Duke, the “spokesanimal” featured in Bush’s Baked Beans commercials, has died in Florida after battling brain cancer.
David Odom, a friend of Duke’s owner, took to Facebook to announce that the pup had to be euthanized.
“Most know him as "Duke" the Bush's Baked Beans dog," Odom wrote. "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 ... He was a very special dog to all who ever knew or had the pleasure of meeting him. He is and will be missed.”
While the canine wasn’t the only dog to play the talking dog character throughout the years, he was reportedly one of the first.
“Duke” appeared in the commercials alongside spokesman Jay Bush.
“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,” the company said.
“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.”