Last week the Obamas welcomed a new furry member into their home, a second Portuguese Water Dog as a pal for their dog Bo. Sunny, reportedly named for her cheerful disposition, is around 2 months old and came home to the White House from her birthplace in Michigan. As when Bo joined the First Family, some controversy surrounded the selection of a purebred dog from a breeder, verses adoption of one of millions of homeless shelter dogs in the country. But with the Malia Obama's allergies, Portuguese Water Dogs were chosen as a great match with their "hypoallergenic" coat. However, though even "hypoallergenic" dogs like PWDs are available from rescues, everyone has the right to choose the pet that works best for their family. And if the video posted to the White House Blog are any indication, exuberant little Sunny is fitting in just fine with her new big brother Bo.
While the current and recent administrations have all had First Pets of the canine variety, and a few with cats, the White House has been home to many much more exotic pets throughout our country's history. Barack Obama even had the pleasure of owning an exotic pet as a child that many Americans are no longer allowed, due to bans on keeping primates in many states. While growing up in Hawaii he had a little monkey named Tata, most likely a baby macaque. But many US presidents owned exotic pets while in office. Here are just a sampling of some of the unique animals that our nation's leaders have owned and loved.