Special Report

27 of the Most Famous Presidential Pets Since 1900s

Source: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration / Wikimedia Commons

Grits
> Breed: Springer spaniel
> Owner: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

Grits was born on the same day Jimmy Carter was elected president. The springer spaniel was named Grits in honor of the Carter family’s Southern roots. The dog, who was a present from the first daughter’s teacher at school, was returned to his original owner because the Carter’s family cat did not get along with him.

Source: usembassyjakarta / Flickr

Misty Malarky Ying Yang
> Breed: Siamese cat
> Owner: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

Carter’s daughter, Amy, had a Siamese cat named Misty Malarky Ying Yang. Misty, who was in fact a male cat, roamed the White House, but spent most of her time with Amy and was camera-shy.

Source: Pictorial Parade / Archive Photos via Getty Images

Rex
> Breed: King Charles spaniel
> Owner: President Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)

The most famous White House pet during Reagan’s stay was a cavalier King Charles spaniel named Rex. Rex was a Christmas gift from the president to first lady Nancy Reagan. Rex, reportedly, did not like the Lincoln room, which had long been rumored to be haunted and used to bark outside the doorway.

Source: usembassyjakarta / Flickr

Millie
> Breed: Springer spaniel
> Owner: President George H. W. Bush (1989-1993)

Springer spaniel Millie had several puppies while residing at the White House, one of whom would later live there as President George W. Bush’s dog. First lady Barbara Bush went on to dictate “Millie’s Book,” a New York Times best-seller, chronicling a typical day with the dog and the president.

Source: usnationalarchives / Flickr

Buddy
> Breed: Labrador
> Owner: President Bill Clinton (1993-2001)

The Clinton family had cats before the chocolate-colored Labrador retriever named Buddy came to live with them in the White House in 1997. When the puppy arrived at the White House, the president’s spokesperson Mike McCurry told reporters that Clinton got the dog because “It’s the president’s desire to have one loyal friend in Washington.” Buddy accompanied the president almost everywhere at the White House and on trips to Camp David.