Bringing It Home
Washington has had its share of famous animals. Some live, as you would expect, at the National Zoo. But many others have had a more surprising address for an animal: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The White House has been home to hundreds of pets, including silkworms and an alligator (John Quincy Adams), sheep (Woodrow Wilson) and a pony named Macaroni (John F. Kennedy). One of Theodore Roosevelt's sons took a pony up in the elevator to visit his sick brother; Calvin Coolidge used to walk his pet raccoon, Rebecca, on a leash around the White House; Warren Harding's dog Laddie Boy sat in on Cabinet meetings -- and had his own chair.
Some White House pets have had books written about them. The first was Fala, Franklin Roosevelt's Scottish terrier. There are lots of great stories about Fala: He used to stand on his hind legs when the national anthem was played; he was present at the signing of the Atlantic Charter, an important World War II document; he was the subject of a rumor that he had been left on a island and rescued at a cost of millions of dollars. (FDR denied this rumor!)
Want to know more about Fala? You can see a statue of him at the FDR memorial, take a tour called "In Fala's Footsteps" (www.washingtonwalks.com/scheduled-walks.html#fala) or check out the site at www.fala-fdr.com. For information about other presidential pets, visit the Presidential Pet Museum in Lothian, Maryland, or its Web site: www.presidentialpetmuseum.com.
of the FDR memorial.