October 30, 2008
Over the years, the President of the United States has often had a pet. Sometimes the pet was for their kids, other time for their wife, and other times for themselves. Some presidential pets are more interesting than others. For example, James Madison owned a Macaw (Parrot), John Quincy Adams had a pet alligator, Calvin Coolidge had a pet pigmy hippo, and Martin Van Buren had tiger cubs (for a short time). Andrew Johnson didn't have any official pets, but it is said that he fed mice that he found in his bedroom. Teddy Roosevelt may have had the most pets including several dogs, cats, a snake, a pony, pig, rooster, rat, guinea pigs, hen, a macaw, and even a badger (named Josiah).
Here is a list of some of the past presidential pets:
Amy Carter, daughter of President Jimmy Carter, had a pet Siamese cat with an interesting name: Misty Malarky Ying Yang. Try saying that 5 times fast!
President Bill Clinton, not wanting to upset either dog or cat lovers, had one of each. He had a cat named Socks and a dog named Buddy.
Benjamin Harrison had a pet goat named Whiskers, a Collie named dash, and two opossums.
President Richard Nixon, a dog man, had four pet dogs including a cocker spaniel, a terrier, a poodle, and an Irish setter.
A famous pair of pet dog Beagles, with the strange names of Him and Her, belonged to Lyndon B. Johnson.
John F. Kennedy's children had a unique pet; a pony! It's name was Macaroni and, yes, it did visit the White House. We don't think it slept in the Oval Office, though! President Kennedy also had a number of other pets including dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, and a rabbit.
President George Washington had several staghounds and coonhounds for hunting, a donkey, and his horse named Nelson.
All in all, it seems like most of our presidents liked pets and animals. The one exception may be Chester A. Arthur who, as far as we can find, had no pets.
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