Tributes Pour in for Obama's Dog Bo, After Former First Dog Passes Away From Cancer

Bo, the beloved former first dog and member of the Obama family, died Saturday after a battle with cancer. Former first lady Michelle Obama posted a heartfelt message to social media, and former President Barack Obama followed with the same.

Bo was a Portuguese water dog given to the Obamas from the late Senator Edward Kennedy, the Massachusetts Democrat who was a big supporter of Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign. The canine became a member of the Obama family in 2009 as the family settled into the White House.

Obama Dog Bo
U.S. President Barack Obama walks the first dog Bo to a picnic for members of Congress on the South Lawn of the White House June 8, 2010 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Gary Fabiano-Pool/Getty Images

Michelle Obama wrote that Saturday afternoon "was a difficult one for our family."

"We said goodbye to our best friend—our dog, Bo—after a battle with cancer," the former first lady wrote.

"On the campaign trail in 2008, we promised our daughters that we would get a puppy after the election. At the time, Bo was supposed to be a companion for the girls. We had no idea how much he would mean to all of us.

"For more than a decade, Bo was a constant, comforting presence in our lives. He was there when the girls came home from school, greeting them with a wag. 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 added. "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. And when our lives slowed down, he was there, too—helping us see the girls off to college and adjust to life as empty nesters."

The former first lady went on to say that while everyone was locked down during the pandemic, "no one was happier than Bo" since he could be near the entire family at all times.

"All his people were under one roof again—just like the day we got him. I will always be grateful that Bo and the girls got to spend so much time together at the end," Michelle Obama wrote.

This afternoon was a difficult one for our family. We said goodbye to our best friend—Bo—after a battle with cancer. We are grateful for the love you showed him over the years. Please hug the furry members of your family a little closer tonight—and give them a belly rub from us. pic.twitter.com/zOk3SPABsT

— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) May 8, 2021

She told her 20.6 million Twitter followers to "please hug the furry members of your family a little closer tonight—and give them a belly rub from us."

Barack Obama also tweeted, saying Bo was there for the family through thick and thin.

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

"Today our family lost a true friend and loyal companion," the former president 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 everyday in between."

He was exactly what we needed and more than we ever expected. We will miss him dearly. pic.twitter.com/CHweCxwJ7a

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 8, 2021

The tributes poured in by the thousands as soon as Bo's news hit social media. People offered condolences, shared photos of their own pets who have passed away, and even wrote messages like, "every dog goes [to] heaven."

I’m so very sorry.
I know how much you and your family loved that dog.
You were all lucky to have each other❤️

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 8, 2021

A favorite photo. ❤️
So sorry for your loss, Mr. President, First Lady Michelle, Malia and Sasha. pic.twitter.com/JGgezFMdih

— AZDem (@ResistNonsense) May 8, 2021

he protec, he love his mama, rest in pawradise Bo Obama 🌈 pic.twitter.com/yPuL06OOh0

— 𝓓𝓸𝓰𝓮 𝓖𝓸𝓭 🐶 (@PAVGOD) May 8, 2021

Every dog goes heaven. So sorry for your loss pic.twitter.com/49bRZskUiv

— Angelos Angelidis (@2006AA) May 8, 2021

Mr. President I’m so sorry to hear that Bo died. He was as lucky to have you as you were to have him. pic.twitter.com/E2yXqeZpJw

— Manatee Dreams (@MakeYourBed1) May 8, 2021