The television world is mourning the loss of one of its most beloved icons, and tributes are pouring in from all over. The keeper of a treasured family secret was his claim to fame and now some say he took it with him to the grave.
I’m talking, of course, about Jay Bush’s beloved sidekick, a gorgeous Golden Retriever named ‘Duke.’ Although the role was played by different dogs over the years, the most famous was a fellow named ‘Sam’ whose owner named Susan says the four-legged spokesperson had been in ill health recently.
Susan’s neighbor, Dave Odom, posted about the sad loss on Facebook and the story has gone viral. The Bush family best-friend had a lot of fans and many of them turned out to pay tribute to the talking canine who was always looking for a way to make a fast buck off of the secret recipe entrusted to him.
“Most know him as ‘Duke’ the Bush's Baked Beans dog. His name is actually Sam. He lived in Apopka with our friend Susan his owner. She trains animals to work in commercials. Not just hers but others as well.
“Sadly she had to euthanize Sam yesterday due to an aggressive cancer he was suffering from. She is as we are heartbroken. Here is a photo from his better days. He was a very special dog to all who ever knew or had the pleasure of meeting him. He is and will be missed.”
Once they caught wind of the fan response, the Bush’s Baked Beans company responded to the outpouring of love and accolades.
“We continue to be overwhelmed by fan interest and their love of Duke. The relationship between Jay and his beloved dog Duke is the embodiment of the BUSH’S brand, and has been a part of our family story for more than 20 years.
“During that time, we've worked closely with several dogs who portrayed Duke in our commercials, including Sam. While Sam has not worked with us in years, we are saddened by the news of his passing and are grateful to have had him depict Duke.
“Because Duke is iconic to BUSH’S and so adored by our fans, we will continue to use him in our ads.”
We join the Bush Family and Susan in mourning the loss of this cherished four-legged friend. He will be missed.
To enjoy some of Duke's most memorable appearances, watch the video, below.