When kids write into the White House, they're usually hoping for a response from the most famous member of the first family.
Sorry, Mr. President; it's not you. It's Bo, the Portuguese water dog gifted to the Obamas by the late Senator Ted Kennedy.
"It is me and Bo and we're in the garden," said the first lady of the portrait Monday, the day it was first officially released. "And one of the reasons we did this picture is because we get so many letters from kids, mostly, who want to hear about the garden, they want to see it, and they also want to see Bo. Bo is really the most popular."
So kids who write in will receive this picture now, taken in the White House garden and signed by Bo himself (he's really quite accomplished at paw-printing).
"We've heard so many great stories from kids who've been inspired and doing things like changing the way their families do things. And those letters are always just a joy to get," said Mrs. Obama. "So we want to have something a little more tangible than just a letter to give to kids, because often it's the visual thing that makes it real."
The perfect picture, she said, took "three clicks" to take -- and in weather that was like "a hundred degrees," the first lady appreciated the dog's cooperation.
"Three-click shot, sitting there just like a little man," she laughed.