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, right, joined the family in August 2013.
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.
Michelle Obama posted an emotional message as she recounted life with Bo over the last 12 years
Michelle Obama also shared a tribute to Bo on Instagram. ‘This afternoon was a difficult one for our family. We said goodbye to our best friend—our dog, Bo—after a battle with cancer.’
Bo is pictured behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office of the White House
President Barack Obama pets the family dog, Bo, upon his return to the White House in 2012
President Obama plays with a football alongside Bo in 2009 in Washington D.C.
President Barack Obama hugs his daughters Sasha, left, Malia, right, and dog Bo as he arrives on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington in September 2009
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.
The First Family dog Bo walks past decorations at the South Portico before a Halloween event in October 2015
Presidential pet Bo climbs the stairs of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base with President Barack Obama in August 2010
First Lady Michelle Obama plays with Bo, in April 2009 just days after he joined the family at the age of six months
FOrmer First Lady, Malia and Sasha Obama are pictured outside in December 2009 playing with Bo
Bo, the Obama family dog, walks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington in October 2011
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.’
President Barack Obama plays with Bo, the Obama family dog, aboard Air Force One during a flight to Hawaii, December 2011
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, are joined by family pets Sunny and Bo, as they wait to greet visitors in the Blue Room during a White House tour in November 2013
Bo would often travel with the President of First Lady on their tours and walkabouts
Mrs. Obama went on to reflect on how she ‘will always be grateful’ that her daughters were able to spend ‘so much time together’ with Bo before his death. The family, together with Bo, are pictured at an Easter Egg Roll
School children get the chance to pet the the family dog during a presidential outing
Former President Barack Obama crouches to greet his dog, Bo, outside the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington in 2012
Bo’s death comes just weeks after the current First Lady Jill Biden confirmed her and President Joe Biden’s first rescue pup Major is back in the White House having been banished for ‘additional training’ after he bit two government employees.
‘He is such a sweet, lovable dog. He really is,’ the first lady said on NBC’s Today Show in an interview that last week.
The Bidens’ much-anticipated cat – a female feline – is also ‘waiting in the wings’ to join the White House.
The cat is not at the White House yet but will be ‘pretty soon,’ Jill Biden told reporters o.
The Bidens announced before they moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue they would adopt a cat. No date has been given although White House press secretary Jen Psaki has joked the cat will ‘break the internet’ when it arrives.
And Jill Biden reassured people that Major Biden, their three-year old German Shepherd, will not harm the first feline.
‘That was part of his training. They took him into a shelter with cats,’ she said. ‘He did fine.’
Jill Biden is seen with the two dogs during the presidential campaign
The Bidens’ rescue pup Major (left) keft the White House to undergo additional training after a second biting incident; the Bidens’ older dog Champ lays on the South Lawn at right
Major, 3, is on a leash when spotted at the White House while the older Champ, 12, shuffles and moves slowly
President Biden gives Champ a pat; the Bidens adopted Major to be the older dog’s companion
The first lady called their rescue pup Major, who bit two government employees, ‘loveable’