Obama family dog, Bo, has died: ‘We said goodbye to our best friend’

"He was exactly what we needed and more than we ever expected. We will miss him dearly," Barack Obama said

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Barack and Michelle Obama took to social media to announce that their beloved family dog, Bo, has died.

On Saturday, the former president shared a photo of himself and Bo running down the halls of the White House, saying that their family lost “a true friend and loyal companion.”

He added, “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.”

Barack Obama famously promised during his 2008 victory speech to give daughters Sasha and Malia a dog after the election, saying, “I love you both more than you can imagine. You have earned the puppy that is coming with us!”

Bo, a black and white Portuguese water dog, was welcomed to the White House in April 2009, three months after Obama took office. Born Oct. 9 2008, Bo was given to the Obama family as a gift from the late Senator Ted Kennedy and his wife, Victoria, according to Presidential Pet Museum.

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 05: U.S. President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Malia (L) and Sasha (R) pose for a family portrait with their pets Bo and Sunny in the Rose Garden of the White House on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

Bo’s popularity online grew and became the inspiration for children’s books including “Bo Obama: The White House Trails.” Bo was also illustrated on the cover of Barack Obama’s 2010 book “of Thee I Sing: A Letter To My Daughters.”

In August 2013, the Obama family welcomed a female Portuguese water dog named Sunny.

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He later tweeted a photo of Bo being pet by children with the caption, “He tolerated all the fuss that came with being in the White House, had a big bark 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 concluded with a close of photo, saying, “He was exactly what we needed and more than we ever expected. We will miss him dearly.”

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Michelle Obama shared photos of the family and Bo, with a caption calling his passing “difficult.” She recounted how he’d passed away after his battle with cancer. Michelle called Bo “a constant, comforting presence in our lives” and encouraged everyone to “hug the furry members of your family a little closer tonight – and give them a belly rub for us.”

“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 said.

Celebrities and supporters sent their condolences to the family including TV host Ellen DeGeneres, who tweeted, “I’m so very sorry. I know how much you and your family loved that dog. You were all lucky to have each other.”

Lawyer and television personality Eliza Orlins tweeted, “My heart is so broken for you. Sending so much love.”

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