The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : 9-Week-Old Goldendoodle to Become the Trump Family’s First Dog

Friday, December 9, 2016

9-Week-Old Goldendoodle to Become the Trump Family’s First Dog

There is a long and storied history of presidential pets and the roles that they play in an administration. Checkers, a cocker spaniel, helped (briefly) save Richard Nixon’s career. The Clintons’ chocolate Lab, Buddy, and cat, Socks, provided ample, family-friendly distractions from less pleasant matters. Not content to live a life of leisure, President George H.W. Bush’s springer spaniel, Millie, “wrote” a best-seller called Millie’s Book that offered insights into the life of the first family. Martin Van Buren had tiger cubs. Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt had bears, and Calvin Coolidge had a pygmy hippopotamus! Presidents have frequently cottoned on to the pleasure of pet ownership, not least for their warm and fuzzy public relations opportunities. (After listening to Nixon’s “Checkers” speech, a tearful Mamie Eisenhower reportedly told her husband that any man who loves dogs has to be honest.) And perhaps the Trumps will be no different.

A Palm Beach–based philanthropist named Lois Pope told the Washington Post that she has been training a 9-week-old Goldendoodle to become the Trump family’s First Dog. Pope, who has named the puppy Patton, after General George Patton, the World War II general whom Trump often publicly admires (most recently in the installment of his “victory tour” in Cincinnati), said that she has known the family for the past 20 years. She even showed the president-elect a picture of the dog at Mar-A-Lago, she said, in the hopes that the family will take him on as a companion for their 10-year-old son, Barron, who will likely face a tough adjustment ahead. “It’s going to be hard for me to let him go,” Pope told the Post of Patton, who is to receive what she calls “hero dog training,” and who, at the time of their interview, was gnawing on a basket. “But I will do it. Because [Barron] is more important than I am.”

Trump’s camp has not issued any public decisions about Patton, but it may be worth noting that his family has a history of preferring to hunt animals rather than care for them. And while a Goldendoodle (a historically clever, friendly breed favored by young families who abhor shedding) is certainly on brand for a president-elect with a predilection for that particular metal, one has to wonder: Would a Trump endorsed ’doodle help that breed or hurt it? Back in 2009, pet owners fretted that an Obama-provoked spike in Portuguese water dog popularity would incite “101 Dalmatians syndrome.” At a dog park in lower Manhattan, one Goldendoodle owner wrinkled her nose at the suggestion that Trump would soon be synonymous with her pet. “God,” she said, “I hope not.”


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