AUSTIN (KXAN) - Barney, the playful Scottish terrier who was then-President George Bush's dog during the White House years, died Friday from lymphoma, the former president said in a statement.
The small black dog was 12.
"Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent," Bush said. "He wandered the halls of the West Wing looking for treats from his many friends."
Born on Sept. 30, 2000 in New Jersey, Barney accompanied Bush and his wife, Laura, back to Texas after leaving the White House in January 2009. Bush, who now lives in Dallas, said Barney shared his love of the outdoors and was never one to jump uninvited into the laps of guests.
"He loved to accompany me when I fished for bass at the ranch," Bush said. "He was a fierce armadillo hunter. At Camp David, his favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green."
Barney, who is the subject of a full Facebook photo gallery, was a fixture during the Bush presidency, that started in 2001 after the Bush left the Texas Governor's Mansion. When he bit a wire service reporter, the footage was national news and a hit on YouTube.
The dog was also outfitted with a video camera, dubbed "Barneycam," so his White House wanderings could be recorded for history.
According to his Wikipedia page, Barney enjoyed playing with golf balls, volleyballs and watching people play horseshoes. He also had his detractors, including Bush's trusted political adviser Karl Rove, who dismissed his bosses dog as "a lump."
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met Barney at the Camp David presidential retreat, once boasted that his own dog was "tougher, stronger, meaner" than America's first dog.
But such sleights apparently did not undermine Bush's affection for the terrier that he would later memorialize in an oil painting. (See photos above)
"Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House," Bush said. "He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal."
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