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The Presidential Candidates Pets: Who Do You Want to See in the White House?

By: Rebecca O'Connor

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The presidential debates and elections is almost all you hear in the news. It seems like every other word out of a newscasters mouth is Hillary, Obama or McCain. But what about their pets? Which presidential pet would you like in the White House? Take our poll.

Presidents have been bringing pets to the White House since our country was founded. This shouldn't be a surprise when you consider that the settlers that created the United States were touting around pets from the very beginning. Pets have always been an integral part of the country's culture.

Founding Pets

The pilgrims came across the ocean carrying their hopes and dreams with them. There was a little something else they couldn't leave behind either. Pet dogs came across on the journey as well. It is known that an English mastiff and an English spaniel were definitely a part of that long and arduous journey.

Other American journey's would involve dogs as well. When Louis and Clark took the Corps of Discovery across the continent to explore the Louisiana Purchase, Meriwether Lewis took along his Newfoundland, a dog he purchased for $20 (no small sum!) in 1903. The dog, Seaman, was more than just a companion. He alerted the explorers to dangers and even chased away dangerous animals. Seaman was a very important member of the team.

First Pets

Almost every president that came to live in the White House also brought animals along for the journey. Some weren't the most common of pets, but most leaders seemed to have some pet around for enjoyment and comfort.

George Washington, the first president of the United States, had many horses and First Lady, Martha Washington has a parrot. When John Adams became President, he too brought horses. He even built the first stables at the White House.

Some of the Presidential Pets that followed were a bit more uncommon. John Quincy Adams received an alligator as a gift from a foreign dignitary. Martin Van Buren was given a tiger by a foreign dignitary, but congress made him send it off to a zoo. First Lady Louisa Adams kept silk worms. Calvin and Grace Coolridge had an entire menagerie including Rebecca and Horace, raccoons, Ebenezer, the donkey and Smokey, a bobcat. Given to them by dignitaries from other countries there was also: lion cubs, a wallaby, a pigmy hippo, and a bear.

Dogs the Popular Choice for Presidents

In recent decades, the most popular pets of course have been dogs, with cats following at a close second. Collies, Irish Setters, wolfhounds, elkhounds, terriers, bulldogs, golden retrievers, and poodles are just a few of the breeds of dog who have reigned as first pet. Currently two Scottish terriers and a cat reside at the White House. Wondering who the next presidential pets might be?

This Years Presidential Candidates Pets:

Here's how some of this year's presidential candidates weigh in with their first pets:

  • Barack Obama - Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog is the current "first pet" in the White House.
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton - had Seamus a Lab.
  • Mike Huckabee has Jet the 9-year-old black Lab, Sonic the 1 1/2-year-old Shih Tzu.
  • John Edwards has a golden retriever and chocolate Lab.
  • John McCain – Sam the English Springer spaniel, Coco the mutt, turtles named Cuff and Link, Oreo the black and white cat, a ferret, three parakeets and 13 saltwater fish.
  • Rudy Giuliani has no pets either.
  • Mitt Romney – Had a weimaraner that recently past away.

    Which first pet would you vote for? Vote for your Favorite First Pet.

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