Bushes mourn 'first dog' Spot

US President George W Bush's dog Spot, an English springer spaniel who had remained eager to please despite increasing health troubles, has died. She was 15.

US President George W Bush's dog Spot, an English springer spaniel who had remained eager to please despite increasing health troubles, has died. She was 15.

Mr Bush and his wife, Laura, went along with a veterinarian’s recommendation to put the long-time family pet to sleep, according to White House spokesman Allen Abney. She had suffered a series of strokes recently, including one this week, he said.

“The President and Mrs Bush and the entire Bush family are deeply saddened by the passing of Spot,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said yesterday in a statement. “A loyal and loving companion, Spot was a beloved member of the Bush family for nearly 15 years. She will be missed.”

Spot was no stranger to the White House. She was born there to Millie, the well-known dog of Mr Bush’s parents, former President George Bush and his wife, Barbara, in 1989.

The friendly brown-and-white spaniel was regularly seen ambling around the West Wing and the South Lawn alongside the more energetic other Bush dog, Barney, a black three-year-old Scottish terrier.

The two dogs were routinely brought out to greet the President upon his return to the White House from trips, no matter the hour, and often travelled with the Bushes to Texas or Camp David.

Spot was always the more obedient, dutifully clambering onto a helicopter or Air Force One with no prompting while the President often had to chase down Barney and hand him off to an aide to be carried aboard.

Mrs Bush has often said that talking about and playing with the dogs and the family’s much more reclusive cat, Willy, make up a significant portion of the First Couple’s entertainment.

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