For those who have worked on Capitol Hill it was almost a perk of the job to occasionally see Senator Kennedy walking the Portuguese Water Dogs he loved so much. And for a man who left almost as sweeping a legacy as one can imagine, the presence of Bo here at the White House might be a footnote, but it's a special footnote tied to one of the Senator's great joys in life.
USA Today's pet blog ran a short piece on this on Wednesday:
Politics aside, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy will be remembered by many for his contributions to the nation and also for his love for his dogs Sunny and Splash, Portuguese Water Dogs.
He told Harry Smith of CBS in a 2006 interview: "Splash is a part of our family, but he's part of the senate family as well. He comes to work with me every day with his little niece Sunny and members of the senate dome. He's not allowed to go on the senate floor. He's troubled by that... because he thinks, he says that they won't let him on because people will say that they don't think he knows how to behave. But actually, he says that he behaves a lot better than most senators."
He gave President Obama his puppy, a Portuguese Water Dog, named Bo.
Kennedy wrote a children's book My Senator and Me in Sunny's voice. One of his greatest joys was sailing with his wife Vicki and the dogs on his sloop Mya.
Indeed, Bo came from the same lineage as Senator Kennedy’s dogs. Here’s a (rare) photo of the Senator and his wife greeting Bo in the White House: