Those Bush’s Baked Beans commercials will never be the same.
On Tuesday, Bush’s Beans announced that the dog who’d played the unofficial company mascot, Duke, had died.
A family friend named David Odom shared the news on Facebook, paying tribute to the beloved pup, whose name was actually Sam.
“He lived in Apopka, Florida, 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 [on June 27] due to an aggressive cancer he was suffering from. She is as we are heartbroken.”
He continued, “He was a very special dog to all who ever knew or had the pleasure of meeting him. He is and will be missed.”
Bush’s addressed the dog’s fans in a July 3 post, citing its series of commercials in which Duke tried to spill the company’s secret recipe.
“We continue to be overwhelmed by fan interest and their love of Duke. The relationship between [brand spokesman] 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.”