bo obama

Barack and Michelle Obama left heartbroken after family loss

Bo, their 12-year-old dog, has passed away

Rebecca Lewis

Michelle Obama has shared the sad news that the family dog Bo has passed away.

Bo, whom the Obama family welcomed in April 2009 when they entered the White House, had been battling cancer.

"This afternoon was a difficult one for our family. We said goodbye to our best friend—our dog, Bo—after a battle with cancer," Michelle shared alongside pictures of Bo throughout the years.

MORE: Michelle Obama reveals worries for daughters Malia and Sasha

bo obama

Bo has died age 12

In one picture, he proudly sits in former President Barack's chair in the Oval Office, and in others he plays with Sasha and Malia.

"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," continued Michelle.

"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.

MORE: Michelle Obama unveils incredible room at family home

barack and bo obama

The family introduced six-month-old Bo in April 2009

"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. 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."

Michelle went on to share how the past year had made Bo "happier" as "all his people were under one roof again."

bo and michelle

Bo was often pictured at major events

"As a family, we will miss Bo dearly," she wrote, adding that they are "thankful" he "lived such a joyful life full of snuggles, games of fetch, and evenings spent lying on the couch."

"Please hug the furry members of your family a little closer tonight—and give them a belly rub from us," she concluded.

A male Portuguese Water Dog, Bo was a gift from Senator Kennedy, and appeared in some iconic Obama White House moments.

The Obamas welcomed a sister for Bo, Sunny, in August 2013.

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