By: Steve Heisler

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Ruff: The Life And Times Of Presidential Pups FUN FACTS

Bo, Portuguese Water Dog (Barack Obama)


The Obamas got this hypoallergenic pooch as a reward for Barack Obama winning the presidency. It had to be this one, because Malia is allergic. I feel for ya, gurl ‘when I’m around dogs, I have trouble breathing ‘breathing AIR.

FUN FACT: His lack of histamine-producing thingies gives Bo the ability to see through walls. He was instrumental in the capture of Osama Bin Laden, and was later portrayed in Zero Dark Thirty by the Oscar-nominated Jessica Chastain.

Spot “Spotty” Fetcher, English Springer Spaniel (George W. Bush)


Named after former Texas Ranger Scott Fletcher (THAT IS SOME CLEVER WORDPLAY I AM BEING GENUINE), Spotty was actually born under the H.W. Bush presidency, and then hung around with “dubs” until she had to be put to sleep at the age of 14.

FUN FACT: Spotty was a big fan of clarinet-led jazz, and could often be seen in the front row Monday nights at The Carlyle with a notepad, meticulously tracking the movements and tonal nuance of Woody Allen. He never saw Annie Hall.

Fala, Scottish Terrier (Franklin D. Roosevelt)


Fala was always seen at FDR’s side, and became so ubiquitous around the White House that a statue of him has been placed at the FDR memorial in DC, along with one in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

FUN FACT: After a hard day’s presidenting, FDR would spend time with Fala, receiving walking lessons.

Liberty, Golden Retriever (Gerald Ford)


Loyal lady Liberty was a favorite of Ford and others ‘she signed autographs, always in high demand, with her paw print. She gave birth to a litter during Ford’s tenure. He once gave a whole speech about Liberty as if it were liberty.

FUN FACT: Liberty is literally the only interesting thing about Gerald Ford.

Rex, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Ronald Reagan)


Reagan owned a kennel’s worth of animals, including several horses that lived on his Rancho del Cielo estate. But Rex was the only one who lived in a lavish dog house with red draperies, pieces of White House carpet, and photos of his masters he was unable to recognize as he was a dog. He was terrified of the Lincoln bedroom, and was rumored to be inhabited by the ghost of Abraham Lincoln himself.

FUN FACT: He insisted on wearing a stove-top hat and a long beard. He said, “Oooooooooooooh!” a lot in a scary voice. He wrote the Emancipation Proclamation.

Checkers, Cocker Spaniel (Richard Nixon)


During a famous speech in 1952, Nixon ‘then a VP candidate ‘denied that any funny business had taken place as far as receiving gifts from the Republican National Committee. Though he made absolutely clear, in no uncertain terms, that even if he had to give back any of the supposedly shady gifts, he wanted to keep Checkers, his new puppy.

FUN FACT: Checkers is a board game in which players move circular discs diagonally, occasionally “jumping” opponent’s pieces.

Socks, cat (Bill Clinton)


Socks jumped into the arms of Chelsea Clinton when she was leaving a piano lesson, and was immediately adopted by the family. Along with dog Buddy, he was the subject of the childrens’ book Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Letters To The First Pets.

FUN FACT: Cats think about clawing your eyes out an average of nine times a minute!

Billy, Pygmy Hippo (Calvin Coolidge)


To this day, Billy is the only Presidential pygmy hippo, though he never technically lived in the White House. Instead, the National Zoo in DC took Billy in, where he was responsible for siring pretty much every pygmy hippo from then on out in the United States.

FUN FACT: Pygmy hippos always order their Diet Cokes with no ice.

Dog, Dog (President Dog)


Dog is the first openly gay President Of The United States.

FUN FACT: The year is 2016.

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