RIP: Barney Bush, Former First Dog
PHOTO: Barney stands at the podium usually reserved for the Press Secretary during a visit Aug. 11, 2004, to the White House Press Briefing Room.

Barney, the First Dog, in the White House Press Room, Aug. 11, 2004. Image: The George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Barney, the Scottish Terrier that accompanied former President George W. Bush through his entire two-term presidency, has died. He was 12 and a half years old.

They say if you want a friend in Washington, you should get a dog. President George W. Bush brought one with him from Texas.

PHOTOS: Presidential Pets

Barney was a mainstay in the White House and gained a companion during, Miss Beazley, during his eight-year residency at the White House.

In a statement, the former president announced his friend's passing:

Laura and I are sad to announce that our Scottish Terrier, Barney, has passed away. The little fellow had been suffering from lymphoma and after twelve and a half years of life, his body could not fight off the illness.

Barney and I enjoyed the outdoors. He loved to accompany me when I fished for bass at the ranch. He was a fierce armadillo hunter. At Camp David, his favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green.

Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent. He wandered the halls of the West Wing looking for treats from his many friends. He starred in Barney Cam and gave the American people Christmas tours of the White House. Barney greeted Queens, Heads of State, and Prime Ministers. He was always polite and never jumped in their laps.

Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.

Laura Bush, the former first lady, posted a slideshow of Barney photos in memoriam on her Facebook page.

The Bush family was known to dress the dog up for holidays. His comedic YouTube videos were ahead of their time. The Obamas have kept up the tradition, featuring their dog, Bo, in similar White House holiday-themed shorts.

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