Tags: Presidential History | john kennedy | pets | president

First Pets: Four-Legged or Feathered Friends of President John Kennedy

By    |   Tuesday, 12 May 2015 09:47 AM

John F. Kennedy remains one of the most popular U.S. presidents, largely due to his charisma, youthful charm and heroism during World War II. Helping to complete his all-American image, JFK loved pets, having been around them all his life.

When the Kennedys moved into the White House in 1961, they brought a gray cat named Tom Kitten, who belonged to JFK's daughter, Caroline. A canary named Robin arrived shortly after, according to America Comes Alive.

The family dog was a Welsh Terrier named Charlie, but he initially stayed at the home of JFK's mother-in-law in Virginia and joined his powerful family once they felt more settled.

Vote Now: Who Was the Greatest American President?

Charlie was one of the president's most beloved companions, and was often seen paddling in the water when the president swam, and greeting the presidential helicopter on the White House lawn, according to the JFK Library.

America Comes Alive reports the often-told story of the "Spy Dog," a gift given to Caroline by then-Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev after the peaceful end of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The tiny white dog named Pushinka ("Fluffy" in Russian) arrived in June 1961 with an identifying passport that specified that she was the daughter of Strelka, the first dog sent into space by Russians the previous August.

Because it was the Cold War, Pushinka was checked for recording devices, germs and other ailments at Walter Reed Army Medical Center before being allowed to settle into her new home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., where she became an instant hit with Charlie and his human keepers. The two dogs eventually had a litter of four puppies; three were given away.

A German shepherd named Clipper joined the family at Thanksgiving of 1962, as a gift to Jacqueline Kennedy by her father-in-law.

Tell Us: Buying or Adopting? How Did You Get Your Pets?

The Kennedys seemed to be animal magnets during their time in Washington, D.C., as they often received them as gifts. Ireland President Eamon de Valera sent a pair of deer that had to be re-located to the Washington Zoo, though an Irish Cocker Spaniel named Shannon was able to stay.

A wolfhound named Wolf was given away after it had trouble getting along with the other animals, according to America Comes Alive.

The JFK Library also states that the family had parakeets Bluebell and Marybelle, hamsters Debbie and Billie and a rabbit named Zsa Zsa. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy also owned a horse named Sardar.

But perhaps the most famous four-legged friend in the Kennedy White House may have been Macaroni, a pony given to Caroline Kennedy by then Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The pony became a celebrity when it appeared with JFK's young daughter on the cover of Life magazine. That photo would inspire Neil Diamond's hit, "Sweet Caroline."

Vote Here: Which US President Would Be Considered the Greatest in History?

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
FastFeatures
John F. Kennedy remains one of the most popular U.S. presidents, largely due to his charisma, youthful charm and heroism during World War II. Helping to complete his all-American image, JFK loved pets, having been around them all his life.
john kennedy, pets, president
483
2015-47-12
Tuesday, 12 May 2015 09:47 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved