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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The 10: President’s best pets

Photo Credit National Archives and Records Administration
President of Pretty| Franklin D. Roosevelt and a four-month-old Fala enjoy a picnic near Pine Plains, New York on Aug. 8.

10. Then-vice president Richard Nixon once won back public opinion after a scandal through an emotional address about Checkers, Nixon’s cocker spaniel. Checkers may be directly responsible for Watergate.

9. Him and Her, Lyndon B. Johnson’s beagles, deserve a pity shout-out. It started with Johnson holding them by the ears for photos, and ended with Her choking on a rock and Him being run over by a limousine.

8. Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection, Benjamin Harrison’s opossums, were named after the twin measures of Republican policy at the time. Also, Harrison might have eaten them.

7. Pushinka, the daughter of the first dog to successfully orbit Earth, was gifted to John F. Kennedy by the USSR. Pushinka had to be thoroughly examined by the CIA for signs of surveillance technology.

6. William Johnson Hippopotamus, Calvin Coolidge’s pygmy hippopotamus, was also known as Billy. Billy lived life to the fullest, from attending the Chicago World Fair to siring 23 calves— all of whom the zoo named Gumdrop (I, II, III…).

5. Polly,  Andrew Jackson’s parrot, taking on her owner’s brazen personality, was known for having a curse-filled vocabulary. She was so loud and vulgar during Jackson’s funeral that she had to be removed from the premises.

4. Fido, Abraham Lincoln’s labrador, is the reason why “Fido” is now the John Doe of dog names. However, like his owner, he met an unfortunate end. One report alleges that Fido was fatally stabbed by a drunk man. According to another, Fido ran into the man’s knife.

3. Laddie Boy, Warren G. Harding’s Airedale terrier, had everything from newspaper interviews to a hand-carved chair just for him. After Harding’s death, he got taken in by a Secret Service agent named Harry Barker. Truly a match made in heaven.

2. Socks, Bill Clinton’s cat, is the modern presidential pet with the most media blitz. The chairman of the House Oversight Committee once questioned the use of White House staff to answer Socks’ overwhelming fanmail. Some people just hate fun.

1. Fala, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Scottish terrier, was so well-known that the question “Who is the President’s dog?” was used to root out German spies in WWII. No one can hold a torch to a dog whose full name is Murray the Outlaw of Falahill.

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