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Former first dog Buddy killed by car

Buddy the dog
The Clintons got Buddy, a chocolate labrador, in December 1997.  

CHAPPAQUA, New York (CNN) -- Former President Bill Clinton's dog Buddy was killed Wednesday by a passing car outside the family's Westchester County, New York, home.

The former "first dog" was struck at about 12:15 p.m. on Route 117, a busy two-lane street close to the Clintons' home on Old House Lane in Chappaqua.

According to police, Buddy was struck by a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old girl after "playfully chasing a contractor" who had just left the residence. Secret Service agents rushed after Buddy when they saw him chasing the contractor's van off the property, and arrived at the scene moments after the dog was struck, New Castle police Lt. John Vize told CNN.

The agents immediately took Buddy to Chappaqua Animal Hospital, where the dog was pronounced dead, Vize said.

No members of the Clinton family were at home at the time of the accident.

A spokeswoman for the former president told CNN the Clinton family is "deeply saddened" by Buddy's death. A family statement said Buddy was "a loyal companion and brought us much joy. He will be truly missed."

Clinton received a 3-month-old Buddy as a gift in December 1997, weeks before the surfacing of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, which ended with Clinton being impeached by the House and found not guilty by the Senate.

The dog's namesake was Clinton's great-uncle, Henry Oren "Buddy" Grisham, who died in June of 1997. Clinton said at the time that Grisham was a father figure to him, in addition to having been a dog trainer for 50 years.

Buddy, a chocolate Labrador retriever, was frequently seen at the president's side at the White House and on travels, and joined Clinton when he moved to New York one year ago.




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