Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Barking Politics: Famous First Dogs & the Presidents who Loved Them

In the United States, the most prestigious and stressful job is running the country as President. Faced with hundreds of policies and decisions that affect the entire population on a daily basis, is a tremendous responsibility. Presidents freely step up to this position, and may not comprehend what they are getting themselves into until they are there. It must be quite a slap of reality when four years commitment is staring them in the eye.

What makes this position even more stressful, is that while there are cabinet members help advise the President, the realm of politics is just that, politics. The President can never be 100 percent certain that the advice is not centered on a personal agenda.

Never being able to trust anyone entirely while in term is enough call for many presidents to enlist the companionship of man’s best friend, a dog. It is the loyal, unwavering love and support that dogs offer to their owners that provide a sense of solace for the soul.

Take a look at the dog companionship choice some past Presidents of the United States have made.

George Washington (1st President)
Our nation’s first president enjoyed the companionship of American Foxhounds. In between laying the foundation of our magnificent country, he was breeding and taking care of his hounds. Some reports have claimed Washington had up to 30 different dogs.
Warren G. Harding (29th President)
President Harding was devoted to his Airedale Terrier, keeping him around during all important meetings. In fact, his dog, named Laddie Boy even had his own hand-carved cabinet chair for business meetings.
 Calvin Coolidge (30th President)
President Coolidge and his wife, Grace, were big animal lovers. They kept a pair of collies, named Rob Roy and Prudence Prim, along with many other dogs. Reports have shown the Coolidge’s had a few exotic animals as well, including a bobcat!

Herbert Hoover (31st President)
The 31st Presidents choice in companionship was multiple dogs. President Hoover owned four dogs, consisting of an Irish Wolfhound, an Elkhound and two Fox Terriers.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (32nd President)
President Roosevelt, one of the more memorable Presidents, had a famous best friend as well. His Scottish Terrier not only starred in a movie, he had his own press secretary to handle his many personal appearances.
John F. Kennedy (35th President)
President Kennedy was an avid lover of dogs. He was the first President to ever have his dogs greet him on the helipad when he returned from a trip.

Richard Nixon (37th President)
President Nixon, also a dog lover with many at his side. His dogs of choice included a Poodle, a Terrier and an Irish Setter.
Gerald Ford (38th President)
The 38th President, Gerald Ford loved the companionship of his Golden Retriever. In fact, he also brought his dog, Liberty into meetings, and often used his dog as an excuse to leave Oval Office meetings early.
 George Bush (41st President)
The first President Bush owned Springer Spaniel, named Millie. Millie was an extremely popular Presidential dog, in fact, her book called Millie’s Book outsold the President’s autobiography!

Bill Clinton (42nd President)
After surveying the public’s opinion, President Clinton decided to adopt a Chocolate Labrador which he named Buddy.
George W. Bush (43rd President)
President George W. Bush’s Scottish Terrier named Barney, was another popular Presidential dog. Barney stared in a few movies and has had many websites devoted to him, many of which are still active.

Susan Wright, DMV is a practicing veterinarian of more than 10 years. Dr. Wright is an animal lover in both professional and personal life. Susan exhibits her love of dogs by writing articles on their proper care as well as some with a more entertaining approach. Dr. Wright is the staff expert on dog containment systems for DogFenceDIY.com