If you’re a sucker for puppy dog eyes, you might want to head down to the George W. Bush Presidential Center near SMU sometime between now and January 15th. That’s because for a limited time there is a display recreating Laura Bush’s “All Creature Great and Small” Christmas theme for the 2002 holiday at the White House. All of the furry and feathered friends got me thinking about the presidential pets. Who were the most memorable? And who caused the most mischief? For this Bobtail Deliveries Dallas blog, we’ll explore the presidential pets of the past.
George Washington- Our first Commander in Chief had an affinity for Fido. The president was known to have over 50 pooches, mostly kept for hunting. While dogs definitely ruled the roost, there were also a few horses, some used during the American Revolution, and it is said that the First Lady had a parrot of her own.
William Henry Harrison- Unless you’ve memorized every president our country has ever had, which a handful of our Straight Truck Deliveries in Dallas employees have, you might miss President Harrison. He was the ninth president of the United States, but he died of pneumonia just a month after taking office. That means his pet goat and cow were evicted from the White House after John Tyler took over.
Calvin Coolidge- The 30th president of the United States had a zoo of sorts. His pets included a bobcat, donkey, lion cubs, a wallaby, and, the kicker, a pygmy hippopotamus. The 600 pound hippo was a gift to the president by a friend who no longer could afford to feed it. I guess there weren’t enough Dallas Straight Truck Courier Service drivers to deliver truckloads of munchies for the big guy. Eventually Coolidge donated Billy, as the hippo was affectionately named, to the Smithsonian Zoological Park. Billy was used for breeding purposes, and many of the pygmy hippos in the US are offspring of Billy.
Herbert Hoover- Forget about pet rocks, Hoover's son had a pair of gators who actually were free to roam the White House grounds. He isn't the first president to have alligators in the oval office, though. The sixth president John Adams also had a gator. His lived in the East Wing and was frequently used to scare guests.
George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush- The Bushes have quite a legacy, but so do their furry friends. H.W. had a Springer Spaniel named Millie that hit a soft spot in American hearts. Millie was so loved, she's memorialized in a book. Millie had puppies while H.W. was in office, and George W. acquired Millie’s son Spot Fetcher, who had his own run in the White House in 2000.
Martin Van Buren- As both a Vice President and President, Van Buren had a lot of power. Not enough, though, to convince Congress to let him keep two tiger cubs, gifts from the Sultan of Oman. The kittens reportedly were sold to a zoo. Our Dallas Same Day Straight Truck Delivery team thinks this is probably for the best. Just ask Roy!
Abraham Lincoln- Lincoln indulged his sons and allowed them to keep as many pets and whatever kind of pets they wanted. His sons had a number of strange animals, including goats, but one of the strangest was a turkey named Jack. Jack was supposed to be dinner, but Lincoln's son Tad begged his father to spare the bird, who was then allowed to roam the White House.
As you can see, even our Commanders in Chief had an affinity for furry and feathered friends, just like our Bobtail Deliveries Dallas team.