From George Washington who owned at least twelve dogs to Barack Obama who had two, the longstanding tradition of US Presidents owning a dog seems unbreakable. In fact, 33 out of the 44 presidents have at least one dog strutting around in the West Wing. However, the 120-year tradition was broken off as Trump made clear that he wants his pooch relationship status to stay zero.
Isn’t it phony?
During Trump’s rally in El Paso last Monday night, he told the attendees that he doesn’t mind owning his very own furry companion. But he made it clear that he doesn’t have enough time to take care of the pooch if he ever got one.
He added with a grimace that adopting a pooch ‘feels a little phony’ to him. This was said after asking the people how he would look walking a dog on the White House Lawn whilst shaking his head. It earned him an eruption of claps, whistles, and cheers from his supporters.
Trump also revealed how allegedly some people urged him to adopt a pooch since doing so will greatly enhance his political image. But Trump only shook his head and stated, ‘That’s not the relationship I have with my people.’
Incompatibility with dogs?
Furry animals appear to have a positive effect on the public. Laddie Boy, President Warren G. Warding’s Airedale terrier, was considered as the very first notable political pet. In fact, Laddie Boy has his own special seat during cabinet meetings and even ‘hosted’ 1923’s White House Easter Egg Roll.
Additionally, Barack Obama’s adopted Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny, made public appearances and also had photo opportunities. Both pooches garnered much attention from the public that they must have their own official White House schedules.
Despite the presidential pets being seen as tools for political publicity by some critics, they appear to be well-loved by their owners. Furthermore, the presidents honestly seemed to have a blast as they spend quality time with their pooches to unwind from all the stress.
However, in Trump’s case, even his former wife Ivana Trump revealed that her ex-husband was not a big fan of pooches. According to her 2017 memoir, Raising Trump, Chappy, her poodle, and Donald Trump are not the best of friends.
Their rough relationship became clearly evident after Trumps’ short-lived cohabitation with them. After a few mishaps, in which the poodle would bark incessantly at Trump when he gets close to Ivana’s closet, she knew that it’s her and Chappy or no one.
Soft spot for pooches
Trump’s tendency to compare political rivals and critics to dogs did not escape from the scrutiny of the public. To name a few examples, he stated that the former chief White House strategist Stephen Bannon was ‘dumped like a dog by almost everyone.’ Furthermore, Trump commented how Mitt Romney was ‘choked like a dog’ on the presidential elections last 2012 and how the leader of the New Hampshire union was ‘kicked out of the ABC News debate like a dog’ in 2016.
However, Trump has seemed to have a secret soft spot for pooches as he showed his admiration for German shepherds during his speech at the rally. He commented how unbelievable German shepherds are as they are able to sniff out concealed illegal drugs. Trump added how one of the drug detection devices manufacturers told him that these types of dog breeds are more accurate in illicit drug detection than machines.
Additionally, he also seems to be fond of Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Back in the year 2010 to 2015, it is customary for the winners of the dog show to visit Trump in his office in Trump Tower.
The photos circulated during those times show a warm bond between Trump and the award-winning dogs. According to Will Alexander, owner of a beagle named Miss P that won Best in Show in 2015, Trump was outrightly welcoming to both of them. He added that it didn’t even faze Trump that Miss P left some beagle hair on his black suit.
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