Bunny here at the keyboard on President’s Day.
Today I’m a happy pup because my humans will both be home to celebrate President’s Day. Mom says they used to get President Lincoln’s birthday and President Washington’s birthdays off, but now they celebrate President’s Day in between their birthdays. In any event, it means that we’ll have an extra day to enjoy time together, and maybe even get out for a little adventure since it was too cold to enjoy being out this weekend.
As Mom and I were talking about celebrating our Presidents, I started thinking about the exhibit I’d seen at the AKC Museum of the Dog that’s dedicated to some of the First Dogs who have lived in the White House. It turns out that a lot of Presidents have been dog lovers and have had canines living with them during their presidencies and other interesting tidbits.
I thought it would be fun to share some interesting presidential trivia today in honor of President’s Day.
I mean, many people know that our current President shares the White House with Bo and Sunny, the Portuguese Water Spaniels. It was rather famous when he told his daughters during his acceptance speech after winning his first presidential election that they could finally get a puppy. Soon, Bo was on his way to the White House and has been a rather charming part of the current presidency. But there have been lots of famous dogs through the years.
President Lincoln, along with being one of the most awesome presidents ever, had a Greyhound in his family coat of arms. There’s nothing to suggest that he had a Greyhound of his own, but I think it’s pretty cool that his ancestors chose to use a Greyhound to represent them for all time. I think it destined him for the greatness that he achieved in his life.
The father of our country, our first President, George Washington was reported to be a dog lover, too. He once had a hound named Sweetlips and a Dalmation named Madame Moose. He’s said to have had a wide variety of pets in his lifetime, including some Greyhounds, Newfoundands, French Hounds, Briards and a variety of other spaniels, terriers and toy breeds. He was an avid fox hunter and his pack of hunting hounds had a kennel with a fresh spring of water that ran through it so the dogs would always have fresh water. He visited the kennel every morning and evening to spend time with his dogs.
President George H. W. Bush had an English Springer Spaniel named Millie who lived with him in the White House. He also had Ranger, one of Millie’s puppies, who is said to have been his favorite dog. When his son, President George W. Bush took office, he moved in with his own English Springer Spaniel named Spot who was also the son of Millie. He also had two Scottish Terriers named Miss Beasley and Barney. I guess being in the White House ran in both the human family and the canine family.
President Herbert Hoover had a wide variety of dogs while he was in office, including a German Shepherd named Pat and an Irish Wolfhound named Patrick. They weren’t the only dogs who lived in the White House during his term, there was also King Tut the Belgian Shepherd, a couple of Fox Terriers, an Elkhound, a Scottish Collie, a Setter and an Eskimo Dog. The part that really surprised me was that they also had a pair of alligators that were sometimes allowed to roam around on the White House grounds.
President Rutherford B. Hayes had several dogs including a Greyhound named Grim who lived in the White House with him. Grim became a bit of a celebrity while he was in office with President Hayes, although his favorite person was First Lady Lucy Hayes. Apparently, when Lucy would sing “The Star Spangled Banner” Grim would tilt back his head and howl along, much to the amusement of others. The press loved him and he was known to be a very good-natured dog.
I imagine these First Dogs have had a very important job.
I mean, we dogs all know that taking care of our humans after a hard day of work is an important part of our job. Imagine if your human were doing the most important job in the country and making decisions for your whole nation. That sounds like a lot of stuff for a human to worry about if you ask me. While I think it would be pretty cool to be the First Dog for four to eight years, I’m not sure I’d want to share my human with the whole world all the time. I tip my hat to all those dogs who have taken care of our presidents and I think they’ve all done a great job. I hope you’ve all enjoyed my little walk through canine and presidential history today.