February 1, 2013 / 10:39 PM / 6 years ago

Bush family mourns loss of Barney the dog

U.S. President George W. Bush holds his dog Barney after arriving in Waco, Texas, in this December 26, 2007 file photo. The former president announced February 1 that his 12-year-old Scottish terrier passed away after suffering from lymphoma. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Harry Truman once said if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. George W. Bush had one, a Scottish terrier named Barney, and Bush announced on Friday that Barney had died.

“He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend,” Bush said in a statement issued from his home in Dallas.

The dog, more than 12 years old, had been suffering from lymphoma.

Barney was a frequent companion of the president and his wife, Laura, going on frequent walks at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas, and was said to have been a “fierce armadillo hunter.”

At the White House, he starred in “Barney Cam” videos done by the Bush White House to celebrate the holiday season. At the Camp David presidential retreat, he liked to chase golf balls on the chipping green, said the former president.

“Barney greeted queens, heads of state, and prime ministers. He was always polite and never jumped in their laps,” Bush said.

Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Sandra Maler

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