Barney, former “first dog” of President George W. Bush has crossed the Rainbow Bridge according to a statement released by Bush and his wife, Laura, on February 1st. Barney, a black Scottish terrier, died at the age of 12 from lymphatic cancer.
Barney became an Internet sensation in 2002 when viewers were offered a dog’s level view of the White House during the Christmas holidays. The video went virile, drawing 24 million online tourists the first day.
The idea for Barney’s cam came from first lady Laura Bush because public access to the White House had become very restricted as a consequence of September 11th (9/11). The 4.5 minute video tour of the White House’s holiday decorations was such a hit that his movies became an annual feature for the remainder of Bush’s presidency.
Barney’s videos later involved the Bush’s other Scottish terrier, Miss Beazley. Celebrities such as country singer Alan Jackson and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair have also appeared as guests on his videos.
First dog Barney gracefully greeted heads of state, queens and prime ministers yet was known to fiercely guard the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he was an undercover Selective Service agent. Barney also traveled often with President Bush on Air Force One. One of my favorite pictures of Barney and President Bush is a June 25, 2001 file photo where Bush is doing his best to salute as he was holding Barney while getting off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, MD.
Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House, said Bush. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.
By Saturday morning, the above message on the former president’s Facebook page had drawn more than 31,000 comments. The Facebook page also shares a 64-page photo gallery of Barney including Bush’s oil painting of his beloved pet. The photo gallery had received an additional 8,600 comments.
Barney’s burial place will be on the former president’s ranch in Central Texas. Barney enjoyed accompanying Bush on fishing trips on the ranch as well as hunting armadillos.
As the owner of Scottish terriers, I can personally attest to their loyalty. President and Mrs. Bush, I feel your loss.