Pets & Animals

Down, Sunny! First dog knocks 2-year-old over at White House

First lady Michelle Obama pulls on her dog Sunny as 2-year-old Ashtyn Gardner greets Bo during the viewing of Christmas decorations at the White House on Wednesday. The toddler lost her balance and tripped over a wheel.

Looks like first dog Sunny got a little too excited around a toddler at the White House on Wednesday. 

The notoriously playful Portuguese water dog jumped up on 2-year-old Ashytn Gardner, who was attending a holiday arts-and-crafts event for military families. Michelle Obama yanked Sunny back by the leash, while the little lady lost her balance and tumbled to the floor. 

Michelle Obama holds Sunny back as 2-year-old Ashtyn Gardner takes a tumble.

But don’t fret, Sunny’s antics have a happy ending: With a little help from the first lady, Gardner was quickly back on her feet, unharmed and apparently unfazed. Sunny took the opportunity to get some more attention and nuzzled up to Gardner, who petted him in return. 

Ashytn Gardner, 2, gets back up on her feet.

The arts-and-crafts event was part of a viewing of the White House’s 2013 holiday decorations for military families. The first lady revealed in a tweet earlier today that this year’s official holiday theme will be “Gather Around: Stories of the Season,” which is meant to celebrate “the stories and traditions that bring us together this special time of year,” according to the White House website. Last year's theme was "Joy to All."

The ornament-laden White House Christmas tree is seen in the Blue Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

The past week has been full of holiday preparations around the White House: On Friday, the first lady and her daughters welcomed the official Christmas tree, an 18-and-a-half foot Douglas fir from Crystal Springs Tree Farm in Leighton, Pa.

While most of us mere mortals won’t have an opportunity to get up close and personal with the White House tree, the annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree will take place in a public ceremony on Friday evening. The event will be live-streamed on the National Tree’s website.

Alex Wong / Today
Ornaments and decorations are hung on a Christmas tree in the East Room of the White House on Dec. 4.