Millie, a springer spaniel who was “first dog” in the Bush White House and namesake of a book that offered a dog’s-eye view of the presidency, has died at the Bush summer home in Maine. She was 12.
Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said the dog was taken to a veterinarian in Kennebunkport, Maine, on Sunday because of stomach problems, and she died Monday. A diagnosis was not available.
“President and Mrs. Bush are somewhat in a state of shock because it happened so quickly,” McGrath said.
Mildred Kerr, the Bushes’ longtime friend and Houston neighbor who was Millie’s namesake, said the dog “was loved so much by Mrs. Bush and the whole family.”
Barbara Bush wrote the 1990 best-selling Millie’s Book, ostensibly “dictated” by the dog, whose full name was Mildred Kerr Bush.
The book included pictures of the dog posing with famous people and frolicking with her pups and the president on the White House lawn. It sold more than 300,000 copies in its first year and raised nearly $900,000 for the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Millie gained considerable notice when she gave birth to four puppies in the White House on March 17, 1989. Bush said he was banished to Abe Lincoln’s bedroom during the later stages of Millie’s pregnancy because “the dog refuses to go to the doghouse.”