US Presidents Who Had a Pet Squirrel
US presidents have been known to have a variety of pets, but few of them are as famous as Pete the squirrel. The following list includes Ronald Reagan, Lyndon B. Johnson, Quentin Roosevelt, and Theodore Roosevelt. Which one of them had the most famous pet squirrel? Find out in this article. After you’ve finished reading this list, you’ll have a better understanding of the history of pets and presidents.
President Ronald Reagan owned a pet squirrel named Rex. He gave him to his wife, Nancy, as a Christmas present in 1981. Rex was originally owned by a political commentator named William F. Buckley, who also kept his brother Fred. Rex was named after the former White House chief usher, Rex Scouten. Rex lived in the White House until 1985, when he moved to Los Angeles with his family. Lucky, the other squirrel in the Reagan household, died in 1995. In 1998, President and Mrs. Reagan adopted another squirrel named Lucky, a gray squirrel.
When asked about the squirrel, Reagan replied, “Colin!” Powell said the president was “honest” when he told the story. He told Powell about how Reagan would call him “Colin” when he first saw a squirrel in the Rose Garden. The Horatio Alger-like story grew into a New York Times bestseller, and he defended it, telling the world that the president would not have killed the squirrel.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Did you know that former President Lyndon B. Johnson had a pet squirrel named Yuki? This animal was found in 1966 by Luci Nugent. Her name for it was “snow,” so Johnson gave it that name. The Johnsons adopted Yuki in 1967 and gave it to their father on his birthday. Yuki lived with the Johnsons until 1973, spending his last years with Luci Nugent.
Both beagles were very popular with the press, and President Johnson often took them along on walks. One famous picture of Johnson and his dogs is of the two beagles. He held Him by the ears as he greeted a group on the White House lawn. LBJ was a dog lover and even had dogs named Him and Her. Besides beagles, he also owned squirrels, and had a pet opossum named Freckles.
President Quentin Roosevelt had a pet squirrel named Algonquin. The little rodent often visited his brother Archie Roosevelt in bed, which made him feel more at ease. Quentin Roosevelt also took his pony, Algonquin, to the White House so his brother could get some cheer. Archie, who was suffering from measles, was thrilled to see his little friend, but was embarrassed when Quentin dragged the animal into his father’s room and accidentally dropped four snakes!
Quentin’s mother labeled him a “fine bad little boy.” He had many adventures with his “White House Gang,” which included defacing the official presidential portraits and throwing snowballs from the White House roof at Secret Service guards. He also rode the elevator with Charlie Taft, the son of future president William Howard Taft. Despite Quentin’s erratic behavior, he never lost his love of animals.
There are stories of President Theodore Roosevelt’s beloved squirrel, Pete. Pete was known for attacking people, biting Navy officers, cabinet members, and even police officers. However, this story does not mention the fact that Pete was once sent to live outside of Washington. Pete even bit a French ambassador! The French government was furious, filing a formal complaint against the president. While the squirrel was not a member of the family, it was considered a symbol of national pride.
Teddy Roosevelt had pets in the White House. Some had dogs, cats, and rabbits. But Teddy Roosevelt also had a flying squirrel. Teddy Roosevelt also kept a badger, kangaroo rat, and a flying squirrel. The White House also hosted a lion, coyote, and a zebra. You can use the facts on these famous animals to engage students in an imaginary game where you pretend to be a pet in the White House. In a game of “Imagine,” ask students to answer questions about which animals they would want to be friends with if they were the president.
Presidents are not the only ones who have pets, but many have unusual ones. Presidents have had squirrels, dogs, cats, and even a bobcat. In the White House, there has been an impressive assortment of animals, from a bobcat named Billy to two lion cubs. There were also dogs and cats, and President Calvin Coolidge had a pet squirrel named Pete. The Presidential Pet Museum has an extensive catalog of all the presidents’ pets, which can be found here.
There are several famous presidents with pets, including Calvin Coolidge. One of his most famous pets was a duiker, a small antelope. He also owned two canaries named Nip and Tuck, a goose named Enoch, and a bobcat named Smoky. But if you’re looking for the best presidents’ pets, a squirrel is an unusual choice.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.