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Tag: bush

Barbara Bush stood for much, dogs included

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Barbara Bush was remembered over the weekend as a kind, strong and loyal matriarch whose advocacy for various causes touched the lives of many.

Among those were the lives of dogs — her own family’s and others, including the hundreds of thousands who have visited the dog park that bears the name of her former dog, Millie.

Mrs. Bush wrote two children’s books that featured her own family dogs.

millliesbook“Millie’s Book,” published in 1992, describes a day in the life of President George H.W. Bush and family, through their dogs eyes, including daily morning briefings, time spent in the Oval Office, and breaks in the yard to chase squirrels.

The book hit No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list.

“C. Fred’s Story,” published in 1984, detailed their Cocker Spaniel’s life as the sidekick of then-Vice President Bush.

Both books raised money towards Bush’s top human cause, literacy, with “Millie’s Book” raising over $1.1 million.

More than 1,000 mourners gathered in Texas Saturday to attend the funeral of the former first lady at the Bushes’ family church in Houston.

She had been fighting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure.

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In 2003, Harris County opened a state of the art dog park in Houston in honor of the former first lady’s English Springer Spaniel, Millie.

Millie and Mrs. Bush are said to have been the inspiration for the park, the first to open in the county. It went on to serve as a model and inspiration for other dog parks. Millie died in Kennebunkport, Maine, on May 19, 1997 at the age of about 11.

Houston locals remember Mrs. Bush as “a kind of straight-talking grandmother to the city, an approachable first lady out for a stroll in the sunshine, so genuinely earthbound that she herself picked up after her dogs at the park,” the New York Times reported.

More photos of Mrs. Bush and the Bush dogs can be seen in this PEOPLE magazine report on the former first lady’s passion for dogs.

(Photos: At top, the First Lady and Millie on the grounds of the White House in 1989, by Diana Walker; at bottom, Millie and the Lady in a 1990 photo, Associated Press)

White House makes a final Barney video

The White House has produced its final holiday video (I’m hoping this isn’t our tax dollars at work) featuring the president’s dog, Barney.

In this year’s “Barney Cam” Christmas greeting, the first family’s Scottish terrier scampers amid the White House’s red, white and blue holiday decorations before retiring for a nap and imagining himself as an athlete.

The Barney Cam was introduced in the 2002 holiday season, and got 24 million Web visitors on its first day, according to the Associated Press.

Since then, Barney’s holiday videos have featured former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush adviser Karl Rove, country singers Dolly Parton and Alan Jackson and other stars. Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps and Nastia Liukin guest star in the final holiday doggie video from the White House.

Barney is shown in cutout animation as an Olympic vaulter, swimmer and synchronized diver with fellow terrier Miss Beazley, both in red swimsuits.

He also dreams of sinking the final putt to secure the Ryder Cup, with the entire U.S. Ryder Cup team chanting “Barney, Barney, Barney!”

The Barney Cam spot introduced Monday starts with President George W. Bush, his wife, Laura, and their daughters, Jenna and Barbara, reminiscing about their times together in the White House, then sending Barney off to decorate and nap.

Shoes fly, don’t bother him

Say what you will about our soon to depart from office president, the man has got pretty good reaction time, and was far cooler under pressure than I would have expected — considering the shoes hurled at his head today in Baghdad by an Iraqi journalist appear to miss their mark by only inches.

He was calm, if not overly articulate in the immediate aftermath, and even came up with a witty remark a little later. “I’m OK,” he said. “All I can report is it is a size 10.”

“This is your farewell kiss, you dog!” the shoe hurler shouted in Arabic as he threw his shoes, according to the Associated Press.