Barney Dead at 5

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Washington, DC (APE) – White House staffers were stunned to find the dead and frozen body of the president’s beloved dog Barney in the snow on the lawn outside of the Rose Garden. Photographic evidence indicates that Barney became drunk sometime late last night and passed out on the lawn, but the White House would neither confirm nor deny this. White House spokesperson Scott McClellan stated that they would be cooperating fully with an investigation from the Capitol Hill branch of the ASPCA. Barney becomes the second presidential dog to die under somewhat mysterious circumstances since President Bush took office.

An independent veterinarian who wished to remain anonymous speculated that Barney may have become depressed, and fed up with his roles in propaganda for the White House, and specifically two holiday movie appearances. “Many pet owners don’t realize how perceptive and vulnerable their pets can be,” she stated. “Unquestioning loyalty can sometimes take a toll. Barney appears to have been a very good dog who was forced to be bad. You can see this type of behavior sometimes in people with alcoholic families, where the true alcoholic refuses competent treatment. Truly the old axiom of pets beginning to resemble their masters does seem to apply.”

White House spokesperson Scott McClellan dismissed such speculations out of hand as a further politicizing of tragedy at the hands of Democrats. “Clearly this appears to be an accidental tragedy,” stated McClellan. “As I said, the staff is cooperating fully with the investigation, will submit to voluntary water boarding if needed. We are at a loss to explain how this might have happened.”

Barney was 5 and leaves behind an adoring wife Beasley, age 1. Funeral plans were not available at this time and the president refused further comment.