President John F. Kennedy Jr. is seen here with Mrs. Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy with Pushinka’s puppies Blackie and White Tips, and family dogs Shannon, Clipper, Wolfie, and Charlie. Pushinka (“Fluffy” in Russian) has the dubious distinction of being a gift from former Soviet Union premier Nikita Khrushchev. Despite the unsavory source, however, all indications were that Pushinka was a good dog, and he gave birth to several puppies who hung around with the Kennedys for a number of years.
President Lyndon Johnson had two dogs, by the name of Him and Her. The two were registered beagles born on June 27, 1963. President Johnson played with the dogs and was photographed with them frequently. In 1964 President Johnson raised the ire of many when he took a picture raising Him by his ears while greetinga group on the White House lawn.
Richard Nixon’s dog Checkers saved his political career by becoming the subject of a speech. In the speech, known as the “Checkers speech,” Nixon deflected criticism that he was taking illegal campaign donation. Proving the only thing that was given to him was a Cocker Spaniel, named Checkers by his daughter. Checkers however didn’t make it to the White House, as she died in 1964.
President Gerald Ford and wife Betty Ford were given an 8-month dog by their daughter Susan Ford. The dog was called Liberty and was a Golden Retriever. Liberty was often photographed with President Ford in the Oval Office, Camp David and on the South Lawn of the White House.
President Carter’s daughter, Amy was given a dog by her teacher at the public school she attended. The dog was named Grits, but had to be returned to the teacher.
Ronald Reagan was the owner of two dogs, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Rex and a Bouvier des Flanders, known as the Belgian Cattle Dog, called Lucky. Lucky was a gift who started as a small bundle of fur. But grew to be pretty large. During a visit of Margaret Thatcher to the White House, Lucky dragged President Reagan across the White House lawn. This was thought to be a humiliation, so Lucky was dispatched to their Ranch in California.
George H.W. Bush had a springer spaniel called Millie, who had a puppy named Ranger. Millie has ben subject of a book, which sold more than the George H.W. Bush autobiography itself. Millie passed away in 1997 from pneumonia.
Bill Clinton was a true lab lover. Bill Clinton had a Chocolate Labrador called “Budweiser,” affectionately known to the rest of the world as Buddy. Buddy lived in the White House as an official Presidential pet. Buddy was a celebrity on his self, his days in the White House included many photo-ops of playing ball, going for runs and being snuggled. The White House cat “Socks” though, didn’t get along quite well with Buddy.
George Bush and his wife, Mrs. Laura Bush had two Scottish Terriers, called Barney and Miss Beazley. Barney joined the Bush family after the 2000 Presidential election as a gift of President Bush to his wife Laura. The other dog, Miss Beazley was a birthday gift from President Bush to his wife in 2004, and arrived at the White House on January 6, 2005. There was so much demand for information about them that the White House created a website, Barney.gov. It can still be visited today in its archived form.
During his campaign, President Obama promised his two daughters, Malia and Sasha that they will get a puppy. Their choice was down to two dogs, a Portuguese water dog and a Labradoodle holding Malia’s allergies into consideration.
They finally picked a black and white Portuguese water dog, and they named him Bo.
The dog is a gift from Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who owns several Portuguese water dogs himself.