white house historical association > president's park / citizen's soapbox : a history of protest at the white house
merry manageries
Two of the youngest presidents to reside in the White House brought their families and a menagerie of pets along with them. A pony, sheep, dogs, cats, a macaw, guinea pigs, rats, a snake, and many more animal friends lived at the Theodore Roosevelt White House. In 1908 the Washington Evening Star observed, "There is no home in Washington so full of pets of high and low degree as is the White House, and those pets not only occupy the attention of the children, but the President is himself their good friend, and has a personal interest in every one of them.”

The family of John F. Kennedy brought pet hamsters Debbie and Billie; a gray cat, Tom Kitten; and a canary, Robin, to the White House. Eventually, ponies Macaroni and Tex; Pushinka; Welsh terrier Charley; German shepherd Clipper; cocker spaniel Shannon; parakeets Maybelle and Bluebell; and Wolf, an Irish wolfhound, would come and go.


Fun Fact: The Roosevelts’ pony, Algonquin, was taken to the second floor family quarters to cheer up Archie, who was sick in bed with the measles.



Algonquin visits Archie. White House Historical Association

Footman Charlie Reeder once helped the Roosevelt children sneak Algonquin up to Archie’s bedroom in the White House elevator. Thrilled to see the pony, Archie let out a whoop and dived for him. The startled horse slipped and fell to the floor with a loud thud. The noise brought the whole family rushing to the bedroom and earned Archie a light-hearted scolding from the president.

white house pets > open page
white house pets : one > introduction
white house pets : two > pets in the past
white house pets : three > animal ambassadors
white house pets : four > a president's best friend
white house pets : five > merry manageries
white house pets : six > first ladies with family pets
white house pets : seven > conclusion
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