National Pet Day: The White House spotlights the first pets

Presidential pets through history

Willow, the Biden family cat, is the first White House cat since the George W. Bush administration.

Presidential pets through history

President Theodore Roosevelt’s eldest son, Teddy Jr., holds a macaw named Eli circa 1902. The Roosevelts had all kind of animals, including lizards, snakes and a one-legged chicken.

Presidential pets through history

Pauline, one of William Howard Taft’s pet cows, stands on the lawn of the State, War and Navy Building in Washington. Pauline also was known to graze on the White House lawn.

Presidential pets through history

Who needs groundskeepers? Woodrow Wilson’s sheep graze on the South Lawn of the White House.

Presidential pets through history

Warren G. Harding and his dog Laddie Boy are photographed in front of the White House in 1922. Laddie Boy was an Airedale terrier.

Presidential pets through history

First lady Grace Coolidge holds her pet raccoon, Rebecca. Rebecca was sent to the Coolidges as a gift to cook on Thanksgiving — yes, you read that right — but the first family decided to adopt the animal instead.

Presidential pets through history

President Franklin D. Roosevelt is joined by Fala, his Scottish terrier, before going to his inauguration in 1941. Roosevelt had to break the news to Fala that he would not be attending the ceremonies.

Presidential pets through history

Harry Truman’s daughter, Margaret, holds their Irish setter, Mike, outside the White House in 1945.

Presidential pets through history

John F. Kennedy Jr. mischievously leans out of his baby carriage and reaches for the family’s Welsh terrier, Charlie. Charlie was one of the Kennedy family’s many dogs.

Presidential pets through history

John F. Kennedy and his children John and Caroline play with their pony Macaroni in 1962.

Presidential pets through history

Lyndon B. Johnson sings with his dog Yuki while his grandson Patrick looks on in 1968. Johnson’s daughter rescued Yuki, a mixed-breed dog who was abandoned at a gas station in Texas.

Presidential pets through history

Richard Nixon shows off Pasha, his Yorkshire terrier, to two young visitors in 1969. Nixon also had two other dogs while in office.

Presidential pets through history

Gerald Ford pets his golden retriever, Liberty, while studying budget matters in the Oval Office.

Presidential pets through history

Jimmy Carter’s daughter, Amy, holds her cat, Misty, as she returns to the White House in 1977.

Presidential pets through history

Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan are joined by their dog Rex after visiting Camp David. Rex was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Presidential pets through history

George HW Bush walks on the South Lawn of the White House with his springer spaniel Millie and her puppies in 1989.

Presidential pets through history

The Clinton family cat, Socks, peers over a podium in the White House briefing room in 1994.

Presidential pets through history

George W. Bush is joined by his Scottish terriers Barney and Miss Beazley as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House in 2006.

Presidential pets through history

Barack Obama runs down a corridor with Bo, a Portuguese water dog, after the first family adopted him in 2009. The Obamas later adopted another one named Sunny. The breed was chosen because of Malia Obama’s allergies. The coats of Portuguese water dogs are hypoallergenic.

Presidential pets through history

Presidential pets through history

Commander is the Biden family’s German shepherd puppy. He was given to the President as a birthday gift.

Presidential pets through history

The Bidens’ cat, Willow, looks out a window at the White House.

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