From Raccoons to Singing Strays, a Tour of the White House Pets
Many presidents’ cherished pets have made their mark in the public eye — and on the White House lawn. They’ve made movies, “written” books and received fan mail from around the country. View a slide show of first pets at the holidays and take our quiz.
#1 Which presidential family had a raccoon as a pet?
#2 Which White House pet was buried beside his owner?
#3 How did the Obamas end up with a Portuguese water dog?
#4 Which presidential candidate got a boost from a photo he took with his dog?
#5 Which White House pet was re-gifted?
#6: Which president “sang” with his dog in front of dignitaries?
#7: Which president was quoted as saying, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog”?
Answers after the jump:
Answer to #1: President Coolidge’s family had a raccoon named Rebecca. In the above photo, first lady Grace Coolidge holds Rebecca at the 1927 White House Easter egg roll. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.)
Answer to #2: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s beloved dog Fala was buried beside him at his estate in Hyde Park, N.Y.
Answer to #3: The Obamas adopted Bo, a hypoallergenic dog, because of daughter Malia’s allergies.
Answer to #4: A photo of Herbert Hoover and his dog King Tut was widely circulated during his presidential campaign in 1928 and was said to have helped boost his popularity. (Photo courtesy of Herbert E. French/Library of Congress.)
Answer to #5: President Truman’s family received a cocker spaniel puppy, Feller, as a Christmas gift in December 1947. When word came out that the Trumans didn’t plan to keep the puppy, some people wrote the White House offering to adopt him. Feller ended up going to Truman’s physician Brig. Gen. Wallace Graham.
Answer to #6: President Johnson and his adored mixed breed Yuki, who was found as a stray at a gas station, would howl together, sometimes “singing” for visiting dignitaries. They’re pictured above performing in the Oval Office on Feb. 6, 1968. (Photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto/White House.)
Answer to #7: President Truman has often been quoted for saying, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”