President Benjamin Harrison and his wife Caroline had several dogs (and family members) running underfoot during their time at the White House, but they – like many other Presidents – had a few “non-traditional” pets as well. Chief among them were 2 opossums, named Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection.
Harrison gifted the two opossums to his grandchildren, but he is clearly the one who gave the marsupials their weighty names as at the time, the platform of the Republican party was: “Protection and reciprocity are twin measures of Republican policy and go hand-in-hand.”
These two opossums were well-loved by the Harrison family and could often be seen running around the White House. Given the opossums’ general tendencies, one wonders: If the staff entered the kitchen to find the trash tipped over, would they still blame the dogs?