It’s been a month, but former President Barack Obama is still mourning the death of his late four-legged pal, Bo. A few weeks ago, in a virtual guest appearance on The Late Late Show, the 59-year-old lamented the legacy left behind by his beloved canine at the White House after he succumbed to cancer last May.
James Corden asked the former President how the Portuguese Water Dog impacted his life while still in office. He explained that it was a promise he made to his two daughters, Malia and Sasha–that he would be getting them a dog regardless if he got elected or not. He jokingly remarked that getting Bo changed things by making his daughters stop harassing him into getting one and thinking that their father was a liar.
He added by quoting a famous saying in Washington: that you should get a dog if you wanted a friend. And he did. He said he needed a friend during his time as President who would remain nice to him no matter what.
Mr. Obama also said that having Bo around became a sort of bond for the entire family. The pup’s presence in their life gave them a fun, furry excuse to go out on walks and spend quality time chasing each other. In effect, it became a thread that ran through their family, together with all the memories that they had with each other. And we’re pretty sure a lot of families could relate to this.
Former first lady Michelle Obama first broke the heartbreaking news regarding twelve-year-old Bo’s passing on May 8. Their family welcomed him in 2009, immediately after Barack’s first presidential inauguration. Based on a release from the Presidential Pet Museum, he was given to the Obama girls as a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.
In her touching tribute, 57-year-old Mrs. Obama wrote how it was a difficult afternoon for the whole family as they bid farewell to their best friend after battling cancer. She shared the story regarding the promise they made to their daughters about getting a dog after the elections a few years ago and how Bo was only supposed to be a companion for the girls. She said they had no idea how much the late canine would mean to all of them in the family.
The former first lady continued by saying that Bo had been a constant, comforting presence in their lives for more than a decade. She enumerated the different ways he had been present in their lives, such as being there when their daughters came home from school, always greeting them with a wag. According to her, Bo was also there when she and her husband needed a break. He would stroll into their office like he owned the place, with a ball clamped in between his teeth.
Bo was also there during significant events, such as when they flew on Air Force One, when thousands flocked for the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn, and even when the Pope came to visit. And when their lives slowed down, Bo was around too, especially when they sent off their daughters to college and adjusted to life as empty nesters. She also reflected how grateful she is that her daughters spent so much time together with Bo before he died.
Mrs. Obama further added that no one was happier than Bo the past year, especially as everyone stayed home because of the pandemic. Just like the day they got him, all of the people he loved were again under one roof. She also said that the whole family would miss Bo dearly, but she is thankful that he lived a joyful life filled with snuggles, fetch games, and evenings lying on the couch.
She took that opportunity to express her gratitude to everyone who loved Bo just as much and asked her followers to hug their furry pals a little closer and give them a belly rub on their behalf.
Similarly, the former President shared his touching tribute to a true friend and loyal companion to their family. He mentioned how Bo had been a constant, gentle presence in their lives for more than a decade, who was just happy to see them during their good and bad days and every day in between. According to him, Bo tolerated the fuss that came with living in the White House. While he had a big bark, he didn’t bite – and he loved jumping in the pool during the summer, loved being around children, lived for scraps on their dinner table, and had the best hair.
Run free in dog heaven, Bo!