PHOENIX (AP) — John McCain’s dog, who was always at the senator’s side until his death last year, died after getting stuck in a pipe and drowning on the family’s northern Arizona property.

Cindy McCain told The Arizona Republic on Monday that Burma died last month when she got trapped in a pipe on their Cornville property.

She says the Chesapeake Bay retriever had never run into a pipe before. The property includes a series of ponds and a creek.

The family initially said the dog had died in a “freak” drowning accident in April.

Burma accompanied John McCain, who died in August from brain cancer, during the last year of his life.

Cindy McCain says she believes Burma is with her husband now.

The Chesapeake Bay retriever, Burma, was a birthday present to the Arizona senator and was “absolutely and truly devoted to him,” according to his daughter Meghan McCain.

“She would never leave his side, followed him around every single step when he would walk around our ranch, slept by his side every night and we always said Chesapeake bay retrievers were the most affectionate breed of dogs,” Meghan McCain tweeted in April. “The love this dog gave him was equal to a family member. I love you Burma and hope you’re in heaven jumping into creeks, chasing sticks and fish with Dad.”

John McCain died in August 2018 after a battle with a highly malignant form of brain cancer, after serving a nearly six-decade-long career in public service. 

“It’s devastating,” Cindy McCain continued. “She was John’s dog, period, and so what makes me feel better is I know she’s with him now.”

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