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Ten Best

by Christian Bryant

BO (PRES. BARACK H. OBAMA)

Bo, the first Portuguese water dog in the White House, came loping onto the White House lawn just months after the inauguration of President Obama. After a flurry of media attention and suggestions made by Malia and Sasha Obama, the family selected Bo who sports formal attire at all times — a black-and-white tuxedo.

BARNEY (PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH)

Without discounting the technological prowess of Bo, Barney, a Scottish terrier, may be the most tech savvy White House dog yet. Besides owning a web page, Barney bit people and then went on to star in several government film productions.

BUDDY (PRES. WILLIAM J. CLINTON)

Budweiser, or Buddy for short, was a chocolate Labrador retriever and the archnemesis of the other presidential pet at the time: Socks the cat. Although Buddy died tragically in a car accident, his name lives on in a children’s book written by then first lady Hillary Clinton (Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets) and a one-man show by Rick Cleveland (My Buddy Bill).

MILLIE (PRES. GEORGE H. W. BUSH)

The White House has been home to some amazing animals including Millie, a brown and white Springer spaniel. While in the White House, Millie authored a book titled Millie’s Book: As Dictated To Barbara Bush and gave birth to Spot, a dog given to President George W. Bush. Not a bad term!

REX (PRES. RONALD W. REAGAN)

Rex, one of the more easily excitable dogs, was a Cavalier King Charles spaniel with chestnut and white fur. He is noted for undergoing a tonsillectomy, yanking Nancy Reagan around the White House lawn and vomiting in the presidential helicopter Marine One.

LIBERTY (PRES. GERALD R. FORD)

Honor’s Foxfire Liberty Hume, better known as Liberty, has the coolest full name of any of the other presidential pooches and made her way into several quips about her namesake. The golden retriever was also one of the more photogenic of the bunch being photographed several times in the Oval Office and paddling in the Camp David swimming pool.

CHECKERS (PRES. RICHARD M. NIXON)

Although Checkers, a black and white cocker spaniel, died while Richard Nixon was vice president, the dog’s name was tagged on to a famous speech Nixon delivered about improprieties regarding campaign contributions — the 1952 “Checkers” speech.

HIM AND HER (PRES. LYNDON B. JOHNSON)

The two beagles Him and Her were notably photographed on the cover of Life magazine.

President Johnson brought on widespread criticism after picking Him up by his ears in 1964.

FALA (PRES. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT)

Murray the Outlaw of Falahill, or Fala, was a significant part of President Roosevelt’s public image. The Scottish terrier became an honorary private in the US Army during his tenure as White House dog. It would only make sense that President Roosevelt would send a US Navy destroyer to retrieve Fala after being left at the Aleutian Islands, right?

LADDIE BOY (PRES. WARREN G. HARDING)

Laddie Boy was most certainly one of the more popular White House dogs. It was said that Laddie Boy had his own hand-carved chair for cabinet meetings, hosted a birthday party for neighborhood dogs and was featured in mock interviews that were published in newspapers.

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