Looking back on presidential pets

Adam Kelly, Staff Writer

When a new President moves into the White House, they often bring personal belongings with them. Soon enough, the public starts to ask questions like “How will they decorate the White House?” or “What kind of pet will they have?” President Trump may have already answered the latter.

The Trump family has no history of pets in their house, so it would not be surprising if they didn’t bring one in. What would be surprising is that President Trump would be the first President in over 150 years to not have a pet in the White House.

Regardless, take a look at some of the most well-known pets to have roamed the White House in the past. Some of them even have their own Wikipedia pages.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Rex (Administration: Ronald Reagan)

The Reagans were known as animal lovers, so there was no doubt they would have a family pet. One of the Reagan's most memorable pets was their dog, Rex. President Reagan gave his wife, Nancy, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a gift. Rex even helped turn on the lights for the White House Christmas tree.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Him and Her (Administration: Lyndon Johnson)

President Lyndon B. Johnson was a huge dog lover and even remodeled the doghouse to be bigger than ever. His first pets were two beagles named Him and Her, and people were shocked to see a photo of Him being picked up by the ears. Johnson had to issue an apology, but his dogs really still lived a luscious life.

Tabby and Other Cats (Administration: Abraham Lincoln)

Not only was he remembered for the Gettysburg address, but President Lincoln also had a love for all kinds of animals. Lincoln had several different pets during his term in the White House, but he was known for loving cats the most. He would spend hours with them and is known for taking care of several stray ones to Mrs. Lincoln’s dismay.  

Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Pauline Wayne (Administration: William Howard Taft)

Taft was known for having a big appetite, but he needed to feed his family as well. Pauline came to the White House after their previous cow was unable to produce enough milk for the family. She became the last cow to reside at the White House, but became a member of the Taft family during her stay.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Rebecca (Administration: Calvin Coolidge)

The Coolidge’s had so many pets in the White House that it was referred to often as the zoo. One of the more well-known animals was Mrs. Coolidge’s pet raccoon Rebecca. She was supposed to be a meal for Thanksgiving, but they kept her after noticing how friendly she was to them. 

Alligator (Administration: John Quincy Adams)  

After the Revolutionary War, President Adams received an alligator as a pet from Marquis de Lafayette. Not knowing what to do with it, he placed it in one his bathtubs. Problem solved, right?

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Socks (Administration: Bill Clinton)

President Clinton’s cat Socks warmed everyone’s hearts when he entered the White House. Remembered for a black spot on his nose, Socks was featured in numerous television shows and even in an unreleased video game. It is reasonable to assume that in this day and age he would probably have his own Instagram account.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Bo and Sunny (Administration: Barack Obama)

The two Portuguese Water dogs have been popular as the most recent pets to grace the halls of the White House. There had been some issues with Sunny being a little too aggressive with visitors, but this can be attributed to an active lifestyle. The Obamas could be seen playing with them often on the White House grounds.