RIP: Barney Bush, Age 12

The passing of a loved one prompts the first public release of the 43rd President's artwork

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George W. Bush painting
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A painting of Barney Bush by President George W. Bush

Since leaving the White House, George W. Bush has adopted a remarkably low profile, foregoing the political scene to spend his days at home in Dallas. During his downtime, Bush has picked up painting as a hobby. In particular, New York magazine reported, Bush likes to paint dogs.

Unfortunately, the first public unveiling of the 43rd President’s handiwork was prompted Friday by sad news: the death of Barney, Bush’s Scottish terrier. Barney was 12. Bush released this statement in remembrance:

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.

Barney did bite a reporter back in 2008, though Bush White House alums might tell you that attests to his judgment. As for the President, he inscribed his oil painting with a one-of-a-kind signature: “43.”