Tags: Presidential History | harry truman | pets | president

First Pets: Four-Legged or Feathered Friends of President Harry Truman

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2015 11:26 AM

Unlike other animal loving presidents, Harry Truman preferred not have pets. Truman was thrust into the presidency on the death of his popular long-term predecessor, Franklin Roosevelt.

This 33rd president of the United States had to solve the problems of a country at war. The no nonsense ways of this Missouri man and former farmer were rarely encumbered by four-legged friends.

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The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum reports the family only shared their lives with animals "for short periods of time." During Truman's term, they were given two dogs, who were both passed on along.

Truman's daughter, Margaret, received an Irish Setter as a present from the Postmaster General in 1945. She kept it at the family home in Independence, Missouri, but gave him away when he kept getting sick on table scraps.

Then, there was poor little "Feller," a Cocker Spaniel that no one seemed to want. He came as a Christmas gift to the White House. According to the Presidential Pet Museum, Feller was first passed to the White House doctor, then to a series of officials and military personnel before finally finding a home on a farm in Ohio.

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Margaret told the press little Feller was given up because her mother had no desire to raise a dog and Margaret was old enough and she would not be around.

Harry Truman did have many animals in his life as a child. He grew up on a farm, where he was known to ride a black Shetland pony. Truman had a dog named Tandy and a cat named Bob.

In his memoirs, Truman talked about how these pets got their names. Tandy was simply a black and tan dog who the name seemed to fit. Bob was a poor cat whose tail had been burnt by a coal which came out of the fireplace.

Perhaps in desperation for presidential pet hungry stories, the press nicknamed a grey squirrel that used to follow President Truman around on walks "Pete." Reporters call the squirrel their "inside source."

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Unlike other animal loving presidents, Harry Truman preferred not have pets. Truman was thrust into the presidency on the death of his popular long-term predecessor, Franklin Roosevelt.
harry truman, pets, president
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2015-26-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 11:26 AM
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