First Pet

By Bart’s Mommy

When a new family moves into the White House, the furry members come right along with them. A new book from Associated Press First Pet: The Presidents and Their Beloved Canines, Felines and Other Four-legged Creatures Who Made Their Homes at the White House has just the right combination of photos and narrative, from the Obama’s Portugese Water Dog Bo to the famous Scottie Fala that belonged to President Franklin D. Roosevelt,  Presidential puppies take the spotlight in this fun book. First Pet also includes non-canine pets like the Clintons’ famous cat Socks who once peered over the Presidential podium at a press conference. Little known facts include Thomas Jefferson’s pet grizzly cubs, given as a gift,  the Coolidge family’s pet raccoon and President Taft’s two pet cows.

Socks the Cat peers over the Presidential podium

Presidents don’t seem to favor mutts unfortunately. Teddy Roosevelt had a beloved “mongrel” Skip that he used to say was a “little of this and a little of that” and President Carter also had a mutt named Grits (that apparently didn’t get along well with his Siamese cat). Fun details include an introduction from the director of the Presidential Pet Museum (who knew there even was one? ) and trivia like the biggest dog that ever lived in the White House…President Buchanan’s 170 – pound Newfoundland Lara.

Perhaps the most famous White House dog, Fala

This 128-page book shows the deep bond even the most famous and powerful have with their pets. If petting a cat or dog really does bring down your blood pressure perhaps every world leader ought to have one! First Pet is a great book that teaches history while tugging at our heartstrings. Every animal love should own it!

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