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Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz Dies

Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz Dies - Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, the trainer who prepared President Barack Obama's dog Bo for life as the first dog, has died.

Sylvia-Stasiewicz, 52, died Wednesday of respiratory failure at a Virginia hospital, her ex-husband Paul Stasiewicz said Saturday.

Sylvia-Stasiewicz initially had no idea the Portuguese water dog that arrived at her Virginia home two years ago was destined for life at the White House — an experience she described in a recent book.

Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz Dies

Vicki Kennedy, the wife of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, had contacted Sylvia-Stasiewicz to ask if she would determine if the 5-month-old puppy was suitable for a family with children. The Kennedys had previously trusted Sylvia-Stasiewicz with training their dogs, so the request wasn't unusual.

When Kennedy called to check on the puppy a few weeks later, Sylvia-Stasiewicz reported the dog was perfectly suited for a family with children. Kennedy then confided she and her husband were thinking of giving him to the first family as a gift.

Even before Bo's arrival in Washington in April 2009, the puppy was much talked about. Obama had promised his daughters a dog during his presidential campaign, saying during his election night speech that the girls had "earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House."

Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz Dies

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