Bo, the Portuguese water dog that was President Obama’s first pet and loved playing in the presidential suites, passed away on Saturday.
On Instagram, Michelle Obama shared the heartbreaking news that Bo, who was 12 years old, had succumbed to cancer. President Barack Obama expressed that the family had lost “a great friend and trusted companion.”
Bo had been a constant, loving presence in their lives for over a decade, Mr. Obama shared on Twitter. He was there on their good days, their terrible days, and every day in between. Bo endured the chaos of living in the White House with grace, having a big bark but no bite. He especially enjoyed swimming in the pool during the summer and had remarkable hair. Bo remained calm and collected even in the presence of children.
In April 2009, Senator Edward M. Kennedy and his wife Victoria gifted the first kids, Malia and Sasha Obama, a 6-month-old dog. Bo’s arrival marked the end of a pet-free era in the White House that lasted through President Donald J. Trump’s administration.
However, in January, President Biden reintroduced pets to the White House with his two German shepherds, Champ and Major. Unfortunately, Major recently underwent training following a series of biting incidents.
Bo became well-known for his playful antics on the South Lawn, entertaining the White House press corps, barking during news conferences, and receiving messages of sympathy from children across the country.
A children’s book titled “Bo, America’s Commander in Leash” was published, authored by Naren Aryal and Danny Moore, featuring the beloved dog. Bo even posed for a formal White House picture with his tongue sticking out.
In 2013, Sunny, another Portuguese water dog, joined Bo in the White House after Mrs. Obama expressed that Bo needed more canine companionship.
However, Bo’s significance in the Obama family far exceeded his initial role as a companion for Malia and Sasha. According to Mrs. Obama, he became a cherished member of the family, entering their offices with confidence and a ball in his mouth. He provided constant comfort and solace, particularly as the Obamas adjusted to being empty nesters when their daughters left for college.
Mrs. Obama recalled Bo’s presence during significant events, including the pope’s visit and the traditional Easter egg roll on the South Lawn. She described him as a constant, soothing presence in their lives.
Last year, during the pandemic when everyone was at home, Bo was the happiest dog, as shared by Mrs. Obama. The entire family reunited under one roof, reminiscent of the day they brought him home.
Bo’s passing leaves a void in the hearts of the Obama family and all those who adored him. He will be remembered for his joyful spirit, unwavering loyalty, and the love he brought into their lives. May his memory live on, and may he rest in eternal peace.