Barack Obama on late dog Bo: ‘I needed a friend during presidency’

"There's a well-known saying in Washington — if you want a friend, get a dog — well, you know, I got one," said former president Barack Obama on Monday's episode of "The Late Late Show with James Corden."

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Innumerable tributes have been posted online since the Obamas broke the news last week about the loss of their furry family member, Bo. On Monday, former president Barack Obama appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden to reveal more about how Bo became part of the Obama family and what he meant to them. 

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

“There’s a well-known saying in Washington — if you want a friend, get a dog — well, you know, I got one. Because I needed a friend during the presidency who would be nice to me no matter what,” said Obama. 

As theGrio previously reported, the 44th president and former First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed Bo into their White House home in April 2009 after promising their daughters, Sasha and Malia that they could get a puppy after the presidential campaign.

Obama made the special announcement during his 2008 victory speech, saying “I love you both more than you can imagine. You have earned the puppy that is coming with us!”

President Obama Speaks On American Energy At Prince George's Community College
U.S. President Barack Obama greets his dog Bo outside the Oval Office of the White House March 15, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty Images)

The late Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy and his wife, Victoria, gave Bo, a Portuguese water dog, to the Obama family, according to the Presidential Pet Museum. On May 8, Michelle Obama shared that Bo had passed away following 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,” Michelle wrote in an Instagram post. “For more than a decade, Bo was a constant, comforting presence in our lives.” 

On Monday’s episode The Late Late Show, Barack echoed his wife’s sentiments, speaking to the uplifting force Bo was for the entire family. 

“The third thing, and I think everybody can relate to this, is he ended up being a sort of a bond for the whole family, to give us this fun, furry excuse to go for walks and spend time together and chase after each other…,” said Obama. “And so it becomes one of the threads that run through your family and all of the memories that you have with each other.” 

Read More: April Ryan reacts to Michelle Obama’s comments on race: ‘I feel her fear’

Obama also said even people who criticized him as president shared their condolences online.

“On our social media accounts as you can imagine, sometimes the comments are less than friendly,” said Obama.

Obama's New Puppy Sunny
Bo (L) and Sunny, the Obama family dogs, on the South Lawn of the White House on August 19, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images)

He said his posts about Bo were the only exception to the trolling that often takes place online.

“Those were the only posts where everybody posted something nice. I can’t tell you how many people said ‘You know, I think you were the worst president ever, but here’s my dog, and I’m still so sorry for you because I know how close I am with my dog.’”

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theGrio’s Ashley Terrell contributed to this story.

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