Has the choice of a presidential candidate’s pet influenced citizens to vote for or against someone? In this election year, animal advocacy and taking a stand for animal rights could help voters make an informed choice. Here is the second part of the history of presidential pets.
Andrew Johnson (1865-1869) Although he was impeached, Johnson advocated for creatures great and small.It is known that he left flour out at night for a family of mice playing in his room.
Ulysses Grant (1869-1877) retained his war horse, Cincinnatus plus other riding mounts, a racing horse, Shetland ponies, carriage horses, a parrot, gamecocks and a his wife’s Newfoundland dog.
Rutherford Hayes (1877-1881) kept pedigreed Jersey cows, the first Siamese kitten to reach America, two shepherd dogs, one goat, four canaries, two hunting pups, and one spaniel, four kittens, one mockingbird, and several carriage horses.
James Garfield (1881) had Kit, Molly Garfield’s mare and a dog named Veto. He was president only four months and his successor, Chester Arthur (1881-1885) had no pets.
Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1993-1897) had no personal pets but his wife, Frances, kept a cocker spaniel, a dachshund, canaries and mockingbirds as well as her Japanese poodle, Hector.
Benjamin Harrison, the president between Cleveland’s terms (1889-1893), had dogs and Old Whiskers, the billy goat belonging to his grandchildren.
William McKinley (1897-1901) was a bird lover and had a Mexican yellow parrot.
Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) housed both domestic and wild animals. The Roosevelt family kept an eclectic mix of many horses, ponies, a bull terrier, a Chesapeake retriever, a spaniel, several snakes, 2 cats, a badger, and many Guinea pigs, including one name Father O’Grady. The outside pets included a lion, a hyena, a wildcat, a coyote, five bears, two parrots, a zebra, a barn owl, more snakes, lizards, and rats, roosters, and a raccoon.
William Taft (1909- 1913) had the last White House cow. Her name was Pauline Wayne.
Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) had Old Ike, the tobacco-chewing ram. He also had sheep that grazed on the White House lawn.
Warren Harding (1922-1923) had a famous Airedale and an English bulldog. His wife, Florence, kept canaries.
Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929) and First Lady Grace literally had a zoo at the White House. Most famous and beloved was a white collie, purchased from Thomas and Olive Shover who owned “Shomont White Collies”. They also entertained and cared for a terrier, an Airedale, a second white collie, a Shetland Sheepdog, 2 chows and a brown collie. They also had a bulldog, a police dog, a yellow collie, a bird dog, and 3 canaries. More pet birds included a thrush, a goose and a Mockingbird belonging to Mrs. Grace Coolidge. Finally there were two cats and two raccoons. We must not forget Ebenezer, the donkey and Smokey, a bobcat. Given to them by dignitaries from other countries were lion cubs, wallaby, a pigmy hippo, and a bear.
Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) scaled back on the presidential pets with only two police dogs, one of which was named King Tut, fox terriers, a Scotch collie, an Eskimo dog, a Wolfhound, a setter, and an Elkhound.
Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1945) had a penchant for large dogs. He had a German Shepherd, a Scotch Terrier, a Llewellyn Setter, an English Sheepdog named President, a Great Dane, and his faithful and loyal famous companion, Fala, the Scottish Terrier. There was also Blaze, Elliot Roosevelt’s Mastiff.
In the first century and a half of our country, it appears that horses, dog and birds wooed presidential pet choices. (See http://modenook.com/cats-in-new-york/white-house-pets-the-early-years) Did the trend continue into the 21st century? Read the third Presidential Pets article and find out.