On July 4, 1776 representatives from all 13 colonies decided to stand against tyranny. The Committee of Five, as they would later be known, drafted the document that would act as the proverbial line in the sand between the United States colonies and the oppressive British crown. On July 4th, the Declaration of Independence began the division between the United States and Britain that would eventually result in our free nation. Since then, the President has been the individual representative of our great democracy. The president has had a furry sidekick for many of those years much to the delight of the American people.
Pets have been an important part of the President’s cabinet for many years. Dogs are often associated with being presidential pets. The White House has seen a far bigger variety. Our sixth President, John Quincy Adams, kept silkworms. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president, had a pet racoon named Rebecca. President Coolidge was so fond of Rebecca that he took her for walks on a leash. Herbert Hoover, our 31st president, kept a pet opossum.
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States, had the most varied pet family. Roosevelt was known for his conservation efforts and appreciation for all things wild. His passion is seen in his owning of snakes, dogs, cats, a badger, birds, guinea pigs, and more. Roosevelt’s son Archie came down with the measles when he was young. His brother Quentin wanted to cheer him up. So, he put the family pony on the White House elevator and sent it to Archie’s room. The Roosevelts knew about the healing power of love from our pets.
Dogs have always been the most common presidential pet. The first White House dog to gain national fame was Warren G. Harding’s Laddie Boy. He was an Airedale Terrier. Laddie Boy was Harding’s best golf buddy. When the president hit a tree with his ball, Laddie Boy would run and retrieve it. Laddie even had his own carved chair to sit in during cabinet meetings. Politicians were not above trying to bribe Laddie with a snack to gain favor with the president. The White House held birthday parties for Laddie. All the most prominent dogs from the area would be in attendance.
Theodore Roosevelt was not the only one in his family to love pets. Franklin D. Roosevelt had a Scottish Terrier named Fala. While campaigning for his fourth term, FDR accidentally left Fala at home. After the painful realization, he sent naval ships to retrieve his companion. He was initially judged for the rescue mission, accused of wasting taxpayer money. Roosevelt defended his actions by saying, “you can criticize me, my wife and my family, but you can’t criticize my little dog. He’s Scotch and all these allegations about spending all this money have just made his little soul furious.” His dedication and loyalty to Fala is said to have been a part of why he won reelection for a record fourth time.
The last two presidents before Donald Trump were also loyal pet owners. George W. Bush was another president with a virtual zoo. He and the First lady had two English Springer Spaniels named Spot and Millie. Then there were Barney and Miss Beazley the Scottish Terriers. Finally, he had Ofelia the cat. These are only the pets with names. President Bush also kept cattle. President Obama had two Portuguese Water Dogs named Bo and Sunny.
Pets have long been a part of our identity as a nation. They help us find compassion. Our Commander-in-Chief has kept a pet by his side to give him strength during troubling times. Love for animals and love for this great nation are two things we can always agree on. Happy 4th of July from all of us at Fur Services Fur Pets.