While pets are certainly not into politics, it is certain that presidents are into pets, and it is one similar interest that crosses all party lines and unites a common cause: the public’s fascination with pets and the presidency.”
—Excerpt from the Introduction to First Pet by Claire McLean, founder and director of the Presidential Pet Museum
First Pet, by The Associated Press, is a collection of revealing photographs that celebrate the poignant connection between pets and presidents and allows a gratifying glimpse behind the politics that animal lovers and history buffs alike will appreciate.
First Pet is a collection of words and photographs documenting U.S. presidents and their pets. Drawn from the AP’s voluminous photo library and its online photo archive of more than 7 million images, this book memorializes the special relationship of presidents and their pets over the years.
In her Introduction, Claire McLean, founder and director of the Presidential Pet Museum, notes:
“Our presidents show goodness of heart during their private and personal moments with the animals with which they have bonded.”
“If you doubt that White House pets have a powerful impact on the public, consider that the American Kennel Club’s surges in breed registration closely track the types of breeds in the White House.”
Whether iconic or unknown, all these photographs share a fascination with the first family’s pets. From FDR and his Scottie Fala, to Richard Nixon and his cocker spaniel Checkers, to the Clintons’ cat Socks — as well as some of the more obscure pets the White House has hosted, such as sheep, goats, raccoons, and even hummingbirds — this book highlights our presidents and their pets in a way that appeals to animal lovers, regardless of party affiliation.
First Pet, by The Associated Press, with an Introduction by Claire McLean.
Available at bookstores, or you can find it on Amazon.com now at a discounted price:
Still not convinced? Here’s a video teaser for this wonderful book: