First Dogs

Ol’ TR was essentially a full-on zookeeper, retaining as White House pets 11 horses, five Guinea pigs, two cats, flying squirrels, one badger, one hen, one macaw, one hyena, and two kangaroo rats. And that’s just scratching the surface of Teddy’s 40-plus-pet habit. Roosevelt was known to be fond of mixed-bloodline canines, which he called “Heinz 57” dogs. Perhaps most infamous, however, was Roosevelt’s bull terrier mix, Pete. Though the New York Times reported that Pete’s job was to “keep suspicious characters, newspaper correspondents, and incessant Secretaries of the Interior out of the White House grounds,” it appears he might have gotten carried away in several dramatic instances and chomped some very important legs. In 1906, Pete’s jaws famously found a French ambassador, ripping off his pants in the process as Pete attempted to escape up a tree.



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