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First Lady of the US Melania Trump welcomed the official White House Christmas tree on Monday. The arrival of the tree kicks off the holiday season at the White House.

The tree arrived on a horse-drawn carriage as a military band played Christmas music in the background. The tree that arrived from Pennysylvania will be kept in the Blue Room of the White House. Melania Trump and her staff started planning for the tree's welcome early in the summer, deciding on the decorations that will fill the public reception rooms at the presidential residence during the holidays.

The first lady designs the holiday theme herself. Last year's theme for the White House Christmas was red trees, a subject of much chatter on social media. The year before the red trees, Melania had opted for white wooden trees.

After receiving the Christmas tree, FLOTUS joined President Donald Trump in honouring Conan, the hero dog. Conan, a Belgian Malinois, is the dog who helped run down terror leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, reports Mail Online.

It remains on active military duty and will be returning to the Middle East to help US forces in hunting down ISIS fighters. It was flown in from the Middle East for the ceremony at the White House.

The dog's contribution was celebrated with a seven-minute-long ceremony at the White House Rose Garden. The first lady responded with a laugh and a stern "No" when asked if she would adopt the dog for her 13-year-old son Barron Trump. Unlike the other first families, the Trump family does not have a pet.

The 49-year-old opted for a floral Dolce and Gabbana coat for the ceremony and paired it with high-heeled black boots. She was accompanied by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Melania Trump honours hero dog Canon
US President Donald trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, honour hero dog "Conan" JIM WATSON/AFP

It is a protocol not to pet service animals in the US. While Melania made no comments nor petted Conan during the ceremony, President Trump spoke at length about its attributes. The Vice-President repeatedly rubbed Conan's head.

As shared by the White House and Defense Department officials, Conan played a huge role in the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It helped run down the ISIS chief before Baghdadi blew himself up, killing himself and young family members and injuring the animal during the raid in October.