Monday, October 10, 2011

Presidents and their Dogs

Dogs have been a part of the White House for as long as the presidents. It's a part of the presidents' personalities and the image of looking presidential. We can go all the way back to President Washington. He had as many as 30 pets and was a breeder. Below is an American Foxhound.

Courtesy: Mt. Vernon Ladies' Association.

Fast forward to the sixties and John Kennedy. JFK is largely credited with creating the wicked cool photo op of having his dog run out to greet him when his helicopter landed on the South Lawn. Whether at the White House, or home at Hyannis Port, a bevy of dogs was always a part of the Kennedy clan.

Courtesy: Time Life Pictures: Corbis

Some presidents had to be introduced to the concept of a dog, including Presidents Clinton and Obama. Mr. Clinton started with Socks the Cat and later saw the light. In came Buddy the Chocolate Lab. Buddy didn't last long because he liked to chase cars.

Courtesy: Barbara Kinney/The White House

The Obamas were petless upon arrival to the White House, largely because of the president's notorious allergies. So they got an uber allergy-friendly Portuguese Water Dog named Bo.

Bo with a lei. Courtesy: the White House

If it's good enough for a president, it's probably good enough for us. Or, maybe the other way around. It's a numbers game really with 38-million American households owning a dog. President Truman famously said, "Want a friend in Wasington? Get a dog."

That applies elsewhere too. Have a response to the story? Include it here.

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