Former President Barack Obama announced Saturday that the family’s dog Bo, who lived with the Obamas while they were in the White House, passed away.
“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,” Obama wrote on Twitter, along with a photo of him running alongside the Portuguese water dog.
Bo joined the Obama family in April 2009. He was a gift from the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a key supporter of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign who became close to the family. Bo helped Obama keep a promise to daughters Malia and Sasha that they could get a dog after the election.
The Obamas also adopted another Portuguese water dog while they were in the White House, Sunny.
The first pets were highly popular in the Obama White House and even had their own schedules along with the rest of the family.
“Everybody wants to see them and take pictures,” Michelle Obama said in 2016. “I get a memo at the beginning of the month with a request for their schedules, and I have to approve their appearances.”
The dogs entertained crowds at the annual Easter Egg Roll and Bo was at Michelle Obama’s side when she welcomed tourists on the anniversary of the president’s inauguration. The dogs cheered wounded service members, as well as the hospitalized children the first lady visited each year just before Christmas. In a sign of just how recognized Bo and Sunny are, authorities once arrested a North Dakota man who they say came to Washington to kidnap one of the pets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.