Our cultural curiosity and fascination over the first family extends to their pets. It is very important in swaying and holding the favor of American voters that a President have a dog. And many of these presidential pups gained a substantial amount of fame during their years spent in the White House, often receiving fan mail to their fancy Pennsylvania Avenue address. Here are a few of our favorites, written to one very pupular resident:
"What is it like to live in the White House? Do you miss Chelsea? Does she like Stanford? Do you make President Clinton sneeze? Where do you sleep?" — Love, Morgan
"I have two dogs. How do you like being a dog, Buddy? I like being a person. Could you send me a picture of yourself?" — Your Friend, Sam
"How are you doing in the White House? Is Bill taking care of you? Do you like tennis balls? Are you being nice to Socks? We have a Golden Retriever named Samantha. She loves to eat. Her favorite foods are bagels and toast. Would you please send us a picture? Thanks a lot!" — Your Friend, Ben
Young children wrote the letters above to Buddy, President Bill Clinton’s chocolate Lab and unofficial Companion-in-Chief. Buddy had become a socialite in his own right, often receiving letters like these from boys and girls asking him what he thought of presidential life, about his new friends in Washington, if he ate the President’s papers like their dogs ate their homework, and sometimes even probing questions about the state of the nation like whether or not he had overheard the President talking about going to war. Many of these letters were answered, and compiled into the book Dear Socks, Dear Buddy.
Other Presidential pets have gone on the record through unofficial autobiographies and memoirs to discuss the White House experience and their respective masters with the American public. Millie Bush, George W. Bush’s Spaniel has a whole book written as if she dictated her experiences to Barbara Bush for publication. She speaks of hours of intelligence briefings, diplomatic meetings, and her personal time with George.
No matter what happens to their owner's approval ratings, these Presidential pups will always have a place in the hearts of the American people.