The Obamas have bid a sad farewell to their family pet Bo who passed away Saturday from cancer.
The Portuguese Water Dog, a gift from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, a key supporter of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign who became close to the family.
The dog was adopted by the First Family early in 2009 and joined them for both terms in the White House.
Bo helped Obama keep a promise to daughters Malia and Sasha that they could get a dog after winning the election in 2008.
The Obamas have said a sad farewell to their family pet Bo who passed away Saturday. Obama throws a ball for Bo, the family dog, in the Rose Garden of the White House September 9, 2010 in Washington, DC
The Portuguese Water Dog (right) was an important part of the family and joined them for the official family portrait in the Rose Garden of the White House in April 2015
On Saturday, the former president posted a series of pictures of his pet alongside a moving message describing Bo as a ‘true friend and loyal companion.’
‘Today our family lost a true friend and loyal companion. For more than a decade, Bo was a constant, gentle presence in our lives—happy to see us on our good days, our bad days, and everyday in between.
‘He tolerated all the fuss that came with being in the White House, had a big bark but no bite, loved to jump in the pool in the summer, was unflappable with children, lived for scraps around the dinner table, and had great hair.
‘He was exactly what we needed and more than we ever expected. We will miss him dearly.’
President Barack Obama watches as Malia shows off their new dog Bo, then 6 months old on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Tuesday, April 14, 2009
First Lady Michelle Obama takes a photograph of Bo, the Obama family dog, in the White House Kitchen Garden, April 11, 2013
On Saturday, Barack posted a series of pictures of his pet alongside a moving message
A companion dog, Sunny, joined the family in August 2013.
Both were constant presences around the White House and popular among visitors there, often joining the Obamas for public events.
The dogs entertained crowds at the annual Easter Egg Roll and Bo occasionally joined Mrs Obama to welcome tourists.
The dogs also cheered wounded service members, as well as hospitalized children the first lady would visit each year just before Christmas.
In a post featuring a slideshow of images of Bo — including one of him sitting behind the president’s Resolute Desk in the Oval Office — Mrs. Obama recounted his years bringing some levity to the White House.
‘On the campaign trail in 2008, we promised our daughters that we would get a puppy after the election. At the time, Bo was supposed to be a companion for the girls. We had no idea how much he would mean to all of us.
‘For more than a decade, Bo was a constant, comforting presence in our lives. He was there when the girls came home from school, greeting them with a wag. He was there when Barack and I needed a break, sauntering into one of our offices like he owned the place, a ball clamped firmly in his teeth. He was there when we flew on Air Force One, when tens of thousands flocked to the South Lawn for the Easter Egg Roll, and when the Pope came to visit. And when our lives slowed down, he was there, too—helping us see the girls off to college and adjust to life as empty nesters,’ Mrs Obama wrote.
Mrs Obama wrote that she was grateful for the time the family got to spend with him due to the pandemic, and said that over the past year, ‘no one was happier than Bo.’
‘All his people were under one roof again—just like the day we got him,’ she wrote.
‘I will always be grateful that Bo and the girls got to spend so much time together at the end. As a family, we will miss Bo dearly. But we are thankful that he lived such a joyful life full of snuggles, games of fetch, and evenings spent lying on the couch.
We also know we weren’t the only ones who cared for Bo, and are grateful for all the love you showed him over the years. Please hug the furry members of your family a little closer tonight—and give them a belly rub from us.’