The Great Doggie Afterlife just opened its safety gates, checked for loose fence panels in the backyard, put out a new set of food and water dishes, and welcomed frolicking newcomer Bo Obama to its list of feisty, four-legged charges. No one could mistake the luscious charcoal tufts of curly fluff bounding over to the reception area, and the whole joint just got a lot more classy and glammed up, because good hair opens all the doors, and raggedy ol’ Becky can eat her heart out.
Bo, the Obamas’ beloved Portuguese Water Dog, died on Saturday at the age of 12, after a battle with cancer.
According to CNN:
“This afternoon was a difficult one for our family. We said goodbye to our best friend —our dog, Bo — after a battle with cancer,” former first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement posted to Instagram Saturday.
The Obama family got Bo shortly after they moved into the White House, fulfilling Barack Obama’s campaign promise to get his daughters, Sasha and Malia, a dog in return for their time spent on the campaign trail.
I remember a press conference from around that time, when Barack Obama answered a reporter’s question about the promised pup, and said that due to Malia’s allergies, they were limited with breed options and were still searching for just the right dog.
That dog came to the Obamas in the form of a gift from Ted Kennedy and his wife, Victoria.
“It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture—not only because the breed was hypoallergenic (a necessity due to Malia’s allergies) but also because the Kennedys had made sure that Bo was housebroken before he came to us,” Obama wrote.
If only all the White House residents were required to be housebroken before moving in, but I digress. Here’s one of my favorite shots of President Obama and Bo together, trotting down the hallway at a brisk clip:
Today our family lost a true friend and loyal companion. 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. pic.twitter.com/qKMNojiu9V
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 8, 2021
Bo was a fixture at White House events, rode Air Force One, and basically owned the place until he agreed to share his humans with new doggie sibling Sunny when she joined the Obama family in 2013.
I remember snickering during another Obama press conference when a reporter asked if they’d be getting a second dog, as there had been some talk about it. I’m paraphrasing here, but President Obama basically said, “We told the girls that we’re very proud of them and love them very much, and that one dog was enough.” It was obviously etched in stone right at that moment that Bo would soon have a sibling. Bo knew it, we knew it, and Barack knew it.
Here is Michelle’s sweet tribute to Bo:
View this post on Instagram
And here’s a tribute to Bo from Reuters:
We’ll raise some chew toys in honor of Bo tonight, wonder if he’s broken into the Cat Afterlife yet and started chasing Socks Clinton around, and maybe suggest he have a dog-to-dog chat with Major Biden about how to handle himself in crowds.
A sweet rest to you, Bo.