A Peek inside the White House

16 Sep 2013 | by | Posted in: Wag Wiki

Pet owners love to show off their pets to the world but is there anything that can compete with being the ‘First Dogs of the country.’ I am not talking about any country; this is the superpower in the world at the moment. I am talking about USA, it is surprising to know that pet and dogs have been integral part of the American political history as well.

As a pet owner I was always fascinated to know as to which all dog breeds do the celebrities or world leaders across the world have. There is always a sense of excitement when I get to read about other pets. I on a personal level love to see whom all do I share my pets with. Anytime I see a Labrador (Chivas), Golden Retriever (Regal) or a Beagle (Foster) my menagerie at home. I start seeing the similarity.

dog white house


I cannot even imagine a life without a dog at home . They have been key members of my family every since I was two year old the roles have changed though for them, when we started they were my faithful friends, this changed into being adorable siblings and today they are like and treated as my kids.

As we are talking about pets, I thought why not give you a sneak peek about the First Dogs of the Untied States. If you have a dog you will be looking for similarities and if you do not we hope to convince you to have one.

I was surprised that in the past 223 years since the inception of White House there has always been pet present in its premises. Now that is a phenomenal number for a history that ling. That kind of overshadows my history with the dogs though.

All of the 43 presidents in American history have had pets in the White house. Now we know why America loves their pets. Almost every one in five household has a pet in the States. You would thing that there is some written regulation, which makes it compulsory to keep a pet in the White House but it is not, it is more of a tradition to have a pet. Having pets in the white house was a way of releasing mental pressure.

The tradition started with George Washington, the first president of United States he had a quiet a variety with him. It is believed that he had four coonhounds named drunkard, taster, tippler and tipsy. Along with this he had three American Staghounds named sweet lips, scentwell and Vulcan. All these were along with a donkey.

This was just the beginning till date the White house has a First dog Bo, a Portuguese waterdog. There have been some unusual members of this presidential house as well. John Quincy Adams had an American alligator in the White House and Herbet Hoover wanted something larger to upstage his peer. The answer he had two crocodiles.

The list of quirky pets and presidents does not end here. There are some that have had more than one pets but one Calvin Coolidge wins anyone hand down as per records he had a whopping number of 26 pets out of which there were just 12 dogs. The unusual pet record does not end here.

White house has two front runners when it comes to the top list of having unusual pets. Thomas Jefferson had two bear cubs in playing in the White House lawns. It is believed that Martin Van Buren had two tiger cubs for a brief time.

In addition to this Andrew Jackson had a parrot and the unique bit was that he taught Polly, the parrot to swear. The first bird of US was swearing at people. Jackson claimed that this was trick, which he taught him personally.

The most apt pet for a United States President was James Buchana, he had a bald eagle, one of the rare species. Though there were pets always in White House some regular some out of the blue but it was since the reign of Grover Cleveland every American President had an official ‘First Dog of the United States.’

Amongst the First Dog of United States few have been a little more famous than the others. One of the most famous dogs was Fala, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Scottish Terrier. Fala was not only the First Dog of the United States but had his own press secretary and political opponents. There was a big roe in 1944 when republicans accused him of forgetting Fala in the Aletuian Islands and they believed that once he realized that he ordered the Navy vessels to turn to the islands to retiree is faithful companion. All this with the tax payers money. The accusation was discredited later but it was a lucky dog to have such a loving companion.

white house dog


If one person was accused of using the tax payers money then there was one dog that saved then Senator Richard Nixon presidency chances. Nixon was accused of using the campaign gifts for his personal use and he was almost on the verge of resigning but Checkers, a cocker spaniel came to his rescue. Nixon announced it on television that the only gift that he accepted during the campaign was a little cocker spaniel dog named checkers from Texas.  The crowd melted and we soon had President Richard Nixon though Checkers did not live long enough to be the First Dog of the White House.

It does not end here when we talk about famous dogs then Laddie Boy, an Airedale terrier takes the cake. He participated everywhere in cabinet meetings and along with this he received regular coverage in the local press. It does not end here when he died the mourning newsboys of America donated over 19,000 pennies to be melt down and be made into a full size statue of laddie boy.

In 1928 Herbert Hoover possibly is believed have won the election by posing with the police dog King Tut.  The most interesting thing is that John F. Kennedy was allergic to dogs but he was still the prod of owner of nine dogs. Talk about the love for pooches.

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