With the election a couple days away, we at WonderWoof decided to dig into the history books to get some knowledge on the presidential dogs who have lived and loved in the White House. While we all may not agree on which candidate we want in the White House, we certainly can all agree that a dog belongs in there! We didn’t find any dogs wearing bowties but we did find a lot of interesting information about these FDOTUS (First Dog of The United States). Join us as we learn about presidential pets!
Laddie Boy, Warren G. Harding
Proclaimed the first “first” dog, Laddie Boy received more press than any presidential pet before or after him. Given as a gift to President Harding, Laddie Boy soon became a star in the White House. He celebrated his first birthday in style, on the White House lawn with other dogs from the neighborhood dining on a dog biscuit cake. Laddie Boy had a fancy collar made up of Alaskan Gold Nuggets and also had his own chair carved for him so he could join the President during his many meetings. Laddie Boy was even “interviewed” by reporters several times. Even going so far as to say that he isn’t interested in politics based on what he has seen in the White House (sounds like a well trained dog!). No doubt Laddie Boy lived a lavish life, but he also served as a poster dog to raise awareness about animal rights issues. The honor of being the nation’s first dog couldn’t have gone to a more deserving “Good Boy”. Laddie Boy laid the path for many other dogs to follow!
Fala, Franklin D. Roosevelt
FDR had a couple of dogs but undoubtedly the most famous of them was Fala. A black Scottish Terrier, Fala captured the nation’s heart by following his presidential owner nearly everywhere, becoming part of his public image. Fala did a lot in the White House. He featured in an MGM film about a day in the White House and even became an honorary Private in the army to help raise awareness about donating to the military. Fala must have been one healthy dog if he was allowed to serve in the military!
Him and Her, Lyndon B. Johnson
From his first days in office it was abundantly apparent that LBJ loved dogs. He remodeled the White House dog house to such an extent that the press dubbed it a palace. LBJ’s Beagles, Him and Her, became famous through a controversial photo of LBJ holding one of the dogs up by the ears. Still, they seemed to adore both their President and the spotlight. The dogs enjoyed chasing birds off the White House lawn, accompanying their presidential owner during meetings, and swimming in the White House pool. Johnson even met heads of state with Him and Her in tow. We think a WonderWoof bow tie would’ve been a perfect accessory for those meetings!
Rob Roy, Calvin Coolidge
While Calvin Coolidge is not the most revered President, his pair of white Collies are especially unique. Particularly because one of them is in a painting with Coolidge’s wife that still hangs in the White House. The pair of dogs accompanied Coolidge and his wife often, as they were huge animal lovers. In fact, Calvin Coolidge holds the title for owning the most pets in the White House at a whooping twenty-six animals living with him and his family. People at the time sent Coolidge their unwanted animals because his love of animals was so well known (including a raccoon!). None of these animals were more striking than the pair of white Collies, though. Coolidge is quoted saying, “Any man who does not like dogs and want them about does not deserve to be in the White House.” We wholeheartedly agree!
Jack, Theodore Roosevelt
Jack was originally Theodore Roosevelt’s son’s dog, but he quickly became part of the family by impressing the President with his intelligence, mannerisms, and loyalty. The President was so taken with Jack that they shared the same bed, Jack sleeping under the covers by Theodore Roosevelt’s feet. During the day Jack enjoyed the typical activities of a healthy dog, but he did have one weakness: a fear of cats. Something the Roosevelt’s cat took advantage of constantly. Despite that fear, Jack was loved by the Roosevelt family and was described by President Theodore Roosevelt as, “absolutely a member of the family.”
If you want to find out more about all the first dogs and different presidential pets, check this link out http://presidentialpetmuseum.com/whitehousepets. It gives a full list of all the animals that roamed the White House along with stories and facts about their public adventures.
Whoever you decide to cast your vote for this election, let’s not forget one thing that brings a smile to all of our faces: Dogs!