Besides Presidents, their First Ladies and children, dogs have resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as well. It is no wonder that dog ownership is so high amongst the Presidential club. Unlike their political foes and “allies”, dogs provide loyal companionship that isn’t dependent upon the latest Gallup Poll or focus group.
Presidential dogs have often endeared themselves to the electorate. In honor of Dogs in Politics Day, here are the top five facts about first dogs:
5. George Washington’s Foxhounds
The first President had 36 dogs. George Washington’s favorite breeds were hounds and he used them extensively on fox hunts. The Father of Our Country, Washington can also be considered the Father of the American Foxhound. Washington bred his hounds with the French variety, creating a new breed that survives today.
4. James Buchanan’s Newfy
Besides being the only bachelor to have become President, James Buchanan had the heaviest dog to ever occupy the Whitehouse. Lara, a Newfoundland, was 170 lbs. Perhaps that was the reason he remained a bachelor.
3. FDR’s Scotty
The only dog to have a statue in a national monument is Fala, FDR’s Scottish Terrier. The statue of Fala is a fixture in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.
2. George W Bush’s Internet Sensations!
Barney and Miss Beazley, First dogs of George W Bush, were the first presidential dogs to have their own website.
1. Abe’s First Fido
The name Fido is a stereotypical generic name for a dog. But why is that? Fido has a Latin base meaning “I trust” or faithful one. The President who came up with that name for his dog was none other than Abraham Lincoln, one of our most beloved Presidents.
FDR’s Scotty FTW!