It's been a whirlwind year in the life of America's first dog.
It seems like only yesterday to us, but it's been a year since the Obamas brought Portuguese water dog Bo home last April 14. (We, along with a number of dog lovers worldwide, were excited that the first family had entered the wonderful world of dogs -- although we couldn't help wishing the Obamas had chosen to bring home a shelter dog. Not on the list of excited dog lovers, however, was former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who called the hubbub over the first dog "fairly stupid.")
Since then, Bo's been busy barking at Santa (perhaps an ill-advised move, since the Man in Red was presumably the person who filled his Christmas stocking), inspiring a dog parade in Martha's Vineyard, nearly tripping the president, biting people's feet and causing animal rights activists to fret over whether or not he was neutered. (Fret not: he was.)
Bo's even been re-created in marzipan and Beanie Baby form and been featured on his own baseball card. Despite being among the most famous pets on the planet, though, "it's too early to assess Bo's political legacy," according to USA Today's David Jackson, who notes that "he has lot to live up to." (Earlier presidential pets like FDR's Fala, Nixon's Checkers and even George W. Bush's Barney left big pawprints, says Jackson. But not nearly as big as those of Martin Van Buren's tiger cubs!)
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: Bo walks in the snow outside the White House Press Briefing Room on Feb. 9. Credit: Charles Dharapak / Associated Press