Pets and Pet Lovers: Fun Facts and Trivia – Part Three

“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience”

-Woodrow Wilson


Here is the third and final part of our short series on fun snippets about pets and pet lovers…

  • Walt Disney had a family poodle. Is it a coincidence her name was “Lady”? She may well have inspired the animated classic Lady and the Tramp.

  • German dictator Adolf Hitler had an Alsatian by the name of Blondi. Narcissistic to the very end, Hitler used this dog to ensure cyanide capsules he had in his possession were lethal. Once he’d confirmed this (and poor Blondi was no more), he used the cyanide on himself.


  • Many, many American presidents have brought beloved dogs to the White House. Noteworthy mentions include:
  • Thomas Jefferson, who owned a sheepdog and instituted the first dog license
  • Abraham Lincoln owned two dogs, named Jip and Fido. Fido was assassinated by a drunk in the street.
  • Ulysses S Grant’s son had a Newfoundland named Faithful
  • Theodore Roosevelt had a Pitbull terrier, a Chesapeake retriever, a mongrel, a terrier, and a spaniel. The Pit-bull caused a scandal by ripping the trousers of the French ambassador during an official function.
  • Calvin Coolidge had twelve dogs
  • Herbert Hoover had nine dogs
  • Franklin D Roosevelt had seven dogsblondi
  • JFK had at least eight dogs, and was the first president to request dogs meet the presidential helicopter when it arrived home.


  • The first dogs trained specifically to serve the blind in Britain were German Shepherds in 1931. They were given to Great War veterans who had been blinded during service.


  • More than three hundred rescue dogs were brought to Ground Zero in New York City on 9/11. Only one dag, Sirius, lost his life in the search and rescue effort in the aftermath of that dreadful day. Two blind men who were in the World Trade Centre on 9/11 owe their lives to their guide dogs. Riva and Salty each led their respective masters through the crowd and down smoke-filled stairwells from the seventy-first floor to safety outside. Their bravery was later officially honoured.


  • Grab a hanky. Like Greyfriars Bobby before them, these two dogs epitomised the fidelity and love canines have for their humans – and put to rest any doubts that they experience emotion just like we do:


  • Old Shep was an American dog who kept a five year vigil at a Montana train station after watching his master’s coffin being loaded onto a train for its final journey.


  • Hachiko was an Akita, owned by a professor at the University of Tokyo. In 1925, at the age of eighteen months, Akita lost her master when he died. From the following day, and every day for the next nine years, Hachiko returned to his master’s workplace, waited for him to arrive, then walked home alone.



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