President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush say they are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they’ve received following the death of their beloved Scottish terrier, Barney, last week.
Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said animal lovers from across the country have offered their condolences and support after the Bushes announced that their playful, armadillo-hunting 12.5-year-old Scottie passed away from cancer. “So many fellow animal lovers from across the country have really come out of the woodwork to share their condolences, and the Bushes have been touched,” Ford said.
One such group offering condolences following Barney’s death is PETA, whose president, Ingrid E. Newkirk, sent a condolence letter to the Bush family.
In the letter, Newkirk announced that PETA will honor Barney with a leaf on the organization’s “Tree of Life” memorial in its Norfolk, Va., headquarters. PETA also encouraged the Bushes to look in a local animal shelter if and when they are looking for a new pet, and the organization offered to help the former first family locate a shelter when the time comes.
“In the best of homes, animal companions are family members, and nothing is more difficult than losing a loved one,” Newkirk said in a release. “We are urging President and Mrs. Bush to consider saving a life by adopting from their local government shelter, where dogs await a loving family like theirs.”
Ford said the Bushes were touched by PETA’s offer but for the moment are focused on consoling Barney’s sister Scottie, Miss Beazley.
“I know they appreciated PETA’s sympathies and their offer to help,” Ford said. “For now, they are just focused on remembering Barney and helping his adopted sister, Miss Beazley, get over her grief. Even Bob the Cat (a stray they rescued in Crawford) is helping comfort Miss Beazley.”