Presidential Pets - The Furry Friends of The White House
In the 246 years since July 4th 1776, we've had quite a few Presidents. Each time we elect a new President to run our country, they move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their furniture, family, and in some cases - pets!
The White House has had quite a few interesting animals walking it's halls since George Washington was elected. Here's some memorable and star quality "Furst" Pets that have belonged to American Presidents!
Benjamin Harrison - Whiskers the Goat
Johnston, Frances Benjamin via Library of Congress
"Old Whiskers" the Goat was a pet goat belonging to the grandchildren of President Benjamin Harrison. Old Whiskers spent time on the White House grounds, giving the grandchildren rides in a cart he was attached to. According to many sources from the time, there had even been an instance of Whiskers running off with the children still in his cart. This ended with President Harrison chasing the goat down Executive Avenue!
Lyndon B. Johnson - Him and Her
President Lyndon B Johnson had quite a few pets in the White House by the time he left his Presidency. His most famous pets were two dogs named Him and Her! These pups became famous after a controversial photo of President Johnson holding Him up by the ears in front of press.
John F. Kennedy - Pushinka
JFK Library via BBC
Pushinka the "mongrel" pup was a gift from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to President John F. Kennedy in the early 60's. Pushinka's mother was Strelka - the first dog sent into space and came back to wag their tail. The Kennedy's were sent Pushinka (which means Fluffy in Russian) after Jackie inquired at a dinner about Strelka, and the dog became a part of the family!
Warren G. Harding - Laddie Boy
Harris & Ewing via Wiki Commons
Laddie Boy was the first "First Dog" to be labeled by the press, and he was certainly a star! Laddie Boy was loved by the people and press, receiving special interviews with newspapers, attending birthday parties thrown for himself, and (most adorably), chasing golf balls up trees for President Harding.
Bill Clinton - Socks
White House Photograph Office via Wiki Commons
Socks is perhaps one of the most famous Presidential Pets! Socks was Chief Executive Cat at the White House during President Clinton's presidency. Socks famously was adopted by the Clintons after jumping into the arms of Chelsea Clinton after a piano lesson a few years before Clinton's election. Socks stayed with the family until they left after two terms and was adopted by Clinton's secretary.
More History of Pets
Looking for more pawsome history about pets? Pets have a long and crazy history with humans. We wanted to share a few stories that tell us the companionship and love that people & pets have had for one another - it's been a long committed relationship! Check out our article about the History of Pets here!