Who better to keep the president company in the White House than man’s best friend? It’s become somewhat of a tradition for the president to have a dog while in office, with President Donald Trump being the first president since William McKinley, who served as the 25th president of the United States almost 130 years ago, to not have a canine companion. With the upcoming presidential election, we at The Mirror decided to compile a list of who we consider to be the top five presidential dogs:
Landing at number five is a mutt named Fido, belonging to Abraham Lincoln. In fact, the name “Fido,” commonly used to refer to dogs, originates from this famous canine. Unfortunately, Fido had a tough time living in the spotlight, being wary of the frequent White House visitors and not being a fan of travel. Lincoln decided to leave Fido in the care of a friend, meaning he had to be the presidential dog from a distance. Lincoln left a strict list of rules for the caring of Fido, including that he was not to be tied up outside nor yelled at for tracking mud into the house. Fido’s willingness to make his job as a presidential dog work despite the long distance has earned him his spot on our list.
Next up on our list is Millie, an English springer spaniel owned by president George H.W. Bush. Millie “wrote” the book Millie’s Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush, describing a day in the life of George H.W. Bush from Millie’s point of view. This book made her the first presidential dog to make the New York Times bestseller list!
Millie also has a park named after her in Houston, called “Millie Bush Bark Park” which was rated as the nation’s best dog park in 2005. Millie’s career as an accomplished author and her nationally-ranked dog park has landed her a spot on our list.
#3: Him and Her
Tying at number three are two beagles belonging to Lyndon B. Johnson, who have very utilitarian names: Him and Her. Him was once the subject of great controversy, when a photo was released of Johnson holding him up by his ears, causing protests to ensue. Johnson stated that he had been lifting Him up by his ears since he was a puppy, and that he actually seemed to enjoy it. Despite all the drama, these very pragmatic names have earned these beagle siblings a very respectable rank on our list.
Image Source: http://www.presidentialpetmuseum.com/pets/him-her/
Our runner-up is Fala, a Scottish terrier owned by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fala was very active politically, attending meetings and conferences with the president and also giving up all of his rubber toys to show his support for the rubber collection drive during World War II. United States citizens raved over Fala, and he was so popular that he even had his own secretary to organize his massive amounts of fan mail! Fala is immortalized at the FDR Memorial in Washington, D.C., where a statue of him stands next to the statue of his owner. He is also the only presidential pet to have been memorialized in statue form. Fala’s popularity and dedication to politics have earned him the title of second-place.
The number one dog on our list is…drumroll please…Pushinka! As a mixed-breed dog owned by President John F. Kennedy, this dog has quite the story. Daughter of Strelka, the famous space dog, she was gifted to Kennedy by Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev. Because of this, many Americans speculated that she was actually a Russian spy. During the cold war, Khrushchev and Kennedy communicated with each other by sending many gifts and letters, including Pushinka, which many think helped to end the Cold War. For her family’s dedication to science and her possibly saving us from the potential destruction of the Cold War, Pushinka has earned her number one spot on our list.
Bonus! – Rebecca
We know she isn’t a dog, but we couldn’t resist adding this interesting presidential pet to our list! Rebecca the raccoon, owned by president Calvin Coolidge, was certainly a unique pet. Rebecca was given to the president to be slaughtered and eaten for thanksgiving (an odd replacement for turkey), but the president fell in love with this cute creature and decided to keep her. Unfortunately, it is now illegal to own a pet raccoon in Washington D.C., so we will not be seeing any future presidential raccoons.