FORMER US President Barack Obama has announced the sad passing of his beloved dog Bo following a battle against cancer.
Obama and his wife Michelle confirmed the sad news on Instagram, where they paid tribute to a dog who will be remembered as a “true friend and loyal companion”.
“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,” Barack Obama wrote.
A Portuguese water dog by breed, Bo had an Irish connection too, having originally been gifted to the Obamas by the late Senator Edward M Kennedy.
Kennedy was a keen support of Obama’s successful 2008 presidential campaign with his kind gift helping the President keep a promise made to his daughters Malia and Sasha to get a dog after the election.
A popular presence around the White House who regularly joined the Obamas during public events, Bo was eventually joined by another dog, Sunny, in August 2013.
Together they entertained at events like the Easter Egg Roll and joined the first lady on visits to wounded service members and children in hospital.
Michelle’s tribute to Bo took the form of a slideshow featuring images of Bo sitting behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
“He was there when Barack and I needed a break, sauntering into one of our offices like he owned the place, a ball clamped firmly in his teeth,” she recalled.
“ He was there when we flew on Air Force One, when tens of thousands flocked to the South Lawn for the Easter Egg Roll, and when the Pope came to visit."
Michelle noted that despite the difficulties of the pandemic, the family have been able to spend an extended period with their beloved dog and “no-one was happier than Bo”.
“All his people were under one roof again,” she wrote.