If I were to ask you to identify one common trend with all the Presidents of the United States, right from George Washington to Barack Obama, I am quite sure that you would struggle a fair deal. You may rack your brains towards finding out the educational backgrounds that most Presidents had or the states where they were born and brought up in or the professions that they were in before they chose a political career or even policies that they rang in; I am certain that all that effort will not be good enough. But I will still tell you that there is one common factor which the Presidents of the United States have in common and that is the fact that most of them have had pets!
A quick look at the pets that have lived at the White House will tell you that almost all of the US Presidents so far in history have brought in pets to live with them. Animals ranging from parrots to alligators have graced the White House with their presence. Yes, that’s right! Throw in horses, bears, silkworms, tiger cubs, cows and turkeys as well. I am sure you’re thinking what happened to ‘routine’ pets such as dogs and cats. Well, they are there too. Here is a lowdown of some of the most popular US Presidential pets to give you an idea of what I am saying.
President Barack Obama, 2009-present (bio)
Bo, Portuguese water dog
Sunny, also a Portuguese water dog
President George W. Bush, 2001-2009 (bio)
Miss Beazley, Scottish terrier
Spot, English springer spaniel, offspring of Millie
Barney, Scottish terrier
India “Willie,” cat
Ofelia, longhorn cow at ranch
President Bill Clinton, 1993-2001 (bio)
Buddy, Labrador retriever
President George H.W. Bush, 1989-1993 (bio)
Millie, English springer spaniel
Ranger, one of Millie’s puppies
President Ronald Reagan, 1981-1989 (bio)
Lucky, Bouvier des Flandres
Rex, Cavalier King Charles spaniel
Victory, golden retriever
Peggy, Irish setter
Taca, Siberian husky
Fuzzy, Belgian sheepdog
Horses at ranch
President Jimmy Carter, 1977-1981 (bio)
Grits, border collie
Lewis Brown, Afghan hound
Misty Malarky Ying Yang, Siamese cat
President Gerald Ford, 1974-1977 (bio)
Liberty, golden retriever
Misty, one of Liberty’s puppies
Shan, Siamese cat
President Richard Nixon, 1969-1974 (bio)
Checkers, Nixon’s dog while vice president
King Timahoe, Irish setter
President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963-1969 (bio)
Him and Her, beagles
Edgar and Freckles, beagles
Yuki, mixed-breed dog
President John F. Kennedy, 1961-1963 (bio)
Charlie, Welsh terrier
Gaullie, French poodle
Pushinka, mixed-breed dog (gift from Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev)
Shannon, cocker spaniel
Wolf, Irish wolfhound
Clipper, German shepherd
Butterfly, White Tips, Blackie, Streaker — Pushinka and Charlie’s puppies
Tom Kitten, cat
Bluebell and Marybelle, parakeets
Macaroni, Caroline Kennedy’s pony
Tex and Leprechaun, ponies
Debbie and Billie, hamsters
Zsa Zsa, rabbit
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953-1961 (bio)
Other Notable Presidential Pets:
- Franklin Roosevelt loved his dog, Fala so much that it is even depicted alongside his memorial in Washington DC.
- George Washington bred and maintained more than 30 hounds during his tenure.
- Coolidge and Theodore Roosevelt are known to have had a ‘zoo’ of pets.
- John Adams had the most unusual pets in an alligator and silkworms.
Now what is with this Presidents’ love for pets? Why do all Presidents love animals so much? Well, the answer is quite simple, really! Apart from their natural love for animals and keeping with the tradition of ‘First Pets’, as pets of Presidents are commonly called, the most important reason is that showing love for pets sends out a strong message to the masses. People who love pets are seen as kind, thoughtful and loving.
The US President is a role model for billions and through his own acts of love for animals promotes animal welfare and pet adoption all over the world. That’s it! When he/she shows kindness to their pet, the whole world is watching.
What About the New President of the United States?
What do you think? Which pet will live in the White House next year? Be sure and leave us a comment below. We want to hear from you. Like reading about famous pets? Click here to check out these NFL players who love their pets!