The United States’ 24th President, Benjamin Harrison, doesn’t usually get a lot of attention but he actually did something that no other President has – he’s successfully been elected President in 2 non-consecutive terms. But when it came to pets, Harrison followed in his predecessors’ footsteps. The Harrison family had 2 opossums and a goat named Old Whiskers, as well as several mixed-breed dogs.
It is tricky to identify whether the dogs who lived in the White House actually belonged to the President himself or to the various family members that moved in with him. When Harrison was elected and took residence he brought with him a plethora of family members including his wife, Caroline and his father-in-law John Scott. His adult children, Russell and Mary also moved in with their spouses and children. Undoubtedly some of the dogs that resided with the family belonged to them. In addition, Caroline Harrison was known to be a great lover of animals, and this resulted in several pets being gifted to the family.
One well-known dog of the bunch was Dash, a mixed-breed collie. Harrison gave Dash to his grandchildren as a gift, but Dash seemed to prefer the President’s company. Harrison was likely fond of Dash as well as he had a fancy doghouse built on the grounds right next to the White House for Dash.
Other mixed-breed dogs occupied the White House alongside President Harrison and his family, one of whom was rumored to carry the name ‘Jack’. Another dog that is briefly mentioned is a Siberian Bloodhound, but his name is lost to history. Regardless of how many dogs ran underfoot, Harrison seemed to understand that it is the pet that makes the home – no matter how grand that space may be.