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Donald Trump could be first US President in nearly 130 years not to have a pet dog in the White House

President was set to take in a goldendoodle called Patten  - but that has fallen through

Rachel Roberts
Tuesday 28 February 2017 18:39 GMT
Michelle Obama with Sunny and Bo walking through the White house

They say a dog is man’s best friend – but Donald Trump could become the first US President for nearly 130 years not to have a canine companion in the White House.

Most American Presidents have had a least one dog, and many have had several.

Most recently, the Obamas had two Portuguese water dogs named Sunny and Bo, President George W Bush had two terriers and a spaniel – as well as his long-horn cow, Ofelia – and President Clinton had a Labrador named Buddy.

It was rumoured last month that Mr Trump might adopt a Goldendoodle named Patton, who was being fostered by one of the President’s friends, Lois Pope.

But Ms Pope reportedly decided to keep Patton herself after falling for his charms – and Mr Trump is not believed to have any immediate plans to get another.

The last President not to have a dog was William McKinley, who died of gangrene a year into his second term after a failed assassination attempt.

According to the Presidential Pet Museum, the dog-less President McKinley kept several kittens, roosters and a parrot.

It is not known whether or not Mr Trump cares for dogs. Although he is known as a prolific tweeter, the only dog-related tweets his feed reveals are a series of references to people he has clashed with being “fired like a dog”, “begging like a dog” or “choking like a dog”.

He attacked journalist Chuck Todd on Twitter in 2015, saying: “I hear that sleepy eyes @chucktodd will be fired like a dog from ratings starved Meet the Press? I can’t imagine what is taking so long!”

And he said of his Republican rival Mitt Romney last year: “Mitt Romney had his chance to beat a failed President but he choked like a dog. Now he calls me racist – but I am least racist person there is.”

His dog-related similes led the Daily Dot to write an article last June claiming: “Donald Trump has no idea what dogs are or what they do.”

President Woodrow Wilson once remarked on a dog’s ability to judge a person’s character.

“If a dog … will not come to you after he has looked you in the face, you ought to go home and examine your conscience.”

Mr Wilson did not have a dog for most of his time in the White House - but he adopted a bull terrier named Bruce towards the end of his second term.

President Harry S Truman is believed to have detested dogs, but nevertheless he received numerous puppies as gifts, which were kept in the White House and cared for by staff.

The earliest occupants of the White House kept a veritable menagerie of animals between them, including tiger cubs, horses, bears, parrots, silkworms and alligators. Thomas Jefferson, the third US President, did not own a dog during his two terms – but he did keep a mockingbird and two bear cubs.

The White House Pet Museum argues that those Presidents who have not owned dogs have been somehow “unlucky” while those with four-legged friends have somehow been protected.

But it concedes there are notable exceptions, including President John F Kennedy, who had several dogs and was assassinated, while President Nixon had three dogs and was impeached.

Some opinion pieces have appeared urging Mr Trump to get a dog because it is claimed having a pet is good for a person’s mental health – while some commentators have speculated the self-confessed “germaphobe” may be averse to the microbes that are inevitably attached to a pet.

The Human Society has gone further, and called Mr Trump “a threat to animals everywhere” because of the environmental policies he wants to pursue, while his elder sons Donald Jr and Eric have courted controversy after being pictures with the “trophy” carcasses of animals they have hunted and killed.

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