Horses, cows, sheep, birds, goats, exotic critters, cats, dogs, reptiles and amphibians have all graced the First Family’s White House digs since our nation’s birth. Is the trend set in stone? Have presidential pet choices run amok with acceptable standards? What differences have modern elected families implemented? Or have they?
Harry Truman (1945- 1953) had Feller, the unwanted dog, and Mike, First Lady Margaret’s Irish setter.
Dwight Eisenhower(1953-1961) had Heidi, a Weimaraner.
John Kennedy’s (1961-1963) extended family had many pets at the presidential mansion. They included a Welsh terrier, a cat, a canary, two parakeets, and Macaroni, Caroline’s famous pony. Two additional ponies, two hamsters, two dogs and some of their pups, a rabbit and Jackie Kennedy’s horse finish the Camelot zoo.
Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969) had beagles Him and Her, as well as a white collie and a mixed breed dog. They also kept various hamsters and lovebirds.
Richard Nixon (1969-1974) kept Checkers, the dog he had as Vice president. He added a poodle, a terrier and an Irish setter.
Gerald Ford (1974-1977) had a golden retriever who had a litter of pups while at the White House, and there was also Susan Ford’s Siamese cat.
Jimmy Carter (1977- 1981) had Grits, a dog given to daughter Amy by her teacher that was later returned, and Misty Malarky Ying Yang, Siamese cat.
Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) had a Bouvier des Flandres who went back to the family farm when she grew too big. Her presidential replacement was Rex, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.
George Bush (1989-1993) had a Springer spaniel and one of her puppies.
Bill Clinton (1993-2001) had Socks, the cat, who did not get along with Buddy, the chocolate Labrador retriever.
George W. Bush (2001-2009) brought dogs Miss. Beazley and Barney, Scottish terriers,Spot, another dog, India, a cat, and Ofelia, a Texas Longhorn.
Barak Obama (2009- present) came with no pets but the family has adopted Bo, a Portuguese water dog.
What could a Presidential Paw Poll reveal? Will Bo have a second term as First Dog? Will Newt’s new lemur pals become the cutting edge presidential companion? Will Mitt or Ron or Rick start a new presidential pet trend? Only voter choices on November 6, 2012 will reveal the answer.