Social media erupted with sorrow and sweetness as the public learned that Sam, one of the dogs who portrayed “Duke” in commercials for Bush’s Baked Beans had died.
Sam lived in Apopka, FL, with his owner, Susan. Neighbor David Odom’s post about Sam’s death went viral on Facebook, and Bush’s Baked Beans responded.
“We continue to be overwhelmed by fan interest and their love of Duke. 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,” Bush’s Baked Beans wrote on Facebook on Tuesday. “During that time, we’ve worked closely with several dogs who portrayed Duke in our commercials, including Sam.”
The company says Sam hasn’t played “Duke” in recent years, yet they 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,” the company’s statement said.
David Odom shared a photo and wrote about Sam’s death on Facebook last week. He added that Sam’s owner trains animals to work in commercials.
“Sadly [Susan] had to euthanize Sam yesterday due to an aggressive cancer he was suffering from,” Odom’s post from June 28 reads. “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,” Odom wrote.
Sam’s character “Duke” is known for making snarky comments to his “owner,” Jay, in the company’s commercials where he often attempts to leak the secret recipe.
There was an outpouring of messages for the lovable and famous dog on social media.
Duke, the bush's baked beans dog died, so July 4th is CANCELLED.
— Katelyn (@katyhowellx) July 3, 2018