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Obama announces the death of treasured family dog Bo: ‘Our family lost a true friend and loyal companion’

  • Former President Barack Obama on Saturday announced the death of the family dog, 12-year-old Bo.
  • Bo arrived at the White House in April 2009.
  • He lost a battle to cancer, Michelle Obama said. 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Barack Obama on Saturday announced the death of dog Bo at the age of 12.

The cause of death was cancer, which was confirmed by former first lady Michelle Obama.

The Portuguese Water Dog, who arrived at the White House in April 2009, was a jubilant presence when he was with the First Family.

“Today our family lost a true friend and loyal companion,” he wrote on Twitter. “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 added: “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.”

The former first lady expressed how deeply Bo affected the entire family, especially when she and her husband were trying to navigate the White House with two young daughters.

“This afternoon was a difficult one for our family,” she wrote on Instagram. “We said goodbye to our best friend—our dog, Bo — after a battle with cancer. 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.”

Obama, who served as president from 2009 to 2017, was often seen playing with Bo, or running alongside him. The famed photo taken by then-chief White House photographer Pete Souza shows the energetic dog in his younger years, eager to embrace his new family.

sunny and bo obama



Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images


In her post, the former first lady shared more fond memories of Bo.

“He was there when the girls came home from school, greeting them with a wag,” she wrote. “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. 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.”

She added: “This past year, with everyone back home during the pandemic, no one was happier than Bo. All his people were under one roof again — just like the day we got him. I will always be grateful that Bo and the girls got to spend so much time together at the end.”

This post has been updated.



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