President’s Day

In honor of President’s Day I thought I would remind you of when I was three different presidents last year. I’m sure you can guess who they are!! And if you don’t know who they are, let me know and I’ll send you a book on US history!!!

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Happy President’s Day!!!

Reflections on my A-Z journey

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

2016 reflectionsI know it’s been over a week since the Blogging A to Z Challenge ended but it’s time for my Reflections post before I put this kitten to bed until next year!

My Reflections on A – Z  and what I learned about our presidents.

This challenge was a bit hard for me  because there was so much information to sort through. I started reading and researching the first week in January and continued even up through the final post. I wanted to get as much information as I could and as accurately as I could. Believe it or not, there was a whole bunch of stuff I left out! Organization and Pre-Planning were key!! I would not have been able to this on the spur of the moment. I had formulated several calendars, spreadsheets, lots of documents, references and photos. I’m pretty sure I checked out over 50 books from the library just on presidents alone looking for information.  I don’t know that next year will be as in-depth as this one was; but who knows? I’m already thinking of ideas for next year!! (I know, I’m a glutton for punishment!)

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Here’s what I learned about presidents during this journey:

1.       Presidents need to be rich because they are far too busy to deal with the day-to-day care of their pets and have to hire people to do that for them.

2.       Presidents use pets to endear themselves to the citizens of the United States and that is wrong. Animals ought not to be used for human self-promotion or for ego boosters. Animals are sentient beings who have a right to be loved and wanted just for themselves not for what they can do for their caretaker.

3. Presidents are, in some ways, like the rest of you average humans. Some adored their pets and some ignored them. Some sacrificed for them, others couldn’t tolerate them and sent them off at the slightest mistake. 

4. Presidents shouldn’t have pets unless they are willing to do spend time with them every day, at least let them sleep with them, or at least provide a lap to sleep on for a little while. Just because we can’t talk to you humans in a way that you completely understand, it doesn’t mean we don’t get lonely when you are too busy for us.


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I was going to have test questions but instead of taxing my brain or yours any longer, I just offer you some trivia:

Which President was talked about the most (in terms of the number of daily posts)?

     Theodore Roosevelt was #1 with 14 days.

Which President was second?

     Calvin Coolidge was #2 with 12 days.

Which President was mentioned the least?

     9 Presidents were mentioned on only one day

Which President was not mentioned at all?

      Chester A. Arthur

Which Presidential animal is the most popular?

     Dogs, by far, were mentioned on 23 days. Cats were only mentioned on 4 days.

 Who are my favorite Presidents based on these posts alone?

  Abraham Lincoln, a true cat lover (much to Mary Todd’s chagrin)

      John F. Kennedy, for setting aside his allergies so his kids could have pets.

George W. Bush for showcasing India as much as Barney and Miss Beazley.

  Who are your favorite Presidents – based on their pets alone?? (No politics allowed!)

I do want to thank everyone who read, liked and commented on my A to Z posts this year. I apologize if I didn’t get around to respond to each one of you individually – I appreciate all of your comments and likes so much. They meant a lot to me and made me love you all even more!!! Love, always, Toby.

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Zsa Zsa and Zoo-pets!

blog az title bannerZ is for Zsa Zsa and Pets that belonged in a Zoo that weren’t previously blogged about!

 presidents today Martin Van Buren (1837-1841), James Buchanan (1857-1861), Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929), Richard Nixon (1969-1974), and Jimmy Carter (1977-1981).

Zsa Zsa
President John F. Kennedy was given a white rabbit named Zsa Zsa by a magician. The rabbit supposedly played the first five bars on the Star Spangled Banner on a gold trumpet and drank beer. She didn’t stay long at the WH; she was sent to an orphanage – maybe to entertain the poor orphans!
zsa zsa jfk

vintage illustration

Zoo Animals
President Martin Van Buren was given a pair of tiger cubs by the Sultan of Oman. Apparently Van Buren wanted to keep the cubs at the WH because Congress had to force him to donate them to the local zoo.
tiger cubs mvanburen

representative photo

President James Buchanan was given a “herd” of elephants by the King of Siam (Thailand). Once source says they never arrived because President Lincoln politely turned the gift down. Another source said the elephants when directly to the local zoo.  The President was also reported to have a pair of Bald Eagles but it is not known as to whether the eagles lived at the WH or the zoo.
bald eagle james buchannan

vintage illustration

President Theodore Roosevelt had numerous animals that belonged in a zoo. Some of them lived at the WH, others at his home in New York. He had a hyena, lion, coyote, zebra, barn owl, raccoon, five bears, flying squirrel and a wildcat.hyena trooseveltbarn owl theo rooseveltcolor vintage lion theo roos

zebra theo roosevelt

all vintage photos/illustrations

President Calvin Coolidge was given a pair of lion cubs by the Mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa. He named them Budget Bureau and Tax Reduction and sent them to the zoo. He also had a wallaby, a black bear, a duiker and a bobcat named Smokey.

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lion cubs  cc

Poor babies, they look miserable. These supposedly photos of the actual cubs.


Duiker, representative photo

smokey coolidge

Bobcat, representative photo


Wallaby – sort of a mini-kangaroo!

President Jimmy Carter’s daughter was gifted with an elephant by a Sri Lankan immigrant. The elephant was sent to the National Zoo.

Representative photo

President Richard Nixon probably got the coolest gift, er, loan of all! Thanks to him we have pandas in the National Zoo!! China sent pandas Ling-ling and Hsing-Hsing to the United States after Nixon’s historic visit to their country in 1972. Not really pets, per se, but then neither are bears, wallabies and lion or tiger cubs.

This is a photo of the pandas, but I don’t know which is which!

panda with pat nixon

First Lady Pat Nixon with the pandas


Well, that’s it!! That’s the end of this run and boy am I tired!! I hope you enjoyed this month of posts! I enjoyed researching and sharing all the information!  On my reflections post sometime in May I’m going to post some questions for you to answer – don’t worry – they’ll be easy!! My Caturday Art will be in a separate post!!!

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2016 survivor

Yukon and Yuki

blog az title bannerY is for Yukon and Yuki

 presidents today Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969).

President Herbert Hoover brought with him a pack of dogs to the WH; one of them was Yukon and his breed was listed as an “Eskimo dog.” An ‘Eskimo dog’ was likely a Malamute but as there aren’t any available photographs it’s hard to know exactly.
yukon hhover

Representative photo


President Lyndon B. Johnson may be more well known for his beagles, Him and Her, but the dog he truly seemed to favor was Yuki, a white terrier mix his daughter Luci found abandoned at a gas station in Johnson City, Texas in 1966. The President and Yuki (Japanese for snow) hit it off from the very beginning and the dog went to cabinet meetings, stayed in the oval office and was a frequent overnight guest in President Johnson’s bedroom (as opposed to the kennel where the dogs usually stayed when not with the family).  The President and Yuki enjoyed singing and swimming together, as well.yuki-presidential-petYuki-howling
When the Republican nominee Richard Nixon stopped by the WH to discuss Vietnam, Johnson and Yuki walked Nixon out to Marine One. As Nixon prepared to board, Yuki went ahead and boarded. Johnson was heard to say, “Look, you’ve got my helicopter, you’re after my job, and now you want my dog!” Nixon allegedly responded, “I told you I want your job, not your dog!”
Yuki  LBJ
When President Johnson left the WH, Yuki went with him on Air Force One to the LBJ Ranch. The little dog was beside him when he died in 1973. After Johnson’s death, Yuki went to live with Luci Johnson Nugent. Johnson’s favorite dog died in 1979 aged 13-14 years.

President Johnson Trying to Sign New Bill…15 Dec 1967, Washington, DC, USA — A slight obstacle presented itself when President Johnson prepared to sign the meat inspection bill at the White House today. His pet dog Yuki jumped up on the desk. But the president finally signed the law, which he said would be used by the government to force dirty meat packing plants to “clean up or close down.” — Image by Bettmann/CORBIS


Yuki’s collar


Y  One more letter to go – Yay!!!!

Winks, Washington Post, Whoopie, Wolfhound, and Weimaraner

blog az title bannerW is for Winks, Washington Post, Whoopie,  Wolfhound and Weimaraner

 presidents today John Tyler (1841-1845), William McKinley (1897-1901), Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945), Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961), and John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)

Before Fala, President Franklin Roosevelt had another favorite dog named Winks. Winks was named for the black ring around his left eye and was a Llewellyn setter.  He was a mischievous dog with a voracious appetite. The Pittsburgh Press reported on Feb 26, 1934 that Winks had discovered a table set for 18 with the breakfast meal of bacon and eggs ready to be eaten. At least that’s what Winks thought. He jumped on the table and went from plate to plate eating everything in sight. Roosevelt observed, “The only reason he didn’t drink the coffee was that it had not yet been poured.”
As a young puppy full of energy and no judgment Winks ran headlong into the iron fence that surrounded the WH and died of a concussion just months later in July, 1934. He was a candle that burned out at both ends. The family buried him at a pet cemetery in Silver Springs, Maryland.

A reenactment of the incident was set up so a newspaper reporter could capture it!

Washington Post
President William McKinley had a Mexican Double Yellow-headed Parrot named Washington Post. 
Yellow-headed Parrot

Yellow-headed parrot (representative photo)

President Herbert Hoover had a schnauzer named Whoopie. 
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King Tut, Whoopie and Eaglehurst

President John Tyler reportedly had 2 wolfhounds imported for his wife. I don’t know their names. 
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vintage illustration

President Hoover had yet another dog, a Irish Wolfhound name Cragwood Padraie, or Patrick.
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The newspaper photo shows how gianormous he was!!


President John F. Kennedy had an Irish Wolfhound in his pack, too, named Wolf!
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Shannon and Wolf (or Wolfie)  with Kennedy in the Oval Office.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower has the (dis)honor of having the only dog to be actually banished from the WH. Dogs before Eisenhower’s that had proved trouble were sent away; but Heidi the Weimaraner is a different matter altogether. I’ll get to that in a moment.
Heidi was a beautiful blue-grey Weimaraner, a breed that was mostly unknown in the U.S. In fact, Heidi was mostly unknown by the public as being a WH dog even though she had full run of the building and its grounds for the time she was there. She was a gift to the Eisenhowers as a puppy in 1955. In the beginning First Lady Mamie Eisenhower didn’t like having a dog, but they eventually bonded. Heidi was a jumper and protector so she was always jumping up on people – especially photographers – who she perceived to be a threat to her family.
Heidi  - Mamie - Ike Eisenhower

Mamie and Heidi

The color of her coat was described as being “mole-colored”, “taupe-grey” and even “ginger.” Heidi slept in a basket on the third floor and during the day she would nap in the President’s private office while he worked. 
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Walking the dog!

Now, back to why she was banished. Despite all the folks around the WH to look after her, Heidi still had accidents inside (it was obviously the humans who were at fault here, not the dog). The final straw (or pee or poo) was an accident on an extremely valuable rug. In the early 60’s the rug was worth close to $20,000 – that’s around $160,000 in 2013 dollars and who knows what it would be worth now in 2016 after adjusting for inflation. Anyway, off Heidi went to the Eisenhower’s Gettysburg farm to live. She must have been happy there because she eventually had a litter of 4 puppies.
Heidi  Ike Eisenhower

Look at those eyes!!


Heidi was not allowed to run free at the annual WH Easter Egg Roll!