Happy President’s Day from the Dogs in the White House

Fido, thought to be Abraham Lincoln's dog

Fido, thought to be Abraham Lincoln’s dog

I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being. ​​​​​​​– Abraham Lincoln

On this President’s Day, we honor two of our Founding Fathers. It is interesting to note that in addition to their responsibilities to serve and protect our country, 25 of our 42 presidents have found it important to own dogs; many of them keeping the dogs with them in the White House. George Washington kept a full kennel of American Foxhounds and Lincoln himself owned a “floppy-eared, rough-coated dog of unknown ancestry.” A wide variety of breeds have graced the White House lawn, from the Airedale (Harding), to the sheepdog (Jefferson), the Springer Spaniel (Bush), a Labrador Retriever (Clinton) and of course a Portuguese Water Dog currently residing in the White House with the Obama family. While one in three American families owns a dog, almost 60% of American presidents found the companionship of a dog to be important enough to bring a dog into their life while serving as President. Perhaps they understood the qualities that only a dog can bring into a home; the companionship, loyalty and calming that a dog brings. Lincoln clearly understood this as he equated the treatment of animals with dignity to behaving as a “whole” human being. There is certainly something in our interactions with dogs that make us more human. Guest blogger, Michele Fournier

George Washington and one of his Foxhounds

George Washington and one of his Foxhounds

Here’s a great gallery of Presidents and their pets from the UK’s The Telegraph

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