The First President Without a Pet for A Century
Donald Trump does not have a pet. If he doesn’t acquire one before moving into the White House, he’ll be the first president to be without a pet for over a century. Andrew Jackson was the last leader of the free world not to have a four legged friend.
When You Need a Friend
Trump might need one as President Harry S Truman pointed out that ‘if you want a friend in Washington, get a pet’. If Trump fails to acquire a pet during his term in office, he will be only the third president in history to face life in office without an animal.
The Presidential Pets
Most presidents have made conventional choices and have shared the White House with cats and dogs. But there have been some more exotic presidential pets. George Washington had a donkey whilst Theodore Roosevelt kept a small bear. James Madison was fond of Polly the Parrot but Benjamin Harrison favoured his pair of opossums. John Quincy Adams had a pet alligator so goodness only knows where he kept that! Perhaps the most ridiculous pet of all was Calvin Coolidge’s hippopotamus.
Barack Obama did not own a pet at the time he was elected but came through on his promise to allow his daughters to have a dog in the White House. The family settled on a Portuguese water dog called Bo who was later joined by Sunny.
George W Bush and Bill Clinton
President George W Bush had a Scottish terrier named Barney. The dog even had his own website and would run around with a camera on his neck dubbed ‘Barneycam’. Enough said! Bill Clinton owned a chocolate Labrador called Buddy who is credited with helping the president get through the aftermath of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Clinton also had a cat called socks.
The Dog Who Wrote a Book
Presidential pets can also possess remarkable abilities – allegedly. President George W Bush had an English Springer Spaniel named Millie. She was credited with writing ‘Millie’s Book’, which became a best seller. Really?
The Reagan Menagerie
Ronald Reagan took things one step further than any other president and installed a menagerie at the White House. This included Lucky, a Bouvier des Flandres, Rex, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Victory, a golden retriever, Peggy, an Irish setter, Taca, a Siberian husky and Fuzzy, a Belgian sheepdog together with some horses.
Perhaps the addition of a pet or two would help Donald Trump to improve his likeability ratings which are unsurprisingly terrible. A cute pet has the ability to work wonders but Trump is a man who always ploughs his own furrow. He just doesn’t look the type to be pictured cuddling a shih tsu, but he might have to!