Former President Barack Obama shared some heartbreaking news on Saturday — his family's beloved dog Bo has passed away. The Obamas adopted Bo when they moved into the White House in 2009 to the delight of political junkies everywhere. Obama posted a tribute to Bo on Facebook.
"Today our family lost a true friend and loyal companion," he wrote. "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 every day in between. 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."
Today our family lost a true friend and loyal companion. For more than a decade, Bo was a constant, gentle presence in...Posted by Barack Obama on Saturday, May 8, 2021
Obama included a photo of himself running down a hallway with Bo at his side, the leash dragging behind him on the floor. His Facebook post picked up over 100,000 likes and over 10,000 comments within ten minutes of being posted.
Bo was a Portuguese Water Dog, chosen because of his hypoallergenic fur since Malia Obama suffered allergies at the time. He was lovingly referred to as the "First Dog" from time to time. According to his Wikipedia page, Bo was named after R&B musician Bo Diddley and also for the president's initials "B" and "O."
As a high-profile dog, Bo's life and history are well documented. According to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he was bread by Martha and Art Stern in Boyd, Texas, where they operate a facility called Amigo Portuguese Water Dogs. He was purchased by a family but then returned to the Sterns for some unknown reason, then gifted to the Obamas after that.
"Our preference would be to get a shelter dog, but, obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me," Obama joked with reporters at the time. He and his family lived in the White House alone for just three months before adopting Bo, who moved in on April 14, 2009.
The family adopted a second dog in August of 2013, shortly after Obama's re-election. Sunny was purchased from a dog breeder in the Great Lakes area. According to a report by the Christian Science Monitor, the Obamas made a donation to The Humane Society of the United States as a consolation for seeking a breeder rather than a shelter dog in need.
Many Americans are expressing their concern for Sunny on social media, knowing how difficult it can be for one dog to lose another in a multi-pet household. They are also sharing their condolences with the whole Obama family.