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First Pooch? Why President Trump Refuses To Get A Dog

Donald Trump - Instagram / U.S. National Archives

Here’s a First Family fact you might not have noticed: President Trump is the first president in a century not to welcome a family dog in the White House.

As long as America's presidents have made 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue their home, they’ve been joined by their families and their pets. But while Trump's wife Melania and their son Barron live with him, they have no pets to speak of.

That makes the current Commander in Chief one of just four presidents not to have a four-legged companion of any kind in the home. (The other three are James K. Polk, Andrew Johnson, and Martin van Buren, in case you were curious.)

Presidnent Ford dog Liberty
President Ford works in the Oval Office, with his dog Liberty at his side.U.S. National Archives

The last president not to have a dog specifically was William McKinley, who still bonded with his cats, parrots, and roosters.

The lack of Man’s Best Friend in the White House isn’t just a historical oddity either. Surveys show that 70% of American homes have a pet of some kind, so Trump is in the minority.

At a rally in El Paso, Texas earlier this week, Trump announced he won’t be getting a dog anytime soon, and shed some light on why.

"You do love your dogs, don't you? I wouldn't mind having one, honestly, but I don't have any time," he told the crowd.

"How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn? I don't know...I don't feel good. It feels a little phony, phony to me."

Despite his reluctance, Trump admitted it would be "good politically" to pose with a fuzzy dog or cat, and said he had been advised multiple times to get a pet.

Trump’s daughter Ivana has also hinted that her dad is "not a dog fan," despite posing with several dog show winners in the past.

While he poo-pooed the thought of a presidential pooch, Trump went on to praise German Shepherds working with border security agents in the same speech.

The last two presidents, Barack Obama and George W. Bush, both welcomed dogs - the Obamas had Sunny and Bo, while Bush had a pair of Scottish terriers named Barney and Miss Beazley.

Throughout the years, presidents and their families have brought all sorts of pets to the White House, not just dogs and cats.

Presidential Pets
Left: President Clinton with his dog, Buddy. Right: President Coolidge's wife Grace and her raccoon, Rebecca.The U.S. National Archives - Flickr / Library of Congress

Herbert Hoover kept a possum, while Calvin Coolidge had a raccoon named Rebecca that would walk around the grounds on a leash.

Teddy Roosevelt was one of the most animal friendly presidents of all, with dogs, cats, snakes, birds, guinea pigs and more.

Presidents have also been "gifted" wild critters like elephants and tiger cubs from foreign countries, but they were donated to zoos (there’s no room for an elephant in the West Wing).

[H/T: Time]

Do you think President Trump should get a dog?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com