Losing someone we love is one of the most devastating things we can go through in our lives. It's difficult because, as human beings, we're able to form such intense and seemingly unbreakable bonds with people.
But our ability to grieve over somebody's death isn't just reserved to the people we love. Losing a dog, or any other pet, can be just as devastating. Dogs especially - being the playful and loyal creatures that they are - are some of our greatest companions.
Learn more about the incredibly touching story of the dog who saved the life of a vulnerable three-year-old:
When we lose a dog, we mourn the death as though the pooch were just a regular member of the family.
It's a tragedy, pure and simple. And it's a tragedy that the country is now facing as a whole, as we collectively mourn the loss of one of our most beloved canine national treasures.
You may or may not have heard by now that Duke, the iconic speaking dog from the BUSH’S Baked Beans commercials, has died.
Following a battle with "an aggressive cancer", he was laid to rest in Florida, bringing his millions of dedicated fans to tears.
His death was confirmed on Tuesday by company executives after the news was initially revealed on Facebook by David Odom, a friend of the dog's owner.
"Most know him as ‘Duke’ the BUSH’S Baked Beans dog," Odom wrote, including the photo above. "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," Odom added. "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."
The post soon went viral, garnering over 122,000 reactions and more than 99,000 shares.
Watch to see Sam in action as Duke the BUSH’S "spokesdog":
It wasn't long before Odom's touching post was then seen by BUSH’S themselves, who took to their own Facebook to express their sincerest condolences. "We continue to be overwhelmed by fan interest and their love of Duke," the post reads.
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 post continued, referring to Duke’s acting partner, Jay Bush, who also appeared in the commercials.
"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."
According to BUSH’S, a group of canine actors played Duke, the company's "spokesdog", over the years
However, it appears Sam was one of the original pooches to appear in the commercials.
The idea behind the commercial was conceived back in 1996 by Jay Bush who actually has a Golden Retriever of his own, named Duketo. However, because Duketo wasn't too keen on being in the spotlight, Bush went on a search for dogs who resembled the pooch.
Since then, Duke has become one of the most recognizable faces in the history of baked beans ads.
And in light of this, BUSH’S maintains they will continues to use him for as many of their future commercials as possible.
In the commercials, the pooch would attempt to share the recipe for the beans, until his owner, Jay Bush, would stop him in his tracks.
His lips would move like a human as he "spoke" and he would always be on the brink of "spilling the beans".
The untimely fate Sam met is nothing short of tragic. We can only hope that his owner is coping as best she can with the loss of her canine companion and that his legacy will continue to live on.