EFA: Etsy For Animals Etsy For Animals: Dogs in the White House

Etsy for Animals (EFA) aka Artists Helping Animals,

is a team of independent artists, craftspeople,

vintage sellers and craft suppliers on Etsy.com

who are dedicated to providing charitable relief to animals

by donating a portion of the profits from their shops

to an animal charity of their choosing,

and/or to EFA's featured Charity of the Month.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dogs in the White House

"If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." President Harry S. Truman

Teachable Moment:
Dogs in the White House
From the oval office of Yarn Miracle
The most popular presidential pet by far, dogs have been a part of political life since the birth of the nation.

George Washington is also known as the "Father of the American foxhound" for his careful management of the breed.

Warren Harding's Laddie Boy had his very own hand carved chair for cabinet meetings.

Rumor has it that Gerald Ford's Golden Retriever, Liberty, could be signaled to approach a guest wagging her tail when Ford was ready to cut a meeting short.

Properly known as Murray the Outlaw of Fala Hill, FDR's Scottish Terrier was probably the most well known of any First Dog to date. Fala traveled everywhere with his president, starred in a movie, was made an honorary private in the United States Army and had his own press secretary.
Even though they are addressed as "First Dog" not all the canines in the White House are educated in protocol or even posses basic manners. Dog owners everywhere can take comfort that presidential pets can behave as badly as any!

Grits, Jimmy Carter's daughter's dog, spent a great deal of time snapping at people and being generally unsociable. Grits eventually went to live with his previous owner - he didn't care for the political limelight. FDR's dog, Major, took a bite out of the British Prime Minister. Pete, a Bull Terrier owned by the other President Roosevelt (Teddy), caused an 'international incident' when he tore the pants off of the French Ambassador.

First Lady Nancy Reagan was gifted with a fluffy puppy who grew and grew and grew to be the size of a pony (like all Belgian Cattle dogs). Lucky was not very good with her leash and would drag the President and First Lady all around the lawn. It wasn't long before Lucky moved to the Reagan ranch in California since she had outgrown the White House.

More recently, Chocolate Lab Buddy Clinton had an on-going, very public feud with poor Socks the Cat.
Many First Dogs have charmed the nation with their good humor and delightful personalities. The most famous dog of Lyndon Johnson's administration was rescued from a gas station by his daughter. Yuki and President Johnson often sang duets to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries.

Springer Spaniel Millie, with the help of First Lady Barbara Bush, published an autobiography. "Millie's Book" spent time on the best seller's list with proceeds dedicated to literacy efforts. Millie's daughter, Spot Fetcher Bush, also had the distinction of becoming a First Dog as the companion of the second president Bush. Barney, the most famous canine in George W. Bush's administration, produced a series of videos that offered unique insight into the White House - from a dog's point of view. (He also bit reporters every now and then. No blame here, they were all up in his face.)

The current First Dog, Bo Diddley Obama, is a Portuguese Water Dog. The president had promised his daughters that they could get a dog once his presidential campaign was over. After the inauguration, White House staff reported that they received more phone calls and questions about the First Family's choice of pooch than any other issue! What kind of dog? Would they buy from a breeder or adopt from a shelter? Once they settled on a breed that wouldn't aggravate allergies, six-month-old Bo was given to the family by Senator Edward Kennedy and his wife, Victoria.
Dogs in the political spotlight absolutely enchant the public. People are often much more interested in the President's dog than the President! First Pets, both past and present, offer a unique opportunity for the public to discuss responsible animal ownership, puppy mills, animal overpopulation, treatment of feral and stray animals and breeding. Keep the conversation going!

One More Click

Presidential Pets - Slideshow

Presidential Dogs - Slideshow from Time Photos

Inside the White House, Presidential Pets - not just dogs, Tad Lincoln had a turkey!


  1. I love this! What fun! Thanks for a great article!

  2. If not for these dogs, who knows how much more stressed the presidents and their families would be! Great article!

  3. What a cute article! Thank you :)

    And I can totally understand why people are more interested in the dogs than the politics, haha! Dogs are always more interesting :)

  4. Adorable! What a fun article, thanks for including Bean :)

  5. Someone that can be counted on for loyalty inside the White House is the first dog for sure. This was a fun article. Thanks for including our Scotty pin!


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