Tags: Presidential History | lyndon johnson | pets | president

First Pets: Four-Legged or Feathered Friends of President Lyndon Johnson

By    |   Tuesday, 12 May 2015 12:34 PM

Lyndon Johnson was fond of dogs and had several of the pets during his time as president from 1963 to 1969. His two beagles, Him and Her, became celebrities after photos in Life magazine were published in 1964.

Unfortunately, one of the photos caused a bit of a controversy, showing the president picking up the dog by its ears. The White House was inundated with phone calls, telegrams and letters from angry pet lovers. An ASPCA spokesman stated, "If someone picked you up by the ears, you'd yelp, too."

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Johnson issued a public apology for his actions, but later remarked to reporters, "I've been pulling Him's ears since he was a pup, and he seemed to like it," according to the Presidential Pet Museum.

The two dogs were born in June 1963, shortly before Johnson became president on Nov. 22, 1963 following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The two dogs sadly died quite young. Her died after swallowing a stone in 1964. Beagles are known for chewing on a variety of objects. Him died in 1966 on the White House property when he was hit by a car while chasing a squirrel.

Although he loved dogs, he had a particularly tough time coming up with names. The father of Him and Her was named Beagle. After his two beagles died, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover gave Johnson another beagle as a gift. Johnson named the dog J. Edgar, later shortened to Edgar.

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Edgar lived through the rest of Johnson's term and moved with the former president to the LBJ Ranch.

A white collie named Blanco was given to President and Mrs. Johnson by a little girl from Illinois shortly after Johnson became president in 1963. The Johnsons' later gave the pet to a Kentucky doctor and his wife after LBJ left office.

Johnson's love for dogs was never-ending. His daughter, Luci Nugent, found a mixed breed dog at a gas station in 1966 while she was heading to the Johnson ranch in Texas. She named the dog Yuki, a Japanese term for "snow," but ended up giving the dog to her father, who became attached to it during a visit to the White House.

Johnson's faithful companion remained with him through his White House years and returned with the former president to his ranch on Air Force One. After Johnson died in January 1973, Yuki lived with Luci and her family.

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Lyndon Johnson was fond of dogs and had several of the pets during his time as president from 1963 to 1969. His two beagles, Him and Her, became celebrities after photos in Life magazine were published in 1964.
lyndon johnson, pets, president
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2015-34-12
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 12:34 PM
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