Bush broke the news on his Facebook page, where he also made public a recent oil painting he did of his dog.
“After twelve and a half years of life, his body could not fight off the illness,” Bush said in the post.
Barney had lymphoma.
Barney was born Sept. 30, 2000 — two months before Bush was elected to his first term.
In his Facebook post, Bush wrote, “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’s mother was Coors, a Scottish terrier owned by former Environmental Protection Agency Director Christine Todd Whitman, and his father was Kelly of Champion Motherwell Stormwarning.
Barney had his own section on the Bush administration’s official White House website, starred in numerous videos and was a fixture at the White House, the Bushes’ Crawford ranch and Camp David, where Barney’s favorite activity was chasing golf balls on the chipping green.
He was a “fierce armadillo hunter,” Bush wrote, who loved going along when he fished for bass at the ranch.
“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 also once bit a reporter who got too close.
The president, who has taken up painting since leaving the White House, also released a portrait he did of Barney. It is signed “43.” Bush was the nation’s 43rd president.
Barney is survived by Miss Beazley, another Scottish terrier who lives with the ex-president, and Bob, a cat.
(Photo: Bush’s portrait of Barney, from Facebook)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 2nd, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barney, bush, death, died, dogs, first dog, first dogs, former, george, lymphoma, news, passed away, pets, presidency, president, president bush, presidents, scottish terrier, texas, w, white house
A collar belonging to Warren G. Harding’s Airedale terrier, Laddie Boy, was stolen this week from the former president’s historic home in Ohio.
Strangely, it was apparently the only item taken in the Tuesday heist at the Harding Home and Museum in Marion.
“I don’t think there is a single item in this collection that matters more or is more important or special to the thousands of schoolchildren who pass through this home each year,” Sherry Hall, site manager, told the Columbus Dispatch.
“It’s a real connection to history for them” added Hall, who has overseen the site for nearly13 years. “They see that collar and learn about Laddie Boy and say, ‘Look. I have a dog, too. I’m just like the president.’”
On Tuesday morning, a groundskeeper found a ladder leaning against the home and a second story window open. A pry bar was found close by.
Hall, when she arrived at work, found a jewelry box belonging to Harding’s wife, Florence Kling Harding, broken and on the floor and other rooms in disarray.
Marion police distributed photos of the collar, hoping that if a thief tried to pawn it or sell it, it would be reported.
“I would say whoever stole it had been in there before, knew what it was and where it was and went in to get that and only that,” Marion Police Lt. Mark Beaschler said.
The dog collar, made from Alaskan gold nuggets, was fashioned especially for Laddie Boy, whose name is written in raised letters on the center.
During Harding’s term as the country’s 29th president, Laddie Boy had his own chair at the White House, which he sat in during cabinet meetings.
(Photos: Ohio Historical Society)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airedale, alaska, animals, burglary, chair, collar, curator, dogs, gold, harding home and museum, historic, historical, home, investigation, ladder, Laddie Boy, manager, marion, museum, nuggets, ohio, pets, police, president, presidential, presidents, pry bar, sherry hall, site, stolen, terrier, warren g harding, warren harding, white house, window
It would be have been a doggone big story, if it were true.
Based on a report from the Star-Advertiser in Honolulu, many media outlets were asking the question yesterday: Was Bo flown back to Washington from Hawaii for the sole purpose of taking part in a photo op with the president during his shopping trip to PetSmart?
On Wednesday, Bo accompanied the president on a shopping trip in Alexandria — and was duly photographed by the press corps.
Clearly, some theorized, the dog must have been flown back home for the photo op.
Or, for those who like conspiracy theories, might there actually be two Bo’s — maybe an original Bo and a cloned Bo — one who serves as the family dog, one who handles the public appearances?
Britain’s Daily Mail, as it’s prone to do, seemed to be breathing most heavily about the possibility of wrongdoing:
” … Michelle Obama’s press office had earlier said Bo would be leaving with the First Lady and her girls for their Hawaii holiday last Saturday… And an island eyewitness said he saw the Portuguese Water Dog taken for a walk earlier this week, ahead of President Obama’s delayed arrival.
“A mistake could have been made by all three news outlets who reported the dog went to Hawaii … But a mystery is presented if at least one of the Chicago Sun-Times, Hawaii TV station KHON 2 and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser were correct.”
The Los Angeles Times asked Michelle Obama’s office and quickly got this answer: “Bo has been in D.C. this whole time.”
The Star-Advertiser in Honolulu yesterday ran a correction on its report that Bo arrived with Michele Obama and the children in Hawaii.
Obama’s not the first president to be wrongly suspected of having the government chauffeur his dog across great distances at great expense.
Republicans accused Franklin D. Roosevelt of leaving his Scottish terrier Fala behind on a trip to the Aleutian Islands, then ordering a U.S. Navy destroyer to go retrieve him.
In a 1944 speech, FDR responded to the charges.
“These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family don’t resent attacks — but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I’d left him behind on an Aleutian island and had sent a destroyer back to find him — at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or 20 million dollars — his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself … But I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog!”
You’d think Republicans, and even Sarah Palin, would have learned by now — as Richard Nixon did — that, while bad-mouthing a president is accepted procedure in politics, bad mouthing his dog will only get you bitten.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 23rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bo, checkers, christmas, clone, conspiracy, correction, destroyer, dogs, fala, family, fdr, flown, franklin roosevelt, hawaii, jet, media, mistakes, newspapers, nixon, obama, pets, petsmart, photo op, photographs, portuguese water dog, president, presidents, shopping, trip, washington, wrongdoing
Sarah Palin is criticizing the Obama family’s official White House holiday greeting card for its emphasis on dog, not God.
The card features an image of Bo, the Obama family dog, in front of a fireplace in the White House library with a poinsettia, some greenery (but no tree) and other decorations.
It makes no mention of Christmas, Jesus or God, and states: “From our family to yours, may your holidays shine with the light of the season.”
Palin told Fox News that she found it “odd” that the card emphasizes the dog instead of traditions like “family, faith and freedom.”
“They wanted to do an inside shot, something home related,” said L.A. artist and designer Mark Matuszak, who created the card. “One idea was to focus on Bo, the Obama family dog. “So we thought, let’s put Bo in front of a fireplace.”
In reality, it’s not unusual for a White House holiday card not to mention Christmas, or God — even under Republican presidents.
And the presence of dog is nothing new, as pointed out by BusinessInsider.com. Of the two cards below, the one on the left was sent out by George W. Bush in 2005, and featured his dogs, Barney and Miss Beazley. The one on the right was sent out by Ronald Reagan. Look closely and you can see what appear to be, gasp!, pawprints.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bo, card, christmas, christmas cards, dog, fireplace, fox news, george w. bush, god, greeting, holiday, jesus, obama, official, pets, politics, president, presidents, republicans, ronald reagan, sarah palin, values, white house
Seldom, if ever, has so much weight been put on a single family’s choice of dog.
And seldom if ever has getting a dog – normally a personal and joyful affair — become such a public exercise in risk management and political correctness.
At first it was a simple campaign promise to his daughters, Sasha and Malia, that they’d get a dog after the election — only slightly complicated by the need for that dog, in deference to Malia’s allergies, to be hypo-allergenic, if there even really is such a thing.
Now there’s talk that the Obama’s eagerly anticipated choice of dog breed, or hybrid — Newsweek magazine’s April 13 issue says to expect some developments within the week — could lead not just to a surge in purchases of whatever breed they choose, but could cause a boom to the puppy mill industry as well.
The logic, as outlined by Newsweek, goes this way: If the Obamas get a Labradoodle — even a rescued Labradoodle — it will spark an increase in demand for the hybrid, and since most hybrids are bred by puppy millers, they’ll start churning them out to meet the demand, or in anticipation of it.
If the Obamas get a Portugese water dog — the other choice they’ve mentioned — the same thing would happen because not a lot of that breed can be found in shelters or rescue.
In other words, Obama can’t win. The fear is any breed, or hybrid, the First Family picks could have a “101 Dalmatians” effect: a sudden burst in popularity that breeders will try to capitalize on it by mass-producing similar dogs.
Even with Obama’s popularity, I think the fear is being slightly overstated — and I can’t think of any precedent for a president’s choice of dog leading to mass purchasing of the breed. I don’t think the presidency of younger Bush led to a surge in Scotties, anymore than the popularity of beagles was boosted by Lyndon B. Johnson. (History buffs, please correct me if I am wrong.)
Then again, with the Obamas, there are cute kids involved, and photo ops and, I’m sure, a media onslaught of tremendous proportions once the dog arrives, if how much coverage the issue (or non-issue if you prefer) has already gotten is any indication.
All this is another good argument for what was my personal preference, and really the only politically correct choice – a shelter mutt. That way, the only copycat surge would be in the number of people going to their shelters to adopt dogs that already exist and need homes.
Of course, that was before I decided it was none of my business – that, ideally, a family’s choice of dog should be left up to that family, not pundits, political pressure, or internet polls. Has any other president been held to this level of scrutiny — or any scrutiny at all — regarding his choice of dog? (Note to future presidential candidates: Get a dog before you start your campaign.)
Dogs may be man’s best friend, but I’m not sure, at this particular moment, if they’re Obama’s.
(Photo: Posters by Shepard Fairey)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 8th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barack, breeders, breeds, choice, decision, dog, dogs, first dog, first family, hybrid, hypo-allergenic, labradoodle, malia, mutt, obama, pets, portugese water dog, president, presidents, pressure, puppy mills, sasha, white house
Given the Pentagon’s decision to ban pit bulls and other “dangerous” dog breeds from Army housing, we thought it would be a good time to revisit Stubby, the stray pit bull who became the most decorated canine soldier of World War 1.
At war’s end, Stubby was treated like a hero. Doors were opened for him, as opposed to being slammed in his face. Today, in light of a recently approved Pentagon policy, soldiers returning home — if they have a pit bull, Rottweiler, chow or Doberman Pinscher in their family — won’t be allowed to keep them if they live on a military base. (Thanks for fighting for our “freedom,” though.)
It’s just the latest breed-specific slap in the face to pit bulls, a breed that once served not just in battle (Stubby saw action in 17), but as corporate mascots (Nipper for RCA Victor) and TV show characters (Petey on “Our Gang”).
Stubby, though he entered the armed forces surreptitiously, was the only dog to be promoted to “Sergeant” through combat.
Stubby was found on the Yale campus — parts of which were being used as a training encampment — in 1917. He was taken in by John Robert Conroy and other soldiers, marched alongside them through training and, when time came to ship out to France, was smuggled aboard the USS Minnesota in an overcoat.
Overseas, he served as a morale-booster, sentry and more.
In April 1918, Stubby, along with the 102nd Infantry, participated in the raid on the German held town of Schieprey. As the Germans withdrew they threw hand grenades at the pursing allies, one of which wounded Stubby in the foreleg.
In the Argonne, Stubby was credited with ferreting out a German spy and holding on to the seat of his pants until soldiers arrived to complete the capture.
Stubby eventually ended up in a hospital when his master, Corporal J. Robert Conroy, was wounded. After doing hospital duty, he and Conroy returned to their unit, and served for the remainder of the way.
At war’s end, he was smuggled back home.
Upon his return, he was made a lifetime member of the American legion. He marched in every legion parade and attended every legion convention from the end of the war until his death. He met three presidents — Wilson, Harding and Coolidge.
In 1921 General Pershing, commander of American Forces during the War, awarded Stubby a gold hero dog’s medal that was commissioned by the Humane Education Society.
One New York City hotel, the Grand Hotel Majestic, lifted its ban on dogs so that Stubby could stay there enroute to one of many visits to Washington.
When Conroy went to Georgetown to study law, Stubby went along and served as mascot for the football team. Some say his halftime antics — he would push a football around the field with his nose — was the origin of the halftime show.
Stubby died in 1926. His obituary in the New York Times ran three columns wide for half a page.
His remains were mounted by a taxidermist and presented for display at the Smithsonian. From 2000 to 2003, he was loaned to the Connecticut National Guard Armory, where he was exhibited for three years.
All that history seems to be lost on the Pentagon — as does that of Rottweilers and Dobermans who have served the country, and continue to.
If remembering Stubby’s life isn’t enough to persuade the Pentagon that their action was rash, ill-conceived and discriminatory, then they should borrow from another chapter of his legacy, that being the last one:
They should take their new policy and stuff it.
(Photos and source material: Connecticut Military Department)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 18th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: Add new tag, army, ban, banned, bases, breeds, chow, connecticut, conroy, doberman pinschers, dobermans, dog, dogs, georgetown, hero, history, housing, john robert conroy, military, pentagon, pit bull, presidents, rottweiler, stubby, u.s., war, wolf hybrids, world war 1, yale