A pet-loving family is moving into the White House with Joe Biden bringing two dogs with him, including a rescue pup named Major.
A pet-loving family is moving into the White House with Joe Biden bringing two dogs with him, including a rescue pup named Major.

Biden's pet pooches will make White House history

US presidents love their dogs.

Most American presidents since the days of George Washington have had animal mascots of some kind, from parakeets to ponies.

But most leaders have preferred dogs as their presidential pets.

George Washington had approximately eight dogs, from foxhounds to a greyhound.

Abraham Lincoln's dog Fido inspired generations of canines to be named after him.

John F. Kennedy had numerous pooches, one of which was a present from Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev.

Controversy erupted when a 1964 photo showed president Lyndon B. Johnson pulling one of his beagles up by its ears.

 

Bill Clinton played fetch on the White House lawn with Buddy, a Labrador retriever.

George W. Bush had three dogs, one of which was sired by his father's pet.

Michelle and Barack Obama had no pets before their White House tenure but once they moved in they welcomed Bo, a Portuguese water dog with hypo-allergenic fur to suit Malia Obama's allergies.

Bo was soon joined by a female pup named Sunny.

 

In an apparent break with tradition, Donald Trump had no pets, and the absence of a 'First Dog' became an election issue.

While Mr Trump praised Conan, the military dog involved in the raid on Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he has never had many nice things to say about our four-legged friends.

In fact, at a rally in El Paso he accused having a dog in the White House as being "a little phony".

"How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?" he asked his supporters.

Mr Trump is the first US leader in 118 years not to own a dog while in office and he is only one of three presidents to have no White House pets at all.

Dogs will make welcome return to the White House with the incoming 46th President Joe Biden.

The Bidens have two German shepherds, Champ and Major.

Major is particularly noteworthy as the first dog to go from a shelter to the White House.

 

Joe Biden adopted a German Shepherd rescue dog in 2018. Picture: Instagram
Joe Biden adopted a German Shepherd rescue dog in 2018. Picture: Instagram

 

That shelter, the Delaware Humane Association, had received a litter of six German Shepherd puppies in 2018, including the future first dog.

The puppies were gravely ill, having ingested a toxic substance of some type.

"They were very sick," said Patrick Carroll, executive director of the Delaware Humane Association. "The dogs were lethargic, vomiting and hospitalised for a few days," Mr Carroll said.

Over time, with proper care including medication and fluids, the dogs fully recovered.

The shelter posted to Facebook in March 2018 in search of foster homes.

 

Joe Biden with his adopted dog, Major.
Joe Biden with his adopted dog, Major.

According to Mr Carroll, Mr Biden's daughter Ashley sent the post to her father, knowing he was looking for a companion for his dog, Champ.

With a commitment to adopt-don't-shop, Mr Biden visited the shelter.

 

Joe Biden and his dog, Major. Picture: Instagram
Joe Biden and his dog, Major. Picture: Instagram

 

"He just dropped in on Easter Sunday of all days," Mr Carroll said, "and wanted to meet the puppies."

And so Major found his forever home with the Bidens, who officially adopted him in November 2018.

In November 2020 Mr Biden posted on Twitter: "Let's put dogs back in the White House", making Mr Trump's lack of interest in furry friends an election issue.

 

 

Originally published as Biden dogs will make White House history

Picture: Instagram
Picture: Instagram

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