It’s been a long — and for many people, fatiguing — election season, but it’s about to come to an end, and one thing is certain: the next President of the United States will be a dog lover, and it’s likely that we’ll see some new presidential pooches in our futures.
Hillary Clinton wrote a book about her family’s presidential pets while serving as First Lady, and Donald Trump is said to support the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which takes place in his hometown of New York City.
In fact, dogs have a long and rich history in and around the White House, and some of these presidential pooches have even become more popular and beloved than their presidential parents!
So give yourself — and your ears — a break from all the attack ads and never-ending media coverage and check out these cool presidential pooches.
Famous Presidential Pooches
To date, thirty-two U.S. presidents have owned at least one dog while in office. Even the first American president, George Washington, was a dog owner, with three American Staghounds and four Black and Tan Coonhounds.
We recently complied a list of the Top 10 “First Dogs” — check out the top five (see the full list here).
1. Veto, the hero dog. A name with real meaning, this Newfoundland was owned by James Garfield, the 20th U.S. president. He named the dog Veto to let Congress know that he might not be signing all of the bills it passed. But Veto was more than a message — he was a hero. He once barked nonstop to alert people that a barn was on fire and, on another occasion, he held the reins of a rampaging horse until help came.
2. Laddie Boy, the first celebrity dog. Owned by Warren G. Harding, the 29th president, Laddie Boy was an Airedale terrier who accompanied the first family everywhere. He joined the president on golf outings and even attended cabinet meetings, sitting in his own special chair. Because of this, Laddie Boy received an enormous amount of media coverage. There was an official portrait painted of him, and a life-sized sculpture of this special pup is part of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History collection.
3. King Tut, the happiness dog. Herbert Hoover, the 31st president, had a less-than-optimal public image of being rather stiff, stern, and severe during his run for the presidency. That image was quickly softened when a photo was taken of him with his Belgian Shepherd, King Tut, who brought out a rare smile from the president. Hoover’s campaign officials had thousands of copies made of that photo and circulated them throughout the country, hoping the image would make Hoover appear more personable. The strategy worked – Hoover was elected president, and the New York Times wrote that it was “one of the happiest pictures ever made” of Hoover.
4. Fala, movie star and constant companion. Always with his beloved owner, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), the 32nd president, Fala was a black Scottish terrier who slept in a special chair at the end of FDR’s bed, accompanied him on trips of all kinds and by all modes of transportation, and met some very important people. His popularity was so huge that he actually received thousands of letters from people, and in 1942 a movie was made about his life. There were references made to Fala in some of the biggest media sources of the time, including the New York Times and Reader’s Digest. He’s also mentioned in several books about Roosevelt. A statue of Fala stands next to a statue of FDR in Washington, DC.
5. Yuki, the famous singing dog. A rescue dog who ended up living in the White House, Yuki was an abandoned terrier mix found by the daughter of Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ), the 36th president, at a gas station one Thanksgiving day. LBJ had several presidential pooches, but Yuki was his favorite. The two were practically inseparable — LBJ even danced with Yuki at his daughter’s wedding, took her to cabinet meetings, and swam with her — but Yuki was best known for her singing. LBJ and Yuki would raise their faces to the sky and “sing” together.