First Pets: Dogs, Cats and a Raccoon Among Past Presidential Best Friends

From cats to raccoons, furry friends have kept many Presidents company over the years. Here's a look back at the "First Pets."

President Theodore Roosevelt pets his Saint Bernard, Rollo, in front of the White House circa 1905-1909.

Charles L. Ritzmann / Houghton Library, Harvard University

President William Howard Taft's pet cow, Pauline, stands the on lawn in front of the State, War and Navy Building in Washington, circa 1909-1913. She provided milk and butter to Taft and his family during his presidency and was a gift from Senator Isaac Stephenson of Wisconsin. Taft was one of the last presidents to keep a cow at the White House.

Library of Congress

President Warren G. Harding poses for photographers with  Laddie Boy, his Airedale Terrier, outside the White House, circa 1923. Laddie Boy was the first presidential pet to receive repeated coverage in the press.

Historical / Getty Images

Rob Roy, a white collie, was just like a member of the family to President Calvin Coolidge. The 30th president stands next to his pet in this photo from the 1920s, along with his wife, Grace, and their two sons.

Library of Congress

First Lady Grace Coolidge shows her pet raccoon to children gathered on the White House grounds for Easter egg rolling in 1923. This raccoon had originally been sent to the White House to be eaten at Thanksgiving, however, the Coolidge found it to be too friendly to be eaten and kept it as a pet.

Library of Congress / Getty Images

President Herbert Hoover takes plenty of blame from historians for the Great Depression. But he had at least one loyal fan: his German Shepherd, King Tut.

Library of Congress / Getty Images
This opossum was adopted by President Herbert Hoover. It was allegedly given to Hyattsville High School to serve as a mascot for a short time. Library of Congress

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sits behind the wheel of his car with his German Shepard, Major, outside his home in Hyde Park, New York, mid 1930s.

Getty Images

Franklin D. Roosevelt holds his Scottish terrier, Fala, as Ruthie Bie pets the dog in Hyde Park, New York, 1941. Fala was one of the most famous of all presidential pets and is the only presidential pet immortalized in statue, at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

Universal History Archive / Getty Images

Feller, a five-week-old cocker spaniel puppy sent to President Harry Truman as a gift, poses beside his crate in a White House corridor on Dec. 22, 1947. As the Trumans "preferred to be a pet-free family," the pup was given away to Truman's personal physician.

William J. Smith / AP

Pushinka, a gift to President John F. Kennedy from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, sits on the White House lawn on Aug. 14, 1963. Pushinka was the offspring of Soviet space dog Stelka.

William J. Smith / AP

First Lady and President Kennedy enjoy a veritable pack of pooches while vacationing with their children. JFK owned many pets in during his presidency including ponies, dogs, parakeets, and a rabbit.


President Lyndon B. Johnson holds his pet dog, Yuki, out the window of the car driven by LBJ as the first family starts a ride around the Texas ranch in Stonewall, Texas, Sept. 30, 1967. Yuki and Johnson went everywhere together, from cabinet meetings to the swimming pool.


President Johnson raised controversy when he was photographed lifting his pet beagles, Him and Her, by the ears. Him sired a litter of puppies in 1965, and LBJ's daughter kept two of them, Kim and Freckles, shown here in the president's lap aboard Air Force One.


President Richard Nixon shows off Tim, his new six-month-old Irish Setter. The dog was a gift to the president from his staff, and made his formal debut in the White House Rose Garden in Washington, on Jan. 28, 1969. The Nixons has two other dogs Vickie, a poodle, and Pasha, a Yorkshire Terrior.


President Gerald R. Ford wrestles with his new pet Golden Retriever, Liberty, on Feb. 2, 1975. Liberty was a gift for the president from Ford's daughter, Susan, and his personal photographer, David Hume Kennerly.

David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images

President Jimmy Carter's daughter, Amy, holds her cat, Misty, as she returns to the White House after a weekend with her parents at the Camp David presidential retreat in Sept. 1977.


President Ronald Reagan is pulled along by his pet dog, Lucky, while he and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher take a stroll in the White House Rose Garden in Washington on Feb. 20, 1985.

Barry Thumma / AP

President Ronald Reagan presents First Lady, Nancy Reagan, with an early Christmas present of a King Charles spaniel named Rex, at their suite in a New York City hotel on Dec. 6, 1985.

Pete Souza / Getty Images

President George H.W. Bush holds one of first dog Millie's six puppies for the press at the White House in Washington on Mar. 29, 1989. Millie gave birth on March 27, 1989 with First Lady Barbara Bush serving as midwife according to spokeswomen.

Ron Edmonds / AP

President George H. W. Bush walks across the White House lawn with his Springer Spaniel, Millie and her puppies on Apr. 20, 1989.

Historical / Getty Images

Socks the cat peers over the podium in the White House briefing room in Washington on Mar. 19, 1994. Socks was the White House cat during the Clinton administration and became very popular with photographers, children, cartoonists, and many others. He was even the subject of a video game which never got released called "Socks the Cat Rocks the Hill."

Marcy Nighswander / AP

President Bill Clinton walks from the White House with his dog, Buddy, a Labrador Retriever on Dec. 30, 1998. Socks did not take kindly to having a new dog in the family.

Georges de Keerle / Getty Images

President George W. Bush walks off Air Force One carrying the family Scottish terriers, Ms. Beazley and Barney, as he arrives at Andrews Air Force Base on Aug. 13, 2006.

Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images

President Barack Obama runs down a corridor with the family's new dog, Bo, a six-month old Portuguese water dog, in the White House on Apr. 13, 2009. Bo was a gift from Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and his wife Victoria to the President's daughters, Sasha and Malia.

Pete Souza / The White House

Bo and Sunny, the Obama family dogs, relax on the South Lawn of the White House on Aug. 19, 2013. Sunny is a 1-year-old Portuguese water dog, the same breed as Bo.

Pete Souza / The White House