It’s Presidents Day on Monday, so today we salute the esteemed men (and hopefully, someday, women) who’ve served in our country’s highest office with this list of the 10 coolest dog names for the US presidents’ dogs, according to our friends at DoggieNames.com:
1. George Washington: Sweet Lips
George Washington was a true canine aficionado, owning more than 25 dogs. He invented a breed — the American Foxhound — by mixing his Black and Tan Coonhounds with the French hunting hounds he received as a gift in the 1780s from his Revolutionary War ally, the Marquis de Lafayette. Sweet Lips was one of these mixes.
Washington’s pack also included several dogs whose names seem to hint that they might’ve had a bit of an alcohol problem: Drunkard, Taster, Tipler, and Tipsy. That’s something you don’t learn about in the history books: ol’ hound dogs partying it up at Mount Vernon! Seriously, we’re not sure why the founding father decided to name them that — he wasn’t really known for his raucous sense of humor, but we’re glad just the same.
2. Abraham Lincoln: Fido
Abraham Lincoln gave his beloved Retriever mix and family dog this classic name, which means “faithful” or “loyal” in Latin. Presidents are trendsetters, after all, so it might be that the name Fido swept the nation after Lincoln chose it for his pup. I’d say it’s time for a comeback, too!
3. Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Fala
According to the Presidential Pet Museum, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s beloved Scottish Terrier was named “Murray the Outlaw of Falahill” after a Scottish ancestor of Roosevelt’s. Fala was just a nickname. One of the most iconic and beloved first pets, Fala is even represented at the official FDR memorial at the feet of his owner.
4. Richard Nixon: Checkers
In a famous 1952 speech, then-vice-presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon responded to accusations of fundraising improprieties by insisting the only gift he’d ever received was a black-and-white Cocker Spaniel named Checkers by his young daughters Tricia and Julie, and that he would not be returning it.
Interesting fact: Checkers never actually lived in the White House. Still, it’s an excellent name for a black-and-white-spotted pet.
5. John F. Kennedy: Macaroni (and Gaullie and Pushinka…)
Okay, Macaroni’s not actually a dog, but a pony, who was a familiar sight at the John F. Kennedy White House. He was named, quite patriotically, after the well-known folk song “Yankee Doodle” (which, incidentally, would also make an adorable dog name).
The Kennedys had tons of pets, including Gaullie, a French Poodle who may’ve been named after French president Charles De Gaulle, and Pushinka, the puppy of one of the Soviet Union’s famed space dogs, a gift from premier Nikita Khruschev.
6. George H.W. Bush: Millie
President George H.W. and Barbara Bush’s hugely popular English Springer Spaniel was the “author” of the best-selling Millie’s Book, which she somehow found time to write despite giving birth to a litter of White House pups, including Spot, who was one of George W.’s presidential pets.
7. Barack Obama: Bo and Sunny
Malia and Sasha Obama held their Dad to his promise that if he won the 2008 Presidential election, they could get a dog. The girls reportedly named their Portuguese Water Dog after musician Bo Diddley, which also happens to be the nickname of Michelle Obama’s father. They’ve since added Sunny to the pack.
8. Gerald R. Ford: Liberty
Not only is Liberty a perfectly patriotic presidential pet name, but this beautiful Golden Retriever was an equally awesome first dog, a true best friend to President Gerald R. Ford and his family. See the thumbnail for a photo of Liberty and President Ford!
9. Lyndon Johnson: Him and Her
This famous pair of brother-sister Beagles were the beloved pets of Lyndon Johnson. But in the midst of a turbulent presidency, which saw the rise of U.S. involvement in Vietnam and turmoil over civil rights, Johnson created a firestorm of his own, making front-page news as a possible puppy abuser when a picture was snapped of him lifting Him up by the ears.
10. James Garfield: Veto
James Garfield was our shortest-serving president because of his assassination in 1881, but he did have a black Newfoundland dog with a very clever name for someone elected to his high office.
Thumbnail: GERALD FORD 38th President of the United States in the Oval Office with his golden retriever Liberty, in November 1974. Photography by David Kennerly/White House official. Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo.
Read more about presidents’ dogs on Dogster.com:
About the author:
Atlanta’s own Toni Perling is a writer and web content provider, mostly about dogs, hence her blogger name, Doggienista. 🙂 And hence, her two beautiful rescues dogs: Daisy Jo and Bud Earl. She tweets for them at DaisyJoBudEarl, and shares her collection of dog names and trends at DoggieNames.com. Toni started asking her parents for a puppy pretty much the minute she learned to speak, but they held off until she was the ripe old age of 10, when the family welcomed a Miniature Schnauzer named Truffles. In between, she inhaled every book about dogs ever written and can pretty much identify any breed by sight. She’s also a longtime supporter of spay/neuter/rescue, and adopted her first dog, a sweet lovable mutt named Sophie, from an L.A. County shelter.
A TV trivia fiend, Toni’s also a huge fan of the butt-kicking trio known as Charlie’s Angels (the originals and the movies). In fact, she started out in Hollywood as a TV writer, with credits ranging from network drama to informational, including a boatload of episodes of a little Discovery Networks show named I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, before transitioning to the web.