Access and Today anchor Natalie Morales has added a new furry member to her family — an adorable puppy named Obi.
The California-based television personality first fell in love with the sweet animal while filming a segment about the upcoming Puppy Bowl for her entertainment news program, according to Today.
That day, January 16, Morales posted a photo on Instagram of herself holding the tiny furball. The caption was a note to her husband, Joseph Rhodes, asking him to call her because she wanted “to bring this puppy home.”
Apparently, Rhodes could not resist the cute brown-and-white pup’s charm either because two days later, on January 18, his wife shared another photo of herself with Obi on Instagram, and revealed that the dog would be joining their household in a couple of days.
In the caption, Morales also explained that the puppy — who was originally called Hamilton — was named in honor of Obi-Wan Kenobi by her Star Wars-loving 10-year-old son Luke.
On Monday, January 21, Morales and Rhodes, along with Luke and their other son, 14-year-old Josh, picked the dog up from Ventura County’s Paw Works to bring him to his forever home. The 46-year-old TV star is very familiar with the rescue organization’s efforts in helping animals in need as she serves as its celebrity ambassador.
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After meeting Hamilton on @accessonline whole promoting #PuppyBowlXV, host and Paw Works Celebrity Ambassador @nmoralesnbc fell in absolute love! Today it has become OFFICIAL! Hamilton, now Obi, has been adopted by Natalie, her husband Joe and their sons Luke and Josh! Watch out LA there’s a new star out there and he’s got four paws ????????
At the time, there was still one member of the family Obi was in need of meeting — their other dog, Zara. Morales rescued her from North Shore Animal League America in Long Island, New York, in 2011 after meeting the hound during a Today segment about pet adoption.
Last September, the life-long dog lover wrote a blog post on her website about the importance of the furry creatures in her life. She included a cute childhood photo of herself with her first dog, Duke.
“Rescuing animals is something that’s near and dear to my heart,” Morales wrote.
“My first dog, Duke, helped shaped me into who I am today because he showed me how to be patient, how to love unconditionally, and most importantly gave me confidence and stability at a time when I needed it most. As a military kid who moved every three years, Duke was always there for me and helped me through each and every transition.”
The author of the 2018 book At Home with Natalie: Simple Recipes for Healthy Living from My Family’s Kitchen to Yours then explained that Zara helped her own sons by being a “constant companion” in 2016 after the family moved across the country from New Jersey to California.