The Pets of the White House


Nia Goulishev, Journalist

Throughout the past almost 50 presidents, many pets have lived in the White House. Donald Trump is the first president in 130 years to not have a pet while being president.

Most of the presidents in America have had at least one furry friend to keep them company. Some have even had several. For example, our 44th president, Barack Obama, and his wife, Michelle Obama, have two dogs. One was a gift given to them in 2009 from their friend, Senator Edward Kennedy, who they named Bo. Bo is a male Portuguese water dog, and in 2013 they decided to bring home another dog named Sunny, who is a female Portuguese water dog. One way to tell them apart is their fur. Bo has a white chest and front paws, while Sunny is all black.

George W. Bush, who was the 43rd president of the United States, had a female English springer spaniel named Millie, who was the first family pet of the Bush family. Millie then gave birth to a female puppy named Spotty, as shown in the picture of Spotty playing by the White House to the left. 

George H. W. Bush, his dad, was the 41st president. He had a service dog named Sully, a yellow labrador. Sully was honored for his service with a bronze statue of him located in Long Island.


Did you know Theodore Roosevelt has had the most pets in the White House? Yup, that’s right. He had a small bear that was named Jonathan Edwards, a lizard named Bill, five guinea pigs named Admiral Dewey, Dr.Johnson, Bishop Doane, Fighting Bob Evans, and Father O’Grady. He also had a pig which was named Maude, a badger named Josiah, a hen named Baron Spreckle, a rooster that only had one leg, a hyena, a barn owl, a pony named Algonquin, a blue macaw named Eli Yale, and lastly, Peter the rabbit. Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president of the United States and clearly a pet lover.

Next, our most recent president-elect Joe Biden. Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden have two dogs named Champ and Major, both male German Shepards. Champ is 12-years old while Major is only 2. The Biden family got Champ, in 2008, from a Pennsylvania breeder and decided on the name Champ and announced it on Christmas day. The story behind the name Champ was when Biden was a kid, his dad’s nickname for him was Champ. It would motivate Joe to get back up even when he was knocked down. Major was adopted from the Delaware Humane Association in 2018. The Biden family first fostered Major but then decided to fully adopt him. Now with Joe Biden about to become president in January, Major will become the first ever shelter dog to live in the White House! Many pets have lived there, and there are soon many more to come.