G is for Goats, Guinea Pigs, Greyhound, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, and Great Dane
William Henry Harrison (1841), Abraham Lincoln (1881-1865), Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881), Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), William McKinley (1897-1901), Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945), John F. Kennedy (1961-1963), Gerald Ford (1974-1977) and Ronald Reagan (1981-1989).
President William Henry Harrison kept a goat for his grandson; name unknown.
President Benjamin Harrison’s goat was named His Whiskers, or Old Whiskers according to some sources. He was known for closing the Oval Office at noon and spending the afternoon with his grandchildren and their pets. One day he was seen racing down the street chasing after an escaped Whiskers pulling a cart that held his grandchildren.
President Harrison, grandchildren & goat.
President Abraham Lincoln bought a pair of goats for his son Tad. After his brother Willie died Tad lost all interest in riding their ponies; but one day on a drive Lincoln noticed how interested Tad was in some goats. He sent an orderly to buy a pair, had a wagon and harness made for them and had the goats trained to pull a wagon. He enjoyed seeing Tad drive about the WH grounds with those goats. Tad named them Nanny and Nanko. Nanny tended to get herself into trouble – she enjoyed chewing anything and everything; after a while she was sent to the Soldier’s Home in Washington but she destroyed their flower garden and was sent back to the WH. Nanny ran away and was found a year later. Its’ doubtful Mrs. Lincoln held on to the goats after the assassination of her husband as they were a bone of contention between the couple.(Representative vintage photo)
President Theodore Roosevelt’s son Kermit had 5 guinea pigs in the WH: Admiral Dewey, Bob Evans, Dr. Johnson, Bishop Doan and Father O’Grady. A different source said the names of the guinea pigs were Dewey Senior, Dewey Junior and Bob Evans. (Representative vintage photo)
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy‘s son had a guinea pig in the WH.
President Rutherford B. Hayes brought with him a plethora of pets to the WH. His favorite – and the public’s favorite was the greyhound Grim. Sadly he was killed by a train while standing on train tracks. None of my sources were able to find photographs of Grim. (Representative photo)
President Woodrow Wilson had a greyhound named Mountain Boy. One source indicates he was in the WH; another indicates he was a childhood pet.
This drawing is reportedly of Mountain Boy drawn by Wilson as a child.
President Gerald Ford didn’t have his golden retriever, Liberty when he moved to the WH. His daughter, Susan, purchased her from a breeder and presented the pup to Ford when she was 8 months old. Liberty became very popular with the press and the public and was frequently photographed. She was bred to a champion golden and gave birth to 9 puppies. The Fords kept one puppy, naming her Misty. Liberty died in 1986 at age 11.
Liberty & pups; the Fords kept one puppy and named her Misty.
President Ford taking a swim, White House, 1976 with Misty and Liberty.
President Ronald Reagan was given Victory as a 5 week old puppy while on the campaign trail. The breeder offered to keep Victory until Reagan moved into the WH. Reagan went on to win the election but Victory went to his ranch, Rancho del Cielo, in California.
German Shepherd (also called “police dogs”)
President Rutherford B. Hayes had a police dog named Old Major. That’s all I know about him.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a German Shepherd named Major or Majora according to some sources.
Major with Fala – who we will talk about on a later date.
First Lady Jackie Kennedy had a German Shepherd named Clipper. He was given to her by her father-in-law, Joseph P. Kennedy. He was well trained and very protective. While in the WH the Kennedy’s were known to take Clipper for a late night walk on the streets of Washington, with the Secret Service trailing behind at a discreet distance in a car.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s so, Franklin, Jr. had a Great Dane named President and would leave it with his parents occasionally. The dog was visiting once when Great Britain’s King George IV visited the WH. Far from being disagreeable, the huge dog was on his best behavior around the visiting monarch. (Vintage representative photo.)