A Note On Presidential Pets

We all remember George W.’s dog, Barney, and most of us remember the senior Bushes’ scribal pooch, Millie. The Clintons of course had Chelsea’s cat, Socks, and Buddy, the chocolate Lab that Bill got himself after everything went all wrong and he needed a friend. But can you name any of Reagan’s six dogs? (Only a Republican could name a Golden Retriever “Victory.” That poor, poor creature.) Jimmy Carter’s daughter Amy had a cat called Misty Malarky Ying Yang, which is a bit of a hoot, but as always, deeper history is far more entertaining. So:

Herbert Hoover had a Setter he called Eaglehurst Gillette. Calvin Coolidge had two raccoons, Rebecca and Horace, and two lion cubs, Tax Reduction and Budget Bureau. (Coolidge’s menagerie also included a wallaby, a bear, and a pygmy hippo.) Teddy Roosevelt, who apparently liked full names for his critters, had a garter snake named Emily Spinach, a cat named Tom Quartz, a macaw named Eli Yale, a hen named Baron Spreckle (some gender confusion, there), and guinea pigs named Dr. Johnson, Bishop Doane, Fighting Bob Evans, and Father O’Grady. William McKinley’s yellow-headed Mexican parrot responded (or perhaps not) to Washington Post, ha ha. John Adams, our second president, kept a dog named Satan, and his predecessor, old George Washington himself, had three staghounds—Sweet Lips, Scentwell, and Vulcan—and four coonhounds: Drunkard, Taster, Tipler, and Tipsy. It all makes “Bo” sound kinda boring, really.