Obama Says 'Everybody' Had Something Nice To Say When His Dog Died

by Valerie Williams
Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty

President Obama tells James Corden about the kind reaction to his dog Bo’s death

To say the last several years of American politics have been polarizing is kind of the understatement of the century. We’re a nation divided in just about every way possible but as it turns out, there’s still a place where pretty much everyone can come together and that’s for the love of dogs. Former President Barack Obama has just discovered that fact after the heartbreaking loss of his dog, Bo, and he’s sharing what it feels like to see people bonding over the only thing America can agree on these days.

During last night’s episode of The Late Late Show, Obama opened up to James Corden about losing Bo, the Portuguese water dog who became part of the first family in April 2009.

Obama tells Corden that Bo became “a bond for the whole family to give us this fun, furry excuse to go for walks and spend time together and chase after each other.” The pup was also a friendly face during Obama’s years in office. “There’s a well-known saying in Washington, ‘If you want a friend, get a dog,’” he quips. “Well, I got one because I needed a friend during the presidency who would be nice to me no matter what.”

Bo died earlier this month after a cancer diagnosis and when Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama took to their socials to mourn their loss, they discovered that the usual trolls were actually… being kind? He notes that the Bo tributes “are the only posts where everybody posted something nice,” pointing out that their posts usually fill up with nasty comments.

For anyone who’s watched a comment section on what appears to be a totally noncontroversial topic somehow turn into a literal dumpster fire, it’s easy to see why Obama is kind of marveling at the fact that even his haters are being nice about the loss of Bo. It’s rare these days to see a bunch of folks being kind on the internet — which is actually incredibly sad.

“I can’t tell you how many people said, ‘You know, I think you were the worst president ever but here’s my dog and I really feel sorry for you because I know how close I was with my dog,’” he recounts.

“It actually told you something about how important people’s pets are in their family’s lives,” he says. “As I was reading these comments, it did make me sometimes think, ‘Gosh, if we could be as kind and thoughtful toward each other as we are about our pets, we’d be doing a little bit better.’”

I mean, he’s not wrong. I’ve often thought when I read a very united comments section on an article about someone being cruel to animals that if only we could unite this way around other causes, the world would be a better place. Not likely to happen anytime soon, but I do understand his sentiment.

In conclusion, dogs are amazing and we only barely deserve them. That’s one of few facts we can all still agree on.