Cindy McCain reveals details of how her husband's beloved dog drowned

Burma, a Chesapeake Bay retriever, was a fixture by the senator's side at the end of his life and wouldn't leave his bed after his death.

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By Dareh Gregorian

The loyal dog who stayed by Sen. John McCain's side as he was dying from cancer drowned after getting stuck in a pipe and wasn't recovered until some time later, Cindy McCain told The Arizona Republic in an interview that provided more details on the accident.

Burma, the Chesapeake Bay retriever who could be seen in numerous social media posts by the ailing senator's side as he fought an aggressive form of brain cancer, was killed on the family's Arizona property last month, McCain's widow told the newspaper.

"It's weird — she had never done this before — she ran into a pipe," McCain said in the interview published Monday. "You know, we have a series of ponds on our property ... and she ran into the pipe and she got stuck. She drowned, and eventually, her body came out the other end of the pipe."

McCain first opened up about Burma's death in an interview with "NBC Nightly News" in April.

In an extended clip of the interview that ran online, McCain said "the pipe had debris in it evidently, and we couldn't get her out, or the people that take care of the place tried at both ends, risked their own lives, to try to get her out, and they couldn't do it."

"I told my friends it was a bit like losing him all over again," McCain said, referring to her husband. "She was what I had left of him."

But McCain said she took comfort knowing that her husband had been reunited with Burma, who a family friend said had stayed in the Vietnam veteran's bed for days after his death in August.

"So she's with him now," McCain said. "He's throwing sticks to her up there and they're having a great time. She would never leave his side."