Tags: Presidential History | george washington | pets | president

First Pets: Four-Legged or Feathered Friends of President George Washington

By    |   Tuesday, 12 May 2015 01:47 PM

George Washington had a variety a farm animals at his home in Mount Vernon and is credited with having the first presidential pet when he took office as the first U.S. president in 1789.

However, none of his pets lived in the White House, which wasn't completed until John Adams took office as the nation's second president.

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Washington was an animal lover, his favorite being his horse Nelson. As general of the U.S. Army, Washington rode Nelson to accept the surrender of Gen. Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown to end the Revolutionary War, according to Inside the White House.

Washington may have owned up to 50 hounds during his lifetime. The hounds had names such as Drunkard, Mopsey, Tipler, Captain, Lady Rover, Vulcan, Searcher, Sweetlips and Taster. He had a wide array of hunting dogs for sport, reports the Presidential Pet Museum.

He used his spaniels to chase birds from their hiding places and retrieve them after the birds were shot. Washington received a female spaniel puppy as a gift from a Maryland lawyer shortly after the Revolutionary War.

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Three years before he became president, Washington bought a Dalmatian named Madame Moose. A year later, he got a male Dalmatian "for the benefit of Madame Moose; her amorous fits should therefore be attended to," he wrote in his diary.

The father of our country has also been called the father of the American foxhound by the American Kennel Club. The new breed was created when Washington had his black and tan hounds crossbred with larger French hounds.

Washington was proud of his terriers, making sure they were taken care of at Mount Vernon while he served as president. The terriers played a major role on the plantation by hunting and killing rats. A great Newfoundland was used to help the Washington household hunt ducks on the property.

Along with Nelson, Washington rode Blueskin during the American Revolution. His stallions included Samson, Traveler, Leonidas and Steady.

Polly the parrot belonged to his wife Martha.

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George Washington had a variety a farm animals at his home in Mount Vernon and is credited with having the first presidential pet when he took office as the first U.S. president in 1789.
george washington, pets, president
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2015-47-12
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 01:47 PM
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