Obamas' Family Dog, Bo, Dies

Former president mourns a 'true friend'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 8, 2021 3:35 PM CDT
Obamas Lose 'True Friend'
Bo sits in the Cross Hall before an event to welcome children of employees at the White House in 2010.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Former President Barack Obama’s dog Bo died Saturday after a battle with cancer, the Obamas said on social media. News of Bo's death was shared by Obama and his wife, Michelle, on Instagram, where both expressed sorrow at the loss of a dog the former president described as a "true friend and loyal companion." Barack Obama wrote, "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." Bo, a Portuguese water dog, was a gift to the Obamas from the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., a key supporter of Obama's 2008 presidential campaign who became close to the family. Bo helped Obama keep a promise to his daughters Malia and Sasha that they could get a dog after the election, the AP reports. A companion dog, Sunny, joined the family in August 2013.

Both were constant presences around the White House and popular among visitors, often joining the Obamas for public events. 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—she recounted his years bringing levity to the White House. "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," she wrote. Michelle Obama added 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." (Bo was everywhere one Christmas at the White House.)

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