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Barney, former 1st dog, dies of lymphoma

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Former President George W. Bush said on Friday that his Scottish terrier, Barney, loved the ranch in Crawford, Texas. Barney has died at the age of 12 after suffering from lymphoma. REUTERS

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By The Associated Press
Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 8:07 p.m.

DALLAS — Legend has it that Harry Truman once said, “Want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.”

George W. Bush's pal, Barney, has died of lymphoma at 12, the former president announced in a statement Friday.

Bush said, “Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House,” and noted Barney “never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal.”

Thanks to a tiny video camera on his collar, Barney offered a dog-level holiday tour of the White House in 2002 while shuffling from room to room and menacing the Christmas tree.

The video starring Bush's black Scottish terrier was a hit, drawing 24 million online tourists the first day. It also helped reopen the White House after it was closed to tourists the previous holiday season following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Bush and his wife, Laura, said their pooch took his job with the first family seriously. “Barney guarded the South Lawn entrance of the White House as if he were a Secret Service agent,” they said in the statement. But “his favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green.”

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