D is for Dogs (mixed or unknown breed), Dairy Cows and Dachshunds
Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809), John Adams (1797-1801), William Henry Harrison (1841), Franklin Pierce (1853-1857), Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865), Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881), Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897), Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), William Taft (1909-1913), Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929), John F. Kennedy (1961-1963), and Ronald Reagan (1981-1989).
First Lady Abigail Adams had two mixed breed dogs named Juno and Satan.
President Franklin Pierce was given two “sleeve dogs” brought over from the Japan by Commodore Matthew Perry. The specific breed of these dogs is unknown and we don’t know what the President named his little dog. But we do know he gave one of them the Jefferson Davis (the eventual President of the Confederate States) who named him Bonin. He was described as being so tiny he could sit on a saucer and would ride around in Davis’ pocket.
President Lincoln had two childhood dogs, both yellow in color, named Joe and Sugar.
President Benjamin Harrison had a mixed breed collie named Dash and a mixed breed named Jack. Although President Harrison seemed to like dogs, he didn’t pay them much attention while in the WH because he thought his colleagues and critics would think less of him if they say him playing with a pet. (Then perhaps he should have rehomed them to a loving home.)
President Theodore Roosevelt had many dogs but it is rumored that his favorite was a little black dog named Skip. While on a hunting trip in the western states, Skip started hanging around camp and the President in particular. Roosevelt loved the little dog’s confidence and hunting skills so he adopted him and he came back to the WH when the vacation was over. Skip is sometimes called a rat terrier but his ancestry is unknown.
President William Taft had a dog of unknown breed named Caruso.
President Calvin Coolidge had a bird dog named Palo Alto (representative photo).
President John F. Kennedy’s daughter was given a mixed breed dog named Pushinka by Soviet leader, Nikita Krushchev. After being thoroughly checked for bugs (both natural and listening) by the Secret Service she was given to First Daughter Caroline. Pushinka (Russian for ‘fluffy’) was the daughter of Strelka, one of the first dogs in space. Pushinka and the Kennedy’s Welsh terrier Charlie later had puppies.
President Ronald Reagan had a ranch dog named Freebo.
In the early days of the WH, it was a common sight to see farm animals on the grounds. Cows, horses, sheep, pigs and chickens were the norm for our earlier presidents. Most of the animals slipped into obscurity as they slipped into pots for cooking; but a couple of dairy cows were favorites of our leaders.
President Thomas Jefferson built the first cow barn on the property (that was easy to be first – he was the 3rd president after all!).
President William H. Harrison’s cow, Sukey, only got to graze at the WH for 31 days. The president died after only 31 days in office. Maybe his widow took Sukey back to their home/farm?
President Rutherford B. Hayes was really proud of his pedigreed Jersey cow herd.
President William Taft had two separate cows on the WH property. The first, Mooly Wooly, didn’t provide him with the tasty milk he wanted so he replaced her with a Holstein, Pauline Wayne. Taft loved her milk so much it’s reported that he drank 10 glasses of her rich milk before noon every day. Pauline was also the last cow kept for use by the First Family. After Taft left office, Pauline was sent to Wisconsin. (Since Taft tipped the scales at over 325 pounds – Pauline’s milk must have been extra creamy!!)
President Grover Cleveland is the only president (so far) to have dachshunds in the WH. They were a gift from the United States Consul in Germany and the dogs were adored by the President. Unfortunately, their names weren’t recorded any where my sources were able to find them. (Representative photo)