The Chinese Year of the Dog begins this week and it’s Presidents Day weekend, so here’s a look at the top dogs in the White House.
The first pet
So far, President Trump has not nominated a first pet to his cabinet. First lady Melania Trump’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told reporters in late 2017, “There are no plans at this time” to add a pet.
The Trumps could be the first family in modern presidential history without a pet. The last petless president was James K. Polk, who served 1845-1849. William McKinley (1897-1901) was the last poochless president, but he did have cats and other pets.
Lois Pope, a Trump booster from Florida, offered to give a goldendoodle puppy named Patton to Trump in early 2017. Pope wanted to get a puppy for Trump’s son Barron during the transition to life at the White House. So far, the dog hasn’t appeared with the Trumps.
A goldendoodle is a cross between a poodle and a golden retriever. Some have been trained as guide dogs. Some people say they cause less reaction in those allergic to dogs, but those claims are disputed by vets and allergists.
The Trumps may have passed on pets for now, but Vice President Mike Pence’s family has several. The Pences have lost two of their cats since they’ve been in Washington, D.C. A week after they mourned the loss of their 16-year-old cat Oreo, the Pences added more furry friends. For Father’s Day, they got a gray kitten named Hazel and an Australian shepherd puppy.
Pence said he wanted a motorcycle for Father’s Day, so he named the pup Harley.
A June photo, above, from the Twitter account of vice presidential rabbit Marlon Bundo shows the Pences with Harley and Hazel.
A succession of dogs
You can read a lot more about presidents and their pets at the Presidential Pet Museum site.
FDR’s dog Fala is at the president’s memorial, sitting at his feet.
Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover filled the White House with dogs. Coolidge once said, “Any man who does not like dogs and want them about does not deserve to be in the White House.”
Teddy Roosevelt’s dog Skip was brought home from a Colorado bear hunt. It was a black and tan mongrel, but in 1999 the United Kennel Club recognized the breed as a Teddy Roosevelt terrier, pictured below.
Sources: The White House Historical Association, Presidential Pet Museum, American Kennel Club, Vetstreet.com
Photos: Library of Congress, presidential libraries, The Associated Press
Source: Oc Register