The White House has a long-time relationship with pets of all shapes and sizes. Dogs, however, are among the most common animal residents. This President’s Day, let’s celebrate ‘first dogs’ and best friends of our nation’s leaders.
No pets as of yet, but President Trump has hinted at the possibility of a puppy he would name Patton. As far as a list of president’s dogs, Trump would be one of very few in office who didn’t adopt a loyal canine companion.
President Barack Obama
This presidential family had two dogs while in the White House. Bo and Sunny were both Portuguese water dogs. The family was new to dog ownership and adopted their pups while in office.
President George W. Bush
Several dogs were a part of the presidential family. Miss Beazley and Barney were both Scottish terriers, and Spot was an English springer spaniel. A cat and a longhorn cow were also counted among the family’s fur-babies.
President Bill Clinton
His daughter, Chelsea, had a cherished and often unphased cat, socks, but as far as dogs go, Buddy was the president’s faithful Labrador retriever.
President George H.W. Bush
Millie was an English springer spaniel. She had puppies and the family kept Ranger with them in the White House. They also gave a puppy, Spot, to future President George W. Bush. Spot also got to live in the White House making the spaniel line a multi-generational resident.
President Ronald Reagan
Our 40th President was a dog fan. Lucky was a Bouvier des Flandres, Rex was a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Victory was a golden retriever. He also had Peggy, and Irish setter, Taca, a Siberian husky, and Fuzzy, a Belgian sheepdog. Reagan was also a fan of horses and often rode horses along the California trails well into retirement.
President Jimmy Carter
A fan of both dogs and cats, Carter had a border collie named Grits, and an Afghan hound named Lewis Brown. His daughter was especially fond of their Siamese cat, Misty Malarky Ying Yang.
President Gerald Ford
Liberty was a golden retriever who was lucky enough to share the White House with Misty, one of her puppies along with Lucky, a mixed breed dog, and Shan, a Siamese cat. Liberty and Misty are part of a lucky few who make up multi-generation fur-baby families to reside in the White House.
President Richard Nixon
It all began when Nixon was Vice President and he had Checkers living with him. As President, Nixon added to the fur family with his poodle, Vicky, Pasha, a terrier, and an Irish setter named King Timahoe.
President Lyndon B. Johnson
This president had a big fur family. Him, Her, Edgar, and Freckles were beagles that drew popular public attention and made it into many press pictures. Blanco was a collie and Yuki was a mixed-breed dog who lived with the Johnsons. Lovebirds and hamsters were also part of this petriotic family.
President John F. Kennedy
Many president’s dogs were accompanied by a few other feathered or furry friends, but as far as pet-lists go, the Kennedy family wins for variety and number. Included at the White House pet party table was a Welsh terrier named Charlie, a French poodle named Gaullie, a mixed-breed dog named Pushkinka, a cocker spaniel named Shannon , an Irish wolfhound named Wolf, a German shepherd named Clipper, and four of Pushkina’s and Charlie’s puppies named Butterfly, White Tips, Blackie, and Streaker. They also had a cat named Tom Kitten, a canary, two parakeets, three ponies, two hamsters, a rabbit and two horses!
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
While the 34th president cared for his Weimaraner, Heidi, this pup is the only dog to have been banned from the White House. Her weak bladder caused an accident on an expensive rug worth six figures by today’s valuation. She was sent to permanently live on their farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where she probably had more room to run around anyway.
All the President’s dogs have spent time in the White House and have had varying levels of exposure to the press and the public. Some were so beloved they have statues dedicated to them. It’s also worth noting that top dogs at the White House are insured. Insurance is an important way to protect our dog’s health just as the president’s dogs are protected. Check out these recommendations for pet-friendly health insurance and learn more about pet insurance myths to better understand whether the investment is right for you.