I am a happy hound today because my humans are home today thanks to a holiday called Presidents’ Day. Two of our most famous presidents were born in February and today we celebrate them. George Washington was the first president of our country and most people know his name. Abraham Lincoln is also very famous as the president who ended slavery in our country and saw us through the Civil War.
Those are pretty good reasons to like and admire them, but did you know that they both have ties to Greyhounds? I’m pretty sure that this is what really made them some of the greatest men in history.
Abraham Lincoln spent a lot of his time near here before he became President and moved to Washington D. C. As a matter of fact, the area where we live is known as the Land of Lincoln. The town right next to ours where my human grew up is one of the places where President Lincoln practiced law and the famous case of Melissa Goings was set to be tried there. His link to Greyhounds is that his family crest has a Greyhound on it. There’s nothing that suggests that he actually had a Greyhound of his own that I’ve found, but if I do find out he had one, you’ll all know about it.
George Washington was known as a dog lover and he had many in his life through the years of all different kinds of breeds. He’s known to have had some Staghounds and Greyhounds, along with Foxhounds and French Hounds with funny names like Sweetlips and Vulcan. Vulcan, a French Hound, was known to be a mischievous sort who once stole a ham from the kitchen one night before some guests were supposed to come for dinner. When one of the guests asked about it at dinner, the butler told the story and President Washington had a good laugh. Everyone laughed except Mrs. Washington, apparently.
I think one of my favorite stories about Mr. Washington relates to to story of the Battle of Germantown, which the Americans lost. After the battle, a small dog was found on the battlefield. When the Americans caught it, they learned from the dog’s collar that it belonged to General Howe, the English general. The men wanted to keep the dog for retribution over losing the battle, but General Washington wouldn’t have it. The dog was returned with a short note.
“General Washington’s compliments to General Howe, does himself the pleasure to return [to] him a Dog, which accidentally fell into his hands, and by the inscription on the Collar appears to belong to General Howe.”
I think the way he behaved over the whole thing shows a lot about why he was such a good leader and respected human. It certainly speaks to his character. I’m not saying that he couldn’t have been a great president if he didn’t have dogs, but don’t we all make our people better humans?
I also read that our current president is the first one since 1901 not to have a pet in the White House, but that a Goldendoodle named Patton might soon get the job of First Dog. I’m not sure if that will come true, or if he’ll live in the White House or Trump Tower, but we all know he’ll have a big job to do. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.