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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

National Dogs in Politics Day: Celebrating America’s Top Dogs

With another election around the corner, the political rhetoric and mud-slinging are flying “right” and “left.” Whether you are a conservative, liberal, independent or undecided, Sept. 23 is all about politics.

To be more specific, dogs in politics. No, not the man or woman running on the ticket, but those furry, four-legged Fido’s owned by famous politicians! Sept. 23 celebrates the top dogs in America – it’s National Dogs in Politics Day!

Famous First Family Top Dogs

Most United States Presidents have had pets in the White House. In fact, out of the 44 presidents, only 2 have not had any pets during their stay at the White House. While most have had cats and dogs, a few have had more unusual pets.

  • Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog, became Top Dog during President Barack Obama’s first term in office. The selection of the Presidential Pooch was one of President Obama’s first decisions!

  • President George W. Bush had several animals, butBarney, the Scottish Terrier, is probably best known. India, the black kitty, was also a beloved member of the First Family.

  • President Bill Clinton also had several pets during his two terms in office. Socks, the cat, lived in the White House and was not too fond of the dog, Buddy, the pretty Labrador Retriever. Buddy was killed by a car outside the Clinton’s home in New York in 2002.

  • George Herbert Walker Bush also had several pooches during his term in office – Millie and Ranger. Millie had puppies in the White House – one was Ranger. Millie also wrote a book about her “tails.”

  • President Ronald Reagan loved horses and dogs. Lucky and Rex were members of the First Family.

  • President Jimmy Carter had Grits for a short time and a Siamese cat.

  • President Gerald Ford’s Golden Retriever dog, Liberty, also had a litter of pups during her White House stay. The Ford family also had a beautiful Siamese kitty named Shan.

  • President Richard Nixon had several top dogs during his abbreviated stay at the White House. Besides Vicky the French poodle, Pasha the Yorkshire Terrier andKing Timahoe the Irish Setter, there was also the famous Checkers.

  • President Lyndon Johnson also had several pooches during his stay in the White House. There were the beagles, Him and Her, Freckles and Yuki, the lucky mutt found by the President’s daughter at a gas station.

  • The Kennedy White House had a slew of pets. Besides dogs and cats, there were birds hamsters, rabbits, Macaroni the pony and Sardar, Jacqueline Kennedy’s horse.

  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower shared his home with Heidi, the Weimaraner dog.

  • The Coolidge White House was filled with all sorts of critters. Besides dogs, they also had canaries, a goose, cats, a bobcat, raccoon's and Ebenezer, the donkey! There was also a bear, pigmy hippo and lion cubs too! Lions and tigers and bears – oh my!

  • President Woodrow Wilson didn’t need a lawnmower during his tenure. He had Old Ike, a “tobacco-chewing” ram and sheep that kept the White House lawn nicely manicured.

  • Pauline Wayne and Mooley Wooley were the last cows to live at the White House under President William Taft’s term.

  • Talk about a zoo! Besides a bunch of horses, several dogs, President Teddy Roosevelt had cats, guinea pigs and snakes, Teddy Roosevelt also had a coyote, parrots, a lion, hyena, zebra, roosters and 5 bears.

  • President Benjamin Harrison had several dogs, two possums and Old Whiskers, the ornery Billy goat.

  • John Adams had a mutt named Satan.

  • President Abraham Lincoln had Jip the dog, kittens, ponies, a turkey and Nanny and Nanko the goats.

  • President James Buchanan had a herd of elephants and bald eagles!

Speaking of Checkers, today is also National Checkers Day.

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