Back in the 1920s, former president Warren G. Harding was gifted a little Airedale terrier during his time in office. “Laddie Boy” became a faithful and tireless companion and the first official White House pet, setting off a trend that remained firmly in place for nearly a full century. Today, it’s just as common (and almost expected) to find pets in the White House as it is to find Presidents and their staff.
Now, President Trump is bucking the trend and going pet-free. As you might expect, the Liberal left is taking advantage of the opportunity to peg him as a pet-hater. But is that really true? Here’s a little bit about the history of pets and an explanation of why 45 might have opted out.
- First, let’s talk about the history of pets as a whole. Trump actually isn’t the first to refuse pet ownership; in fact, Truman also opted out during his time in office. He was given a cocker spaniel shortly after being voted in, but gave the dog to his physician – it isn’t clear why.
- Herbert Hoover, on the other hand, went all-in with his dog, King Tut. He didn’t just bring him into the White House; he used the pup in photo ops to help soften his appeal to the masses. King Tut and Hoover’s image became so popular that signed copies of the pair’s portrait sold like hotcakes.
- Bill Clinton also had a pet (albeit it wasn’t a dog). Pictures showcase him standing with a little black and white tux cat named Socks during his presidency. Socks was an adopted stray who eventually became the face of the White House’s children’s website portal – talk about making it into the big leagues!
- More recently, President Obama entered the White House pet-free. Allegedly, both of his children are allergic to dogs and cats. Halfway through his time in office he adopted a hypoallergenic Portuguese Water Dog named Bo.
- It’s pretty clear that presidents choose pet ownership for multiple reasons. Sure, wanting to actually own a pet is one of those reasons, but the goal of becoming more “relatable” to the public is also a big driving force.
- Dogs (and cats, and in the case of President Kennedy, even a large stuffed Marlin) become instant celebrities in the White House. If Trump were to adopt a dog, it would most likely draw even more attention to him – but he already has so much attention it may not be necessary. Our 45 is unique because he’s already a celebrity who doesn’t need to resort to cheap tricks for fame.
- The Left decries Trump as unrelatable, claiming his family is the first president to opt out from ownership because they hate animals. Fake news! In fact, his wife, Melania, even visited and played with elephants during her recent trip to Kenya. And Trump himself sits for a photoshoot with prize-winning dogs from the Westminster Kennel Club every year; see one of them here.
Trump’s decision to opt out of ownership is probably just a mature and responsible realization that a pet is not right for his family. Just because you opt to not have a pet does not make you an animal-hater! The real truth is that our president is much too busy fixing real problems to worry about whether the Left feels he’s relatable enough through pet ownership.