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How did Barack Obama's dog Bo die? Ex-prez says 'lost true friend', Michelle calls him 'a comforting presence'

'Please hug the furry members of your family a little closer tonight—and give them a belly rub from us,' said Michelle
Former President Obama with Bo (Getty Images)
Former President Obama with Bo (Getty Images)

Former President Barack Obama's family dog Bo died on Saturday, May 8. Obama took to Twitter, saying "family lost a true friend and loyal companion."

The beautiful black and white Portuguese water dog, who joined the first family in the White House back in April 2009, was the last presidential pet before President Joe Biden's dogs, Major and Champ, joined the White House earlier this year. According to Michelle Obama, Bo died of cancer. Barack memorialized the pooch on Twitter, writing, "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."


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He also shared a few photos of Bo, including one of Barack running down the hallway at the White House. He said, "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," and "He was exactly what we needed and more than we ever expected. We will miss him dearly."


Michelle also remembered Bo, as she posted a series of pictures on Instagram and said, "His afternoon was a difficult one for our family. 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."

"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. 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," she continued.

"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.—Michelle, Barack, Malia, Sasha, and Sunny," added Michelle.


As soon as the news came to light, people started paying tribute to the late White House dog. One person tweeted: "I hope Sunny’s heart is okay RIP Bo. Those Obamas (and the rest of the world) sure did adore you. Nothing quite like the love and loyalty of a dog. #AllDogsGoToHeaven  " Ellen De Generes said, "I’m so very sorry. I know how much you and your family loved that dog. You were all lucky to have each other."



One person commented on Barack's Instagram picture, saying, "RIP Bo. You represented us well for 8 years as First Dog. You were owned by the best President we ever had. Rest well over the Rainbow Bridge. #RIPBo" While one person slammed the disease and said, "I’m so sick of cancer. Whether in people or animals. I’m sorry for your loss. We love our pets very much."



Bo was chosen for his hypoallergenic fur and was a gift for the Obama family from late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy. The Obamas added a second Portuguese water dog, Sunny, to the family in April 2013. Reports suggest that Bo was around six months old in April 2009, which means, he was 12 at the time of his death.