The news out of the White House in usually very serious, but occasionally we hear something a tad more informal. Today is one of those days as the Obama family has announced a new addition - a second dog.
Portuguese Water Dog
The new pup is named Sunny and is a Portuguese Water Dog. She joins Bo, the first dog of the family and is of the same breed.
The Portuguese Water Dog has an interesting history. The first thing to know is this is a very old breed with these pups noted in the historical record as early as 1297. The dogs were bred specifically to work in the commercial fishing fleets of Portugal. These pups love the water and their duties usually included:
- Retrieving fish,
- Swimming out to broken nets and bringing them back to the boat, and
- Delivering messages from boat to boat by swimming back and forth.
As the fishing industry in Portugal died off in the early 20th century, the dog's population dropped dramatically. The numbers dropped so low at one point, the breed nearly went extinct before breeders made a concerted effort to revive it. The dog is currently considered a companion dog, although one that admitted loves to play in the water when it gets a chance.
The key stats on the Portuguese Water Dog are as follows:
- Grows up to 24 inches in height,
- Average weight is between 35 and 60 pounds,
- Very high activity level, and
- Life expectancy of 10 to 14 years.
Unfortunately, the Portuguese Water Dog is susceptible to a good number of health problems. The breed has a tendency to suffer from the following:
- Addison's Disease,
- Cardiac problems,
- Hip Dysplasia,
- Eye problems,
- Gastrointestinal disorders, and
- Renal Disease.
Overall, Sunny should be a good dog for the Obamas. Although health issues can be a problem with this breed, one probably isn't going out on a limb to suggest Sunny and Bo will get top notch veterinarian care while living at the White House.