who the heck knows anything, anyway

Thursday, June 29, 2023

june 28 - all the presidents' dogs

Earlier today, I considered how it would be a fun little project to draw the dogs belonging to each president. Looking into the matter, I realized that would not be a "little project." But the list was so interesting that I had to make a note of some of the wilder facts! I had to!

So here we go. Important notes on presidential pets (collected from wikipedia):
(note: I won't be mentioning every president--just the ones with weird anecdotes. Most of the presidents have dogs, cats, and/or horses, depending on the time period)
  • John Adams had a dog named Satan.
  • Thomas Jefferson owned a sheep that killed a "fine young boy."
  • James Madison's only pet was a parrot. The parrot outlived him.
  • It's possible that John Quincy Adams' only pet was...silkworms. (There's also an apocryphal alligator, but a not-real alligator is not a pet. Exception made for imaginative children.)
  • Surprising no one, Andrew Jackson kept fighting chickens.
  • James Buchanan had a Newfoundland, a toy terrier, aaaaaand an eagle.
  • A drunk person murdered Abraham Lincoln's dog after he was assassinated, which is all kinds of fucked up.
  • Abe also had a cat that he said was "smarter than [his] whole cabinet," which is amazing.
  • Benjamin Harrison had a goat, a dog, two opossums (excellent choice), and...two alligators. Real ones this time.
  • Teddy Roosevelt had an unsurprisingly huge number of animals. They include *deep breath*: guinea pigs, ponies, a lizard, a hen, a number of dogs, a macaw, a garter snake, a rat, a small bear, a badger, a pig, a rabbit, cats, a hyena, a barn owl, a rooster, and a lion (sadly, unnamed in the notes).
  • Woodrow Wilson had a ton of sheep to keep the WH lawn looking good (which is surprisingly environmentally friendly), and he sold the wool to benefit the Red Cross.
  • Calvin Coolidge had a shocking number of pets. Aside from a lot of dogs, cats, and some horsies, he had raccoons, some birds, and--this is a real Teddy move--a bobcat, lions, a pygmy hippo, a wallaby, antelope, and black bear (the latter three given to the zoo)(but only the latter three...).
  • Herbert Hoover had dogs, a bird, and--like Harrison--an opossum. Regardless of political standing, we need more opossums-as-pets in government.
  • John F Kennedy coming through with a great number of pets--all totally normal ones for rich people with kids, but a lot of them: ponies, hamsters, songbirds, a rabbit, and a great number of dogs (including the USSR-gifted puppy of a Soviet space dog, which is the interesting bit, aside from sheer number).
  • Looks like Lyndon B Johnson was the last one to have hamsters and songbirds included in the list. Things get all cats-and-dogs from there.
  • Except for Trump, who, as we all know, had no pets. Only one aside from Polk. It's not like Polk was great, either, though. They both had/have extremely bad ideas re: Mexico. 
  • Actually, technically, Andrew Johnson also didn't have pets. He also really sucked.

Conclusion: although having pets does not, by any means, guarantee you are a good person (especially if your only pets are fighting chickens, Andrew Jackson), not having pets as a president does suggest that you might be a bad person.