BARACK Obama is mourning the loss of his eldest dog - describing his faithful hound as a "true friend and a loyal companion".
Mr Obama said his beautiful friend Bo had been a "constant, gentle presence" in the lives of the Obamas when he arrived in the White House in April 2009.
The former president wrote on Twitter: "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."
In a second Twitter post, the heartbroken former president continued: "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."
And signing off, Barack said: "He was exactly what we needed and more than we ever expected.
"We will miss him dearly."
Bo, otherwise known as the "first dog", was a Portuguese water dog and was chosen specifically for his hypoallergenic coat, which was safe for his daughter Malia.
In August 2013, Bo was joined by Sunny, a female dog of the same breed.
The gorgeous hound was named by Malia and Sasha after their cousins' cat and Michelle Obama's father, in reference to the R&B musician Bo Diddle - although the name also makes up the initials of Barack Obama.
The former president's tribute came after Michelle Obama posted the news on Instagram earlier today that Bo had died from 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," Mrs. Obama, 57, wrote on Instagram.
"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," she added.
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"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."
More to follow...
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