Barney Bush Dies at 84 (in Dog Years)

Barney Bush, former First Dog of the United States (FDOTUS), has lost his battle with lymphoma. The Scottish Terrier was 12 years old and described by Bush as the son he never had.

Barney was born in New Jersey but grew up in Washington, D.C. He is survived by his owners Laura and George W. Bush, as well as a niece, Miss Beazley, who is also owned by the Bushes.

Barney Bush Dies at 84 (in Dog Years)

Barney is memorialized here in an oil painting done by Dubya — who clearly doesn't want you to forget he was the 43rd president — himself.

President Bush issued this statement on Facebook:

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.

Though Barney's life was relatively brief, it was not without its controversies. Barney was ridiculed by Russian President Vladimir Putin who believed owning a small dog was weak. During a trip to Russia, Barney met Putin's Labrador Koni who Putin described as "bigger, tougher, stronger, faster, meaner." He also had a mean streak, biting Reuters reporter Jon Decker and Boston Celtics public relations director Heather Walker.

Prior to succumbing to lymphoma, Barney had one previous brush with death: when President Bush dropped him on his face in front of some horrified children. Rest in peace, Barney.

[Images via AP and the Dallas Morning News]