updated 02/02/2013 AT 11:30 AM ET
•originally published 02/02/2013 AT 9:30 AM ET
You might remember him from a series of White House videos with puppy pal Miss Beazley – or famously biting a member of the press corps – but Barney Bush was a lifelong-pal to the former First Family, who made the sad announcement on Facebook late Friday.
“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,” George W. Bush wrote, adding a sweet tribute to his pet who “was by my side during our eight years in the White House. He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend.”
“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,” the statement continues.
“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.”
Bush makes no mention of daughters Jenna and Barbara, but concludes, “Laura and I will miss our pal.”