Presidential Dog Awards
Of the 43 men who served as President of the United States most have had a dog living with them during their term of office. Some were old friends brought from home, others were obtained to make a President seem more likable, and many were gifts of foreign dignitaries and political friends. They ranged from strays to expensive purebreds, tiny lapdogs to intimidating police trained security dogs but they all share one trait—they were all special! But some deserve a prize so, the award for…
Most Dogs – Calvin Coolidge gets the award for most dogs in the White House at a whopping 14! Even though John F. Kennedy was allergic his family had seven dogs at the White House.
Canine Spy — One of the Kennedy dogs was Pushinski, daughter of the first Russian dog in space Strelka. A gift from Soviet Union Premier Nikita Krushchev to first daughter Caroline Kennedy was regarded suspiciously by some but the Kennedy’s Welsh terrier Charles seemed to like her just fine. The pair had four puppies, or “pupniks”, together.
Doggie Scandal – Lyndon B. Johnson found himself in hot water when he was photographed lifting his beagles Him and Her by their ears. Animal lovers even picketed the White House.
Doggie Duets – After the ear scandal, Johnson regained some of his doggie lover reputation with the help of Yuki, a mongrel found by his daughter Luci at a Texas gas station. Yuki liked to “sing” and Johnson would frequently howl along in a doggie duet.
Puppies in the House – Several presidential dogs had puppies in the White House including the Kennedy’s Pushinki, the Ford’s Liberty, and the George Bush’s Millie. One of Millie’s six puppies, Spot, returned to the White House as the dog of George W. Bush.
In the Doghouse – For the most part White House dogs were well-behaved but occasionally…Theodore Roosevelt’s bull terrier Pete chewed a hole in the French ambassador’s pants, the Reagan’s Bouvier des Flandres Lucky was know to chase newsmen around the White House and George W. Bush’s dog Barney bit a reporter in 2008.
Media Darlings – The media was able to overlook a few nips and, for the most part, loved Presidential dogs. The first Presidential dog (but definitely not the last) to become a media sensation was Laddie Boy, Warren G. Harding’s Airedale terrier. Laddie Boy had his own chair in at Cabinet meetings and was constantly in the news. When Harding died, newsboys collected 19,134 pennies that were melted down to create a Laddie Boy statue that was given to the Smithsonian Institute.Fala, FDR’s Scottish terrier, is captured sitting loyally next to his master at the Franklin D. Rooselvelt Memorial on the Washington Mall.
Literary Lapdog – Millie was the first White House dog to write a book called, of course, Millie’s Book. The book raised $900,000 for the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and outsold George Bush’s autobiography.
Lost on the Lawn – One evening Gerald Ford took Liberty to the South Lawn for her last trip of the evening and didn’t tell the Secret Service. When they returned to the White House, the second floor living quarters had been secured for the night and Ford and Liberty were stuck on the Main Floor until they notified the guards to let them into the living quarters.