We might as well call November “America’s most American month” because not only is it home to football and Thanksgiving, but elections as well.
Tuesday, Nov. 4th marks this November’s general elections. In honor of this most ‘merican of months, we bring you a roundup of the most prestigious presidential pets to ever pee on the White House lawn.
Presidential pets, from Lincoln to Obama
George Washington’s (drunk?) dogs
Good ol’ George Washington, the original president, is said to have been not only the father of America (well, that part’s a fact), but the father to more than 30 dogs, too. The most memorable of the mixed-breed pack? A couple of his hounds named Drunkard, Taster, Tipler, and Tipsy. Hmm, we’re sensing a theme here…
Abraham Lincoln’s photogenic pet
We oftentimes swap out “dog” for “Fido,” but who is that Fido guy, anyway? That’d be Abraham Lincoln’s trusty companion, who’s also—game-winning trivia question alert!— the first presidential dog to be photographed. The only downer is that the main purpose of the photo was to remember good ol’ Fido—he was left in Illinois before the Lincolns made the move to Washington. (Hope he was at least left to a good home!)
Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace were pet parents to a dozen dogs, one of which—their white collie Prudence Prim, to be exact—was famously photographed wearing an Easter bonnet at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Fun fact: The couple was also pet parents to a pair of raccoons, because of course they were.
Herbert Hoover’s dog begged for votes
President Herbert Hoover might as well have been President King Tut the German Shepherd (only kidding)—his dog did help him earn the presidency, after all. An autographed photo of Hoover and King Tut “begging” for votes circulated around America, and it worked! The First Family moved into the White House, and a handful of dogs soon followed—including a rare Irish wolfhound.
John F. Kennedy’s dog and pony show
John F. Kennedy was allergic to dogs, but that didn’t stop “America’s Most Royal Family” from housing nine of ‘em. The iconic clan kept a pony, too. His name? Macaroni. Isn’t that just Yankee Doodle dandy?
Lyndon B. Johnson’s perfect pair
Lyndon B. Johnson called a pair of floppy-eared beagles Him and Her. Straight and to the point. We like it.
Richard Nixon’s heartwarming dogs
A cocker spaniel named Checkers helped ease the hardened hearts of America during the drama Richard Nixon faced during the 1952 vice presidential election. And during his presidency? A Yorkshire terrier named Pasha, a French poodle named Vicky, and an Irish setter named King Timahoe. Unfortunately, they weren’t quite cute enough to smooth over the whole Watergate thing.
Gerald Ford’s Lady Liberty
Gerald Ford was the proud parent of a golden retriever named Liberty.
George W. Bush’s Barneycam
George W. Bush is responsible for maybe the greatest thing that ever happened to the internet: The “Barneycam” videos, which chronicled what a day in the life as the Bush dog was really like. And you couldn’t have Scottish terrier Barney without his partner-in-crime, Miss Beazley.
Ronald Reagan’s lucky dogs
Ah, to be a Ronald Reagan dog. The Reagans were proud pet parents to Lucky and Rex, both of whom lived at the White House. Not a bad life.
Barack Obama’s hypoallergenic pet
Bo the Portuguese Water Obama dog was chosen for his hypoallergenic coat due to Barack Obama’s daughter Malia’s allergies—but because of the family’s love for shelter dogs, they donated to the Washington Humane Society. Aww! Next to join the pack? Sunny!
That’s just the tip of the presidential pooch iceberg—with nearly 240 years of presidents under America’s belt, a lot of dogs have served as loving and loyal companions to our nation’s leaders. And hey, we didn’t even list all of the aforementioned presidents’ dogs because there have been that many, which begs the question: Who’s your favorite presidential pooch?