Farewell to Bo: Remembering the First Presidential Pet of the Obama Era
The Loss of a Loyal Friend
Former President Barack Obama announced a heartbreaking loss to the public recently, sharing that the family’s cherished pet, Bo, had passed away. Obama affectionately described Bo as “a true friend and loyal companion.”
Bo’s Impact on the Obama Family
Bo, the Portuguese water dog that brought a touch of warmth and companionship to the Obama White House, left a deep paw-print in the hearts of the Obama family and the nation. Sadly, the beloved canine passed away on Saturday.
The former president took to Twitter to share the sad news, writing, “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 fondly remembered Bo’s demeanor and quirks, stating, “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.”
Bo: The Presidential Pet
Bo joined the Obama family in the White House as a 6-month-old puppy in April 2009. The puppy was a thoughtful gift from Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and his wife, Victoria, to the Obama daughters, Malia and Sasha.
The name ‘Bo’ was chosen by the girls as it was the name of their cousins’ cat and served as a nod to Mrs. Obama’s father, who was nicknamed Diddley, after the musician Bo Diddley.
The Legacy of White House Pets
Bo’s arrival in the White House placed him in the esteemed lineage of presidential pets, a list that includes President Lyndon B. Johnson’s beagles, Him and Her; President Ronald Reagan’s Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Rex; President Bill Clinton’s cat, Socks; and President George W. Bush’s Scottish terrier, Barney.
This tradition was reinstated by President Biden with his two German shepherds, Champ and Major, following President Donald J. Trump’s pet-free term. Major made headlines recently for a series of biting incidents, prompting a brief period of training outside the White House.
Bo: A Canine Superstar
Throughout his life, Bo charmed not just the Obama family but the entire nation. Known for his playful antics on the South Lawn and his occasional appearances at news conferences, Bo quickly became a national favorite. He attracted letters from children across the country, all captivated by the charisma of the first presidential pet of the Obama era.
The loss of Bo is undoubtedly a sorrowful event for the Obamas and the many who followed his journey in the White House. As a nation mourns the loss of this iconic pet, we remember the joy and companionship he brought to one of America’s most well-known families.