A painting by George W. Bush of Barney, courtesy of the Bush family. A painting by George W. Bush of Barney, courtesy of the Bush family.

President George W. Bush's dog Barney has died of lymphoma at the age of 12, the former president said in a statement Friday.

"Barney was by my side during our eight years in the White House," Bush wrote. "He never discussed politics and was always a faithful friend. Laura and I will miss our pal."

Bush, who has been learning to paint, published his own oil portrait of Barney as well as a Facebook album of the former first dog.

The Scottish terrier came to the White House with the Bushes; he was a gift to Laura Bush from Christine Todd Whitman, then governor of New Jersey, for the first lady's birthday in 2000. While in the White House, he was the subject of annual "Barney Cam" videos and had his own Web site -- Barney.gov. (He was also known to get a little territorial, once biting a Reuters reporter on the North Lawn.)