s also ugly. but the struggle for equality will leave even the prettiest among us with some wear and tear.






  • I have to say this is the dumbest friggin post I have ever read on this blog. It is a verbal kicking of someones pet. You think your dog is cute and that’s great. Lay off other peoples pets. They made a choice they though was best for their situation. This is not a matter of public policy or law. Its a familiy decision…back the hell off. I would make the same arguement if the post had been about the dumb ass Bush family pets. Jeesh!

  • All valid points. But reason aside, it comes down to this:

    it’s a puuuppeeeeee! Who doesn’t love puppies?? Don’t you just want to bury your face in his neck fluff? Maybe roll around on the grass a little? You know he’s clean… he probably has his own team of bathers, like Eddie Murphy in Coming to America.

    Oh, and the (obviously staged) photo of #44 jogging down the hall of the White House alongside the dog? Made me all melty. Reminded me why I fell in love in the first place.

  • Biggest White Whine I have ever heard… It’s a dog, really, A DOG! If you want to complain about something at least make it something important like say the economy, tax reform, or even international nuclear proliferation!

  • Ummmm…you guys know it was joke right?

  • yeah let’s totally blog about something serious.
    that would be fuuuuuuuuuuun.

  • The dog is so not cute. Come on, he was a gift from Ted Kennedy. He looks much more like Ted than he does Barack. The Obama’s should have gotten a sleek looking dog that matches their attractive family. Not a frumpy thing that looks like a walking pile of laundry.

    And that “staged” photo of them running down the hall was just offensive. When I saw it the first thought I had was “I wonder how long it took to get that perfect picture?” and then I thought “this is what the President is doing with his time instead of working to save the economy?”

    This is up there with Clinton’s getting a dog and naming him “Buddy” during the wake of the Lewinksy scandal to try to take some of the attention away from Bill’s cigar collection. It’s just another political set-up to say “oh look we’re normal people too.” But we all know once you become President you’re turned into a robot.

  • Bo’s a cutey. Just look at him. Lil puff ball. I want to eat em up. Obviously someone peed in this lady’s cornflakes this morning. All dogs are beautiful. Even Sam the ugliest dog in the world is beautiful.

  • Um, ‘Not Telling’ … are you a Portuguese Water Dog?? You seem offended.

  • I agree with Steve, I think I am going to give up on reading Robyn’s posts from now on — Herb, you made me laugh though, thanks.

  • I can’t say I care at all about what the Obama’s dog looks like. Does anyone else think it’s weird though that the dog has the same name as the VP’s son?

  • a whole lot of fail here

  • Bo represents just another broken campaign promise by Mr. Obama who said he would adopt a dog from a shelter.

    shame on you sir

  • popville is filled with some pissed off sumbitches today…i think we need a crime post so we can all rally together in our hatred! then tomorrow, something light hearted and fun (QOTD-‘whats your favorite color?’ perhaps?)

  • Ha, why is everyone taking this so seriously?? ‘perhaps the author should spend a little more time looking at the feet of all those puppies on the puppy bowl. All puppies’ feet look like that.’ HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! YOU’RE RIDIC!!!!

  • i concur – bo is an ugly dog and shame on obama for not getting one from the shelter. i’m sure the humane society could have come up with a dog that wouldn’t sicken malia.

  • Knowing two African-American families who only and universally owned black or brown poodles, I tell you, this- that dog represents a different structure of what qualifies as cute. Golden Retrievers are cute based on white hairstyles. Poodles are cute based on black.

  • bullshit….this dog is upper middle class retarded, like an inbred cheever character.
    terroristfistbumps for robyn.

  • “I’m so honored you guys are taking this seriously.”

    It reads worse as a joke.

  • Actually, Stavros that’s the beauty of it. Robyn could have written it as a serious post, and if everyone started hating on it, she could play the “it’s a joke column” line, thus making all those that took it seriously look like humorless automatons. And if the reaction had been more along your line of “this joke sucks”, she could have said “no, im serious, Bo is ugly” and your critique of her humor would have been a waste of Internet space. Well played, Robyn, well played.

  • Quincy St Neighbor

    Bo is so CUTE!

    I’m enrolled in Portuguese class at USDA just so I can have one one day and live the mora tuda portuguesa!

  • Ugh, PoP. Stupid. Come on now.

  • robyn please stick to reviewing the local dining scene

  • Robyn, let me give you a little advice — never, I repeat, never say negative things about a dog. Dog people are pretty crazy. they will cut you.

    now cats on the other hand…clearly the Obama’s should have gotten a cat instead. Obama is like a cat. Cat lovers are much cooler. If you had dissed a cat we’d probably ponder the concept for a while before making a judgement.

  • Oh my god someone please give me ten five seconds of my life back that I spent skimming that “article”.

  • Are you crazy bitches serious? “How DARE you criticize this beautiful dog! Robyn, you are a rapist of childhood bliss!”

    What the fuck is wrong with you? Let me school you, as a former Humae Society employee of seven years, and a lifetime volunteer.

    Here’s the chronology. President/celebrity/socialite gets some new esoteric purebred and it’s all over the papers, in every news report for weeks. Suddenly, huge demand erupts for the purebred across America. Thousands more are bred to keep up with the demand, which, in its own right is a horrible puppy-killing enterprise (if you don’t believe it, READ A FUCKING BOOK ON BREEDING). Next, not knowing that each breed has its own esoteric behavioral issues, families across the country rush to buy a Portuguese Water Dog puppy. Yay! New puppy! He’s so cute! Cut to six months later, when every shelter in the country is suddenly overfilled with slightly larger Portuguese Water Dogs puppies. People turn them in because they’re too big / they tear shit up when we leave them at home all day / I’m too lazy to walk it / I have to feed it / it poops / we’re going on vacation and can’t find a boarder. And, just like that, the circle closes. This isn’t a worst case scenario, it’s what happens all the time (if you don’t believe it, CALL A FUCKING ANIMAL SHELTER!)

    I’m with the other reasonable voices that say public figures need to be responsible (popular word, no?) and popularize animal adoption. It doesn’t take much to help out, but blowing up a breed’s popularity for a hot minute does serious damage.

    If you want to see some footage that will truly rape your mind and the childhood memories you have about your Portuguese Water Dog (or whatever the fuck you had), go goole “puppy mills” and sift through the video. There’s plenty more to moan about than someone saying “this dog is ugly.”

    Spay and neuter your pets, assholes!

  • Well, somebody has some pent up aggression … hmm, is it worth responding? Sure, why not. First, the above-mentioned (about 40 times) need for a dog that will not exhacerbate Malia’s allergies. I understand there are about 36 breeds of hypo-allergenic dogs (see Wikipedia search Hypoallergenic dog breeds). Many of these are smaller breeds and/or hairless, which I understand was something none in the first family wanted. While I am certain a thourogh sweep of the nations shelters could have turned up a breed which, after genetic testing or assured knowledge of the dog’s parents, would have resulted in a puppy which was of a properly-sized hypoallergenic breed. The result, however, would have been the same. That breed would then become popular. So, I guess under Jiggles line of reasoning (or lack of reason) if brought to its’ conclusion, that the Obama’s should not have gotten a dog. Yep, that fair to the girls. If thought differently, perhaps with all the controversy surrounding the dog fiasco, some people will have been educated about dog shelters. FYI- the Obama’s donated a good some to DC Humane Society. Regardless of what breed they chose or where they obtained it, someone out their would be critical of the decision.

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