With all eyes on the White House this fall, let’s focus on our favorite past residents – the pups. The White House has been home to many canines over the years!
President Franklin D Roosevelt (1933-1945)
Given as a Christmas gift, President Roosevelt received a new friend named Fala, a Scottish Terrier. Fala was recognized as one of the greatest presidential pets of all times. He attended secret meetings and publicized war conferences with President Roosevelt, and the fame didn’t end there! Fala also appeared in two MGM films and promoted rubber companies during the time of war. It is clear that Fala was one of the most recognizable pets in America during this era.
President Gerald Ford (1961-1983)
Liberty was a golden retriever given to President Ford by his daughter. Instantly, Ford fell in love! It wasn’t long till Liberty became a White House mom. The Fords decided to breed Liberty and she soon gave birth to nine little bundles of joy.
President Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, loved dogs. Rex, a tan and white King Charles spaniel with a determined nature, became a member of the Reagan family shortly after their first dog, Lucky, passed away. Rex’s first job as a White House dog was to light the official Christmas tree in 1985.
President Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
Every president needs a loyal friend and that’s exactly what Buddy was to President Clinton. After serving his first term without a dog, Clinton knew a 3-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever puppy would be the perfect companion to make the White House feel complete. In addition to being a loyal canine, Buddy won hearts after Hillary Clinton published a book of letters that were written by children to White House pets. All proceeds from the book were donated to the National Park Foundation.
Bo & Sunny
President Barak Obama (2009-present)
The most recent White House dog is Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog given to the family by Senator Ted Kennedy. As the White House dog, Bo accompanies the Obama family in meet and greets and other presidential appearances. If one dog wasn’t enough, there’s Sunny, a female Portuguese Water Dog. Sunny became the newest addition to the family when the Obama family wanted to lift Bo’s spirits and give him a new a friend, or should we say “younger sister”. Now, Bo doesn’t have to work alone and this duo tag teams all the first dog duties together!
As you can see, pups in the White House are very important! Over the years, different breeds and mixes of dogs have been a crucial part in making the White House feel like home to our Presidents and their families.