Presidential Pets!

Willow_the_First_Catby Mary Jo

'Tis the Year of the Tiger at the White House as the Bidens have adopted an elegant gray tiger cat named Willow after Jill Biden's home town of Willow Grove.  As anyone who has read my books can guess, I'm a serious cat lover, and I was much taken by the story of how this little gray girl interrupted Dr. Jill during a stump speech in a barn in Pennsylvania during the 2020 presidential campaign. 

Apparently the two of them bonded immediately and Willow has been fostered since then, waiting for the right time to join the Biden household.  (Willow looks rather like my Smokey, who is also an elegant gray tabby.  In my book Once a Spy, a Smokey inspired gray tabby attached himself to the heroine and joined her household under the name Leo. Cats Smokey by the desktoptend to move in like that. <G>  That's my Smokey to the right.)

The topic of presidential pets intrigued me so I decided to look more deeply.  It turns out that Wikipedia has a treasure trove of material on the subject. This blog is mostly made up of tidbits from that Wikipedia article, and I give my thanks to all the contributors who put this material together.

Only three presidents had no pets at all: James Polk, Andrew Johnson, and Donald Trump, but apparently Andrew Johnson fed white mice found in his bedroom, so I think we can give him credit for that.

Grace_Coolidge_Official_portrait Dogs

Not surprisingly, dogs were the most common pets, because–dogs!  Social and happy to be part of the presidential pack.  It's worth remembering that Harry Truman allegedly said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."  And many presidents have done just that, both because they like dogs, and because in more modern times, having lovable pets is a political plus.  Apparently the first White House pet to get regular news coverage was Warren G. Harding's Airedale Laddie Boy.

George Washington had a pack of seven hunting dogs, a mixture of American Foxhounds and Black and Tan Coonhounds. (Plus a greyhound named Cornwallis.)  Some presidents had many dogs. Calvin Coolidge ("Silent Cal") had a dozen dogs, plus canaries, a raccoon, and a variety of other critters.  Rutherford B. Hayes had eight dogs, all of different breeds.  Herbert Hoover had nine dogs, including a Norwegian Elkhound, and Franklin D. Roosevelt had seven dogs.

Interestingly, one of FDR's dogs was a German Shepherd named Major, who was sent to Roosevelt's home after two many biting incidents.  One of the Bidens' German Shepherds, also named Major, was also sent to a different home after biting incidents since it was recognized that he needed a calmer environment than the White House.  (Theodore Roosevelt had a terrier named Pete who was sent into exile for "chomping on one two many legs.) The canine listings go on and on and on!

(Above left is the official portrait of Grace Coolidge with one of their white collies, Rob Roy.)

Horses

Many presidents had horses and ponies, not surprising in an era where horses were a main means of transportation.  (A side note: horses can be beloved, but do they qualify as pets if they live in a stable?)

Military men often had horses they'd ridden in the army, which makes sense.  George Washington had two wartime mounts, Nelson and Blueskin, plus an Andalusian donkey called Royal Gift, which had been given to him by King Charles III of Spain.

Ulysses Grant, the famous Union general before he became president, had a war horse named Jeff Davis.  Being named after the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, presumably indicated a certain lack of respect for the rebels. <G>  He had other horses, including one called Butcher's Boy. Grant bought the horse after an impromptu race through the streets of Washington, which Butcher's Boy won even though he was pulling a cart.  He  must have been one fast horse!

Zachary Taylor was also a soldier who kept his military horse, Old Whitey, at the White House. 

Birds

Many birds of different species have also lived in the White House, the first being a parrot named Snipe, owned by Martha Washington.  James Madison had a parrot named Polly, which outlived both James and Dolley Madison. Parrots can live forty to sixty years in captivity.

My favorite of the presidential parrots listed was Andrew Jackson's Polly, a grey parrot. He was brought to Jackson's funeral but had to be removed because of Grey Parrothis raucous and persistent swearing. <G> (That's a gray parrot on the right.)

The White House has also been home to canaries, mockingbirds, parakeets, macaws, songbirds, an eagle (James Buchanan), and more.  Abraham Lincoln had goats, horses, dogs, a rabbit, and a turkey named Jack, intended to be Christmas dinner, but whose life was spared when son Tad Lincoln intervened. (Is there where the custom of presidential pardons of a Thanksgiving turkey originated? The Kennedys also had a pair of ducks for Caroline, but there were conflicts with the family terrier, Charlie, so the 720px-Kennedy_Family_with_Dogs_During_a_Weekend_at_Hyannisport_1963ducks were sent to safety in Washington's Rock Creek Park.  (On the left is a picture of the Kennedy family with several of their dogs.)

Cats

The White House has had many resident cats as well.  Lincoln had two, Tabby and Dixie. Lincoln is quoted as saying that Dixie was smarter than his whole cabinet. <G>  Besides his many dogs, Rutherford B. Hayes had three cats.  One, named Siam, was the first Siamese cat in the United States. 

The Clinton White House included Chelsea Clinton's black and white tuxedo cat, Socks.  Here's a picture of him apparently giving his first news conference. <G>  They later got Buddy, a Labrador Retriever. Socks despised him on sight. Clinton
once said that he did better with the Palestinians and the Israelis than he did with Socks and Buddy. <G>  (Here's a picture of Socks, apparently giving a press conference. <G>)

1086px-Socks_the_Cat_Explores

Miscellaneous

There have been all kinds of other critters as well! Thomas Jefferson had a pair of grizzly bear cubs given to him by the explorer Captain Zebulon Pike, but Jefferson said they were "too dangerous and troublesome to keep," which shows good judgment–they can get very large and scary.  They were given to a museum in Philadelphia.  I hope the museum included a zoo where they could live out their lives; I don't like to think they might have been stuffed and mounted right away!

There have also been goats, sheep, opossums, a miniature hippopotamus, Coolidge's gift wallaby and duiker (a small antelope) were given to the zoo, as was a Mexican black bear.  Coolidge also had a pair of lion cubs from South Africa named Tax Reduction and Budget Bureau.

The ever colorful Theodore Roosevelt had six children and masses of critters around.  Besides lots of dogs and several cats and ponies, the household included guinea pigs, a hen, a garter snake, a badger, a pig, a horned frog, a laughing hyena, a piebald rat, a barn owl, and a one legged rooster called Fierce.<G>  Woodrow Wilson had a flock of up to 48 sheep, which kept the White House lawn trimmed very economically. When sheared, the wool was sold to benefit the Red Cross.)

If you're an animal lover, I recommend reading the whole of the Wikipedia article just for fun. As a question to ponder–if you lived in a great big house like the White House and had lots of people to help you take care of all the critters, what pets would you like to have?  No reason to be practical–tell us what you'd really like to have!

Mary Jo

135 thoughts on “Presidential Pets!”

  1. We’ve had dogs and cats of course, I have a Blue Doberman and a lazy DST 16 year old cat now, but we’ve had bunnies who make wonderful pets, and rats who also make just stellar pets they’re so smart! Mice, frogs, guinea pigs, snakes but we let it go because Thing 2 didn’t want to feed it living things (garter snake) a Degu, various fish, I have Opae Ula shrimp right now and they’re pretty fascinating. Thing 2 always wanted a Sugar Glider but they’re very hard to keep because they’re very specific in what they need. She still has buns now and cats. Thing 1 has a full Bloodhound and a charcoal Lab. It’s generally a zoo when you walk in our doors šŸ™‚

    Reply
  2. We’ve had dogs and cats of course, I have a Blue Doberman and a lazy DST 16 year old cat now, but we’ve had bunnies who make wonderful pets, and rats who also make just stellar pets they’re so smart! Mice, frogs, guinea pigs, snakes but we let it go because Thing 2 didn’t want to feed it living things (garter snake) a Degu, various fish, I have Opae Ula shrimp right now and they’re pretty fascinating. Thing 2 always wanted a Sugar Glider but they’re very hard to keep because they’re very specific in what they need. She still has buns now and cats. Thing 1 has a full Bloodhound and a charcoal Lab. It’s generally a zoo when you walk in our doors šŸ™‚

    Reply
  3. We’ve had dogs and cats of course, I have a Blue Doberman and a lazy DST 16 year old cat now, but we’ve had bunnies who make wonderful pets, and rats who also make just stellar pets they’re so smart! Mice, frogs, guinea pigs, snakes but we let it go because Thing 2 didn’t want to feed it living things (garter snake) a Degu, various fish, I have Opae Ula shrimp right now and they’re pretty fascinating. Thing 2 always wanted a Sugar Glider but they’re very hard to keep because they’re very specific in what they need. She still has buns now and cats. Thing 1 has a full Bloodhound and a charcoal Lab. It’s generally a zoo when you walk in our doors šŸ™‚

    Reply
  4. We’ve had dogs and cats of course, I have a Blue Doberman and a lazy DST 16 year old cat now, but we’ve had bunnies who make wonderful pets, and rats who also make just stellar pets they’re so smart! Mice, frogs, guinea pigs, snakes but we let it go because Thing 2 didn’t want to feed it living things (garter snake) a Degu, various fish, I have Opae Ula shrimp right now and they’re pretty fascinating. Thing 2 always wanted a Sugar Glider but they’re very hard to keep because they’re very specific in what they need. She still has buns now and cats. Thing 1 has a full Bloodhound and a charcoal Lab. It’s generally a zoo when you walk in our doors šŸ™‚

    Reply
  5. We’ve had dogs and cats of course, I have a Blue Doberman and a lazy DST 16 year old cat now, but we’ve had bunnies who make wonderful pets, and rats who also make just stellar pets they’re so smart! Mice, frogs, guinea pigs, snakes but we let it go because Thing 2 didn’t want to feed it living things (garter snake) a Degu, various fish, I have Opae Ula shrimp right now and they’re pretty fascinating. Thing 2 always wanted a Sugar Glider but they’re very hard to keep because they’re very specific in what they need. She still has buns now and cats. Thing 1 has a full Bloodhound and a charcoal Lab. It’s generally a zoo when you walk in our doors šŸ™‚

    Reply
  6. I would probably stick with just cats and dogs, which were the type of pets that have been in my life – all my life. We did have the occasional parakeets or fishes, but I never really connected with them. Had a nephew who moved in with me once and brought his pet ferret with him. Never really connected with that critter either.
    Cats and dogs are so different, but I love them all. My last dog passed on about 10 years ago. He was a golden retriever and such a sweet boy. I miss him still. I have just one cat now, but she is the most affectionate cat I have ever had. The perfect companion for this time in my life.
    Love this post.

    Reply
  7. I would probably stick with just cats and dogs, which were the type of pets that have been in my life – all my life. We did have the occasional parakeets or fishes, but I never really connected with them. Had a nephew who moved in with me once and brought his pet ferret with him. Never really connected with that critter either.
    Cats and dogs are so different, but I love them all. My last dog passed on about 10 years ago. He was a golden retriever and such a sweet boy. I miss him still. I have just one cat now, but she is the most affectionate cat I have ever had. The perfect companion for this time in my life.
    Love this post.

    Reply
  8. I would probably stick with just cats and dogs, which were the type of pets that have been in my life – all my life. We did have the occasional parakeets or fishes, but I never really connected with them. Had a nephew who moved in with me once and brought his pet ferret with him. Never really connected with that critter either.
    Cats and dogs are so different, but I love them all. My last dog passed on about 10 years ago. He was a golden retriever and such a sweet boy. I miss him still. I have just one cat now, but she is the most affectionate cat I have ever had. The perfect companion for this time in my life.
    Love this post.

    Reply
  9. I would probably stick with just cats and dogs, which were the type of pets that have been in my life – all my life. We did have the occasional parakeets or fishes, but I never really connected with them. Had a nephew who moved in with me once and brought his pet ferret with him. Never really connected with that critter either.
    Cats and dogs are so different, but I love them all. My last dog passed on about 10 years ago. He was a golden retriever and such a sweet boy. I miss him still. I have just one cat now, but she is the most affectionate cat I have ever had. The perfect companion for this time in my life.
    Love this post.

    Reply
  10. I would probably stick with just cats and dogs, which were the type of pets that have been in my life – all my life. We did have the occasional parakeets or fishes, but I never really connected with them. Had a nephew who moved in with me once and brought his pet ferret with him. Never really connected with that critter either.
    Cats and dogs are so different, but I love them all. My last dog passed on about 10 years ago. He was a golden retriever and such a sweet boy. I miss him still. I have just one cat now, but she is the most affectionate cat I have ever had. The perfect companion for this time in my life.
    Love this post.

    Reply
  11. What a lovely post. I love animals and grew up having cats. My husband brought home a stray cat that we named Rocky ( after Stallones character) as he was fearless. He came home with a huge, black 25 lb Persian that we named Buddy. Next up was a dog named McGregor – a mutt – I took one look at him and named him. Maggie was our next little dog and I swore off pets when she died. But then two cats adopted me – I still have Callie who is a sweetheart she is a calico. Poor little Jade got hit by a car. I love hearing what people name their animals.

    Reply
  12. What a lovely post. I love animals and grew up having cats. My husband brought home a stray cat that we named Rocky ( after Stallones character) as he was fearless. He came home with a huge, black 25 lb Persian that we named Buddy. Next up was a dog named McGregor – a mutt – I took one look at him and named him. Maggie was our next little dog and I swore off pets when she died. But then two cats adopted me – I still have Callie who is a sweetheart she is a calico. Poor little Jade got hit by a car. I love hearing what people name their animals.

    Reply
  13. What a lovely post. I love animals and grew up having cats. My husband brought home a stray cat that we named Rocky ( after Stallones character) as he was fearless. He came home with a huge, black 25 lb Persian that we named Buddy. Next up was a dog named McGregor – a mutt – I took one look at him and named him. Maggie was our next little dog and I swore off pets when she died. But then two cats adopted me – I still have Callie who is a sweetheart she is a calico. Poor little Jade got hit by a car. I love hearing what people name their animals.

    Reply
  14. What a lovely post. I love animals and grew up having cats. My husband brought home a stray cat that we named Rocky ( after Stallones character) as he was fearless. He came home with a huge, black 25 lb Persian that we named Buddy. Next up was a dog named McGregor – a mutt – I took one look at him and named him. Maggie was our next little dog and I swore off pets when she died. But then two cats adopted me – I still have Callie who is a sweetheart she is a calico. Poor little Jade got hit by a car. I love hearing what people name their animals.

    Reply
  15. What a lovely post. I love animals and grew up having cats. My husband brought home a stray cat that we named Rocky ( after Stallones character) as he was fearless. He came home with a huge, black 25 lb Persian that we named Buddy. Next up was a dog named McGregor – a mutt – I took one look at him and named him. Maggie was our next little dog and I swore off pets when she died. But then two cats adopted me – I still have Callie who is a sweetheart she is a calico. Poor little Jade got hit by a car. I love hearing what people name their animals.

    Reply
  16. What a fun article, Mary Jo!
    Allergies, money, and time concerns dictated that we not have pets though my husband and I had dog(s), plus a parrot in my case, while growing up. My daughter’s ‘pet’ was a Venus fly trap that she named Vicious!

    Reply
  17. What a fun article, Mary Jo!
    Allergies, money, and time concerns dictated that we not have pets though my husband and I had dog(s), plus a parrot in my case, while growing up. My daughter’s ‘pet’ was a Venus fly trap that she named Vicious!

    Reply
  18. What a fun article, Mary Jo!
    Allergies, money, and time concerns dictated that we not have pets though my husband and I had dog(s), plus a parrot in my case, while growing up. My daughter’s ‘pet’ was a Venus fly trap that she named Vicious!

    Reply
  19. What a fun article, Mary Jo!
    Allergies, money, and time concerns dictated that we not have pets though my husband and I had dog(s), plus a parrot in my case, while growing up. My daughter’s ‘pet’ was a Venus fly trap that she named Vicious!

    Reply
  20. What a fun article, Mary Jo!
    Allergies, money, and time concerns dictated that we not have pets though my husband and I had dog(s), plus a parrot in my case, while growing up. My daughter’s ‘pet’ was a Venus fly trap that she named Vicious!

    Reply
  21. Theo, your menagerie could rival some of those presidents! I had to look up degu; okay, a cute little Chilean pocket rat. I share Thing 2’s reluctance to feed living creatures to pet. Ugh! It sounds like Things 1 & 2 inherited a vibrant pet gene from you! (Shrimp??!!)

    Reply
  22. Theo, your menagerie could rival some of those presidents! I had to look up degu; okay, a cute little Chilean pocket rat. I share Thing 2’s reluctance to feed living creatures to pet. Ugh! It sounds like Things 1 & 2 inherited a vibrant pet gene from you! (Shrimp??!!)

    Reply
  23. Theo, your menagerie could rival some of those presidents! I had to look up degu; okay, a cute little Chilean pocket rat. I share Thing 2’s reluctance to feed living creatures to pet. Ugh! It sounds like Things 1 & 2 inherited a vibrant pet gene from you! (Shrimp??!!)

    Reply
  24. Theo, your menagerie could rival some of those presidents! I had to look up degu; okay, a cute little Chilean pocket rat. I share Thing 2’s reluctance to feed living creatures to pet. Ugh! It sounds like Things 1 & 2 inherited a vibrant pet gene from you! (Shrimp??!!)

    Reply
  25. Theo, your menagerie could rival some of those presidents! I had to look up degu; okay, a cute little Chilean pocket rat. I share Thing 2’s reluctance to feed living creatures to pet. Ugh! It sounds like Things 1 & 2 inherited a vibrant pet gene from you! (Shrimp??!!)

    Reply
  26. Donna, your husband sounds like a pet magnet, and God bless him! I’d love to have met the 25 lb Buddy. *G* My recent cats have been The Spook, PandaMax, Smokey the Destroyer, Reggie the Rascal, and Princess Flufferbella.

    Reply
  27. Donna, your husband sounds like a pet magnet, and God bless him! I’d love to have met the 25 lb Buddy. *G* My recent cats have been The Spook, PandaMax, Smokey the Destroyer, Reggie the Rascal, and Princess Flufferbella.

    Reply
  28. Donna, your husband sounds like a pet magnet, and God bless him! I’d love to have met the 25 lb Buddy. *G* My recent cats have been The Spook, PandaMax, Smokey the Destroyer, Reggie the Rascal, and Princess Flufferbella.

    Reply
  29. Donna, your husband sounds like a pet magnet, and God bless him! I’d love to have met the 25 lb Buddy. *G* My recent cats have been The Spook, PandaMax, Smokey the Destroyer, Reggie the Rascal, and Princess Flufferbella.

    Reply
  30. Donna, your husband sounds like a pet magnet, and God bless him! I’d love to have met the 25 lb Buddy. *G* My recent cats have been The Spook, PandaMax, Smokey the Destroyer, Reggie the Rascal, and Princess Flufferbella.

    Reply
  31. Yup, little tiny Hawaiian red shrimp. They live in ‘brackish’ water so once that’s set up, you never have to do anything at all. They have a whole cycle all their own and all I do occasionally is add a little distilled water so the saline level doesn’t get too high from evaporation since they eat algae. They’re really fascinating to watch. Thing 2 has four cats, two buns, a roommate with a dog…menageries all…

    Reply
  32. Yup, little tiny Hawaiian red shrimp. They live in ‘brackish’ water so once that’s set up, you never have to do anything at all. They have a whole cycle all their own and all I do occasionally is add a little distilled water so the saline level doesn’t get too high from evaporation since they eat algae. They’re really fascinating to watch. Thing 2 has four cats, two buns, a roommate with a dog…menageries all…

    Reply
  33. Yup, little tiny Hawaiian red shrimp. They live in ‘brackish’ water so once that’s set up, you never have to do anything at all. They have a whole cycle all their own and all I do occasionally is add a little distilled water so the saline level doesn’t get too high from evaporation since they eat algae. They’re really fascinating to watch. Thing 2 has four cats, two buns, a roommate with a dog…menageries all…

    Reply
  34. Yup, little tiny Hawaiian red shrimp. They live in ‘brackish’ water so once that’s set up, you never have to do anything at all. They have a whole cycle all their own and all I do occasionally is add a little distilled water so the saline level doesn’t get too high from evaporation since they eat algae. They’re really fascinating to watch. Thing 2 has four cats, two buns, a roommate with a dog…menageries all…

    Reply
  35. Yup, little tiny Hawaiian red shrimp. They live in ‘brackish’ water so once that’s set up, you never have to do anything at all. They have a whole cycle all their own and all I do occasionally is add a little distilled water so the saline level doesn’t get too high from evaporation since they eat algae. They’re really fascinating to watch. Thing 2 has four cats, two buns, a roommate with a dog…menageries all…

    Reply
  36. I’m partial to cats, Siamese specifically. My current little buddy is Sammy. We are happily sitting out the pandemic with each other for company. If I were more conscientious, I’d have an axolotl like Gary, who has his own Youtube channel that he now shares with Migi, another axolotl. They require a pretty specific environment I know I’m too lazy to keep up, so they,re my virtual pets whom I can visit and then leave to their “parents” (like grandchildre!).

    Reply
  37. I’m partial to cats, Siamese specifically. My current little buddy is Sammy. We are happily sitting out the pandemic with each other for company. If I were more conscientious, I’d have an axolotl like Gary, who has his own Youtube channel that he now shares with Migi, another axolotl. They require a pretty specific environment I know I’m too lazy to keep up, so they,re my virtual pets whom I can visit and then leave to their “parents” (like grandchildre!).

    Reply
  38. I’m partial to cats, Siamese specifically. My current little buddy is Sammy. We are happily sitting out the pandemic with each other for company. If I were more conscientious, I’d have an axolotl like Gary, who has his own Youtube channel that he now shares with Migi, another axolotl. They require a pretty specific environment I know I’m too lazy to keep up, so they,re my virtual pets whom I can visit and then leave to their “parents” (like grandchildre!).

    Reply
  39. I’m partial to cats, Siamese specifically. My current little buddy is Sammy. We are happily sitting out the pandemic with each other for company. If I were more conscientious, I’d have an axolotl like Gary, who has his own Youtube channel that he now shares with Migi, another axolotl. They require a pretty specific environment I know I’m too lazy to keep up, so they,re my virtual pets whom I can visit and then leave to their “parents” (like grandchildre!).

    Reply
  40. I’m partial to cats, Siamese specifically. My current little buddy is Sammy. We are happily sitting out the pandemic with each other for company. If I were more conscientious, I’d have an axolotl like Gary, who has his own Youtube channel that he now shares with Migi, another axolotl. They require a pretty specific environment I know I’m too lazy to keep up, so they,re my virtual pets whom I can visit and then leave to their “parents” (like grandchildre!).

    Reply
  41. I’ve had cats and a dog in the past, but if I had lots of space and people to take care of pets, I would get a parrot, and let it fly around an aviary instead of being in a small cage. Goats are also adorable, although they can be destructive.
    I had no idea the Presidents had so many pets, including farm animals! The White House pets I do recall are Lyndon Johnson’s beagles, FDR’s Scottish terrier Fala, and the Bushes also had a terrier, Barney, who was a bit feisty! They used to post videos of him online from the “Barney cam”.

    Reply
  42. I’ve had cats and a dog in the past, but if I had lots of space and people to take care of pets, I would get a parrot, and let it fly around an aviary instead of being in a small cage. Goats are also adorable, although they can be destructive.
    I had no idea the Presidents had so many pets, including farm animals! The White House pets I do recall are Lyndon Johnson’s beagles, FDR’s Scottish terrier Fala, and the Bushes also had a terrier, Barney, who was a bit feisty! They used to post videos of him online from the “Barney cam”.

    Reply
  43. I’ve had cats and a dog in the past, but if I had lots of space and people to take care of pets, I would get a parrot, and let it fly around an aviary instead of being in a small cage. Goats are also adorable, although they can be destructive.
    I had no idea the Presidents had so many pets, including farm animals! The White House pets I do recall are Lyndon Johnson’s beagles, FDR’s Scottish terrier Fala, and the Bushes also had a terrier, Barney, who was a bit feisty! They used to post videos of him online from the “Barney cam”.

    Reply
  44. I’ve had cats and a dog in the past, but if I had lots of space and people to take care of pets, I would get a parrot, and let it fly around an aviary instead of being in a small cage. Goats are also adorable, although they can be destructive.
    I had no idea the Presidents had so many pets, including farm animals! The White House pets I do recall are Lyndon Johnson’s beagles, FDR’s Scottish terrier Fala, and the Bushes also had a terrier, Barney, who was a bit feisty! They used to post videos of him online from the “Barney cam”.

    Reply
  45. I’ve had cats and a dog in the past, but if I had lots of space and people to take care of pets, I would get a parrot, and let it fly around an aviary instead of being in a small cage. Goats are also adorable, although they can be destructive.
    I had no idea the Presidents had so many pets, including farm animals! The White House pets I do recall are Lyndon Johnson’s beagles, FDR’s Scottish terrier Fala, and the Bushes also had a terrier, Barney, who was a bit feisty! They used to post videos of him online from the “Barney cam”.

    Reply
  46. What a fun post, Mary Jo – and I love the portrait of Grace Coolidge. I wonder how she chose which of their dogs would be immortalized in paint? While I would be happy to have multiple cats and dogs, I know that, given the space and help, my husband would go for an elephant! Every birthday and Christmas, when asked if he has any particular gift in mind, he requests a punk! He has to be satisfied, however, with receiving a calendar featuring photos of elephants, which I put in his stocking each year.
    Iā€™m with Donna and you in loving to hear the names people choose for their pets. My sister came up with my all-time favorite. When we were teenagers, our family got a collie/sheepdog puppy from a litter of 8. He did look a bit lost for the first few days, so when she went to register him, she gave his name as Lonesome Aloysius. I am happy to say that he lived a very long and not at all lonesome life!

    Reply
  47. What a fun post, Mary Jo – and I love the portrait of Grace Coolidge. I wonder how she chose which of their dogs would be immortalized in paint? While I would be happy to have multiple cats and dogs, I know that, given the space and help, my husband would go for an elephant! Every birthday and Christmas, when asked if he has any particular gift in mind, he requests a punk! He has to be satisfied, however, with receiving a calendar featuring photos of elephants, which I put in his stocking each year.
    Iā€™m with Donna and you in loving to hear the names people choose for their pets. My sister came up with my all-time favorite. When we were teenagers, our family got a collie/sheepdog puppy from a litter of 8. He did look a bit lost for the first few days, so when she went to register him, she gave his name as Lonesome Aloysius. I am happy to say that he lived a very long and not at all lonesome life!

    Reply
  48. What a fun post, Mary Jo – and I love the portrait of Grace Coolidge. I wonder how she chose which of their dogs would be immortalized in paint? While I would be happy to have multiple cats and dogs, I know that, given the space and help, my husband would go for an elephant! Every birthday and Christmas, when asked if he has any particular gift in mind, he requests a punk! He has to be satisfied, however, with receiving a calendar featuring photos of elephants, which I put in his stocking each year.
    Iā€™m with Donna and you in loving to hear the names people choose for their pets. My sister came up with my all-time favorite. When we were teenagers, our family got a collie/sheepdog puppy from a litter of 8. He did look a bit lost for the first few days, so when she went to register him, she gave his name as Lonesome Aloysius. I am happy to say that he lived a very long and not at all lonesome life!

    Reply
  49. What a fun post, Mary Jo – and I love the portrait of Grace Coolidge. I wonder how she chose which of their dogs would be immortalized in paint? While I would be happy to have multiple cats and dogs, I know that, given the space and help, my husband would go for an elephant! Every birthday and Christmas, when asked if he has any particular gift in mind, he requests a punk! He has to be satisfied, however, with receiving a calendar featuring photos of elephants, which I put in his stocking each year.
    Iā€™m with Donna and you in loving to hear the names people choose for their pets. My sister came up with my all-time favorite. When we were teenagers, our family got a collie/sheepdog puppy from a litter of 8. He did look a bit lost for the first few days, so when she went to register him, she gave his name as Lonesome Aloysius. I am happy to say that he lived a very long and not at all lonesome life!

    Reply
  50. What a fun post, Mary Jo – and I love the portrait of Grace Coolidge. I wonder how she chose which of their dogs would be immortalized in paint? While I would be happy to have multiple cats and dogs, I know that, given the space and help, my husband would go for an elephant! Every birthday and Christmas, when asked if he has any particular gift in mind, he requests a punk! He has to be satisfied, however, with receiving a calendar featuring photos of elephants, which I put in his stocking each year.
    Iā€™m with Donna and you in loving to hear the names people choose for their pets. My sister came up with my all-time favorite. When we were teenagers, our family got a collie/sheepdog puppy from a litter of 8. He did look a bit lost for the first few days, so when she went to register him, she gave his name as Lonesome Aloysius. I am happy to say that he lived a very long and not at all lonesome life!

    Reply
  51. I lost my little Labrador Cross two weeks before Christmas. I’m heart broken. I’ve had pets all my life but this loss has knocked me sideways. There was something special about him. He was SO clever. I’ve never seen anything like it. So I think I’m done now with dogs. Couldn’t take that pain again.
    We have one cat left now out of all the pets we’ve had the last few years. She’s sixteen and a very independent lady.
    This is a lovely enjoyable post.

    Reply
  52. I lost my little Labrador Cross two weeks before Christmas. I’m heart broken. I’ve had pets all my life but this loss has knocked me sideways. There was something special about him. He was SO clever. I’ve never seen anything like it. So I think I’m done now with dogs. Couldn’t take that pain again.
    We have one cat left now out of all the pets we’ve had the last few years. She’s sixteen and a very independent lady.
    This is a lovely enjoyable post.

    Reply
  53. I lost my little Labrador Cross two weeks before Christmas. I’m heart broken. I’ve had pets all my life but this loss has knocked me sideways. There was something special about him. He was SO clever. I’ve never seen anything like it. So I think I’m done now with dogs. Couldn’t take that pain again.
    We have one cat left now out of all the pets we’ve had the last few years. She’s sixteen and a very independent lady.
    This is a lovely enjoyable post.

    Reply
  54. I lost my little Labrador Cross two weeks before Christmas. I’m heart broken. I’ve had pets all my life but this loss has knocked me sideways. There was something special about him. He was SO clever. I’ve never seen anything like it. So I think I’m done now with dogs. Couldn’t take that pain again.
    We have one cat left now out of all the pets we’ve had the last few years. She’s sixteen and a very independent lady.
    This is a lovely enjoyable post.

    Reply
  55. I lost my little Labrador Cross two weeks before Christmas. I’m heart broken. I’ve had pets all my life but this loss has knocked me sideways. There was something special about him. He was SO clever. I’ve never seen anything like it. So I think I’m done now with dogs. Couldn’t take that pain again.
    We have one cat left now out of all the pets we’ve had the last few years. She’s sixteen and a very independent lady.
    This is a lovely enjoyable post.

    Reply
  56. Karin, whatever one thinks of an given person’s politics, having pets does soften their image. I was surprised at how some earlier presidents I’ve never thought much about were clearly real animal lovers.

    Reply
  57. Karin, whatever one thinks of an given person’s politics, having pets does soften their image. I was surprised at how some earlier presidents I’ve never thought much about were clearly real animal lovers.

    Reply
  58. Karin, whatever one thinks of an given person’s politics, having pets does soften their image. I was surprised at how some earlier presidents I’ve never thought much about were clearly real animal lovers.

    Reply
  59. Karin, whatever one thinks of an given person’s politics, having pets does soften their image. I was surprised at how some earlier presidents I’ve never thought much about were clearly real animal lovers.

    Reply
  60. Karin, whatever one thinks of an given person’s politics, having pets does soften their image. I was surprised at how some earlier presidents I’ve never thought much about were clearly real animal lovers.

    Reply
  61. Constance, Mrs. Coolidge might have chosen that one of the two collies because he was better at standing still? *G* I’m sure your husband has found elephant-cams from Africa? Good to know that “Lonesome Aloysius ended up long lived and happy!

    Reply
  62. Constance, Mrs. Coolidge might have chosen that one of the two collies because he was better at standing still? *G* I’m sure your husband has found elephant-cams from Africa? Good to know that “Lonesome Aloysius ended up long lived and happy!

    Reply
  63. Constance, Mrs. Coolidge might have chosen that one of the two collies because he was better at standing still? *G* I’m sure your husband has found elephant-cams from Africa? Good to know that “Lonesome Aloysius ended up long lived and happy!

    Reply
  64. Constance, Mrs. Coolidge might have chosen that one of the two collies because he was better at standing still? *G* I’m sure your husband has found elephant-cams from Africa? Good to know that “Lonesome Aloysius ended up long lived and happy!

    Reply
  65. Constance, Mrs. Coolidge might have chosen that one of the two collies because he was better at standing still? *G* I’m sure your husband has found elephant-cams from Africa? Good to know that “Lonesome Aloysius ended up long lived and happy!

    Reply
  66. When I was a child, we had dogs, I had a skunk,who ate the bottom of my mother’s dining room drapes, we had a duck who liked to peck small children on the behind. My sister had a horse who once had to live in the backyard because it was too cold for her to live out in the pasture. We had a rabbit who ate the legs on my mother’s new night stand. As you can see, my mother’s possessions were not treated with respect.
    My children, had lots of dogs and cats, 3 guinea pigs who we found out were actually 5 guinea pigs. We had ponies, a cockatoo and later a yellow nape parrot. And we had 7 large aquariums filled with fish. Those fish came and went depending on who ate who.
    I have a firm belief that pets should be a part of family life. They can teach many lessons.
    I think if I had a large area, I would have rescued pets. There are so many animals treated like throwaway items. I would also need lots of money to feed all these pets.
    I hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

    Reply
  67. When I was a child, we had dogs, I had a skunk,who ate the bottom of my mother’s dining room drapes, we had a duck who liked to peck small children on the behind. My sister had a horse who once had to live in the backyard because it was too cold for her to live out in the pasture. We had a rabbit who ate the legs on my mother’s new night stand. As you can see, my mother’s possessions were not treated with respect.
    My children, had lots of dogs and cats, 3 guinea pigs who we found out were actually 5 guinea pigs. We had ponies, a cockatoo and later a yellow nape parrot. And we had 7 large aquariums filled with fish. Those fish came and went depending on who ate who.
    I have a firm belief that pets should be a part of family life. They can teach many lessons.
    I think if I had a large area, I would have rescued pets. There are so many animals treated like throwaway items. I would also need lots of money to feed all these pets.
    I hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

    Reply
  68. When I was a child, we had dogs, I had a skunk,who ate the bottom of my mother’s dining room drapes, we had a duck who liked to peck small children on the behind. My sister had a horse who once had to live in the backyard because it was too cold for her to live out in the pasture. We had a rabbit who ate the legs on my mother’s new night stand. As you can see, my mother’s possessions were not treated with respect.
    My children, had lots of dogs and cats, 3 guinea pigs who we found out were actually 5 guinea pigs. We had ponies, a cockatoo and later a yellow nape parrot. And we had 7 large aquariums filled with fish. Those fish came and went depending on who ate who.
    I have a firm belief that pets should be a part of family life. They can teach many lessons.
    I think if I had a large area, I would have rescued pets. There are so many animals treated like throwaway items. I would also need lots of money to feed all these pets.
    I hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

    Reply
  69. When I was a child, we had dogs, I had a skunk,who ate the bottom of my mother’s dining room drapes, we had a duck who liked to peck small children on the behind. My sister had a horse who once had to live in the backyard because it was too cold for her to live out in the pasture. We had a rabbit who ate the legs on my mother’s new night stand. As you can see, my mother’s possessions were not treated with respect.
    My children, had lots of dogs and cats, 3 guinea pigs who we found out were actually 5 guinea pigs. We had ponies, a cockatoo and later a yellow nape parrot. And we had 7 large aquariums filled with fish. Those fish came and went depending on who ate who.
    I have a firm belief that pets should be a part of family life. They can teach many lessons.
    I think if I had a large area, I would have rescued pets. There are so many animals treated like throwaway items. I would also need lots of money to feed all these pets.
    I hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

    Reply
  70. When I was a child, we had dogs, I had a skunk,who ate the bottom of my mother’s dining room drapes, we had a duck who liked to peck small children on the behind. My sister had a horse who once had to live in the backyard because it was too cold for her to live out in the pasture. We had a rabbit who ate the legs on my mother’s new night stand. As you can see, my mother’s possessions were not treated with respect.
    My children, had lots of dogs and cats, 3 guinea pigs who we found out were actually 5 guinea pigs. We had ponies, a cockatoo and later a yellow nape parrot. And we had 7 large aquariums filled with fish. Those fish came and went depending on who ate who.
    I have a firm belief that pets should be a part of family life. They can teach many lessons.
    I think if I had a large area, I would have rescued pets. There are so many animals treated like throwaway items. I would also need lots of money to feed all these pets.
    I hope everyone is well and happy and safe.

    Reply
  71. Teresa, I’m so very, very sorry that you’ve lost your very special dog. Just like human beings, some pets connect directly with our hearts and it’s especially painful to lose them. Hugs–

    Reply
  72. Teresa, I’m so very, very sorry that you’ve lost your very special dog. Just like human beings, some pets connect directly with our hearts and it’s especially painful to lose them. Hugs–

    Reply
  73. Teresa, I’m so very, very sorry that you’ve lost your very special dog. Just like human beings, some pets connect directly with our hearts and it’s especially painful to lose them. Hugs–

    Reply
  74. Teresa, I’m so very, very sorry that you’ve lost your very special dog. Just like human beings, some pets connect directly with our hearts and it’s especially painful to lose them. Hugs–

    Reply
  75. Teresa, I’m so very, very sorry that you’ve lost your very special dog. Just like human beings, some pets connect directly with our hearts and it’s especially painful to lose them. Hugs–

    Reply
  76. Annette, you may win this blog’s Champion Pet Owner Prize! (It’s virtual, so no need to wonder where to put it. *G*) I so agree that pets enrich people’s lives (and my sympathies to people who have allergies.) All of my cats have been rescues, and they’ve all been wonderful in different ways.

    Reply
  77. Annette, you may win this blog’s Champion Pet Owner Prize! (It’s virtual, so no need to wonder where to put it. *G*) I so agree that pets enrich people’s lives (and my sympathies to people who have allergies.) All of my cats have been rescues, and they’ve all been wonderful in different ways.

    Reply
  78. Annette, you may win this blog’s Champion Pet Owner Prize! (It’s virtual, so no need to wonder where to put it. *G*) I so agree that pets enrich people’s lives (and my sympathies to people who have allergies.) All of my cats have been rescues, and they’ve all been wonderful in different ways.

    Reply
  79. Annette, you may win this blog’s Champion Pet Owner Prize! (It’s virtual, so no need to wonder where to put it. *G*) I so agree that pets enrich people’s lives (and my sympathies to people who have allergies.) All of my cats have been rescues, and they’ve all been wonderful in different ways.

    Reply
  80. Annette, you may win this blog’s Champion Pet Owner Prize! (It’s virtual, so no need to wonder where to put it. *G*) I so agree that pets enrich people’s lives (and my sympathies to people who have allergies.) All of my cats have been rescues, and they’ve all been wonderful in different ways.

    Reply
  81. I love both dogs and cats, and I’d keep horses and cows too if I could. All my adult life I’ve had cats – of fond memory now, all of them, and I hope they know how much I miss them.
    How I live now is not really conducive to having pets, what with one thing and another. I content myself by visiting my nephew’s dogs as often as I can. He likes to adopt German Shorthairs, which are lovely sweet natured hunting dogs who are dumb as rocks mostly and are often overcome with a desire to eliminiate cats and squirrels from their universe.
    My dream home would include enough land to keep some horses and cows. I would love to walk outside and talk to a cow once in a while.

    Reply
  82. I love both dogs and cats, and I’d keep horses and cows too if I could. All my adult life I’ve had cats – of fond memory now, all of them, and I hope they know how much I miss them.
    How I live now is not really conducive to having pets, what with one thing and another. I content myself by visiting my nephew’s dogs as often as I can. He likes to adopt German Shorthairs, which are lovely sweet natured hunting dogs who are dumb as rocks mostly and are often overcome with a desire to eliminiate cats and squirrels from their universe.
    My dream home would include enough land to keep some horses and cows. I would love to walk outside and talk to a cow once in a while.

    Reply
  83. I love both dogs and cats, and I’d keep horses and cows too if I could. All my adult life I’ve had cats – of fond memory now, all of them, and I hope they know how much I miss them.
    How I live now is not really conducive to having pets, what with one thing and another. I content myself by visiting my nephew’s dogs as often as I can. He likes to adopt German Shorthairs, which are lovely sweet natured hunting dogs who are dumb as rocks mostly and are often overcome with a desire to eliminiate cats and squirrels from their universe.
    My dream home would include enough land to keep some horses and cows. I would love to walk outside and talk to a cow once in a while.

    Reply
  84. I love both dogs and cats, and I’d keep horses and cows too if I could. All my adult life I’ve had cats – of fond memory now, all of them, and I hope they know how much I miss them.
    How I live now is not really conducive to having pets, what with one thing and another. I content myself by visiting my nephew’s dogs as often as I can. He likes to adopt German Shorthairs, which are lovely sweet natured hunting dogs who are dumb as rocks mostly and are often overcome with a desire to eliminiate cats and squirrels from their universe.
    My dream home would include enough land to keep some horses and cows. I would love to walk outside and talk to a cow once in a while.

    Reply
  85. I love both dogs and cats, and I’d keep horses and cows too if I could. All my adult life I’ve had cats – of fond memory now, all of them, and I hope they know how much I miss them.
    How I live now is not really conducive to having pets, what with one thing and another. I content myself by visiting my nephew’s dogs as often as I can. He likes to adopt German Shorthairs, which are lovely sweet natured hunting dogs who are dumb as rocks mostly and are often overcome with a desire to eliminiate cats and squirrels from their universe.
    My dream home would include enough land to keep some horses and cows. I would love to walk outside and talk to a cow once in a while.

    Reply
  86. Janice, I’m laughing about the German Shorthairs who “are as dumb as rocks,” but we can love critters even if they aren’t terribly bright. In the Heathcliff Lennox mysteries, set in 1920s England, the hero has a golden cocker spaniel that he describes as “of little brain,” but he still dotes on it and takes it everywhere.

    Reply
  87. Janice, I’m laughing about the German Shorthairs who “are as dumb as rocks,” but we can love critters even if they aren’t terribly bright. In the Heathcliff Lennox mysteries, set in 1920s England, the hero has a golden cocker spaniel that he describes as “of little brain,” but he still dotes on it and takes it everywhere.

    Reply
  88. Janice, I’m laughing about the German Shorthairs who “are as dumb as rocks,” but we can love critters even if they aren’t terribly bright. In the Heathcliff Lennox mysteries, set in 1920s England, the hero has a golden cocker spaniel that he describes as “of little brain,” but he still dotes on it and takes it everywhere.

    Reply
  89. Janice, I’m laughing about the German Shorthairs who “are as dumb as rocks,” but we can love critters even if they aren’t terribly bright. In the Heathcliff Lennox mysteries, set in 1920s England, the hero has a golden cocker spaniel that he describes as “of little brain,” but he still dotes on it and takes it everywhere.

    Reply
  90. Janice, I’m laughing about the German Shorthairs who “are as dumb as rocks,” but we can love critters even if they aren’t terribly bright. In the Heathcliff Lennox mysteries, set in 1920s England, the hero has a golden cocker spaniel that he describes as “of little brain,” but he still dotes on it and takes it everywhere.

    Reply

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