Pasha, a Yorkshire terrier, belonged to Tricia, one of President Richard Nixon’s daughters. When Tricia first saw Pasha, she immediately fell in love.
Pasha spent much of his time with Tricia Nixon, but was spotted with President Nixon or his wife, Pat, on several occasions.
In 1968, Pasha was with Nixon at the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the March of Dimes. Shortly thereafter, Nixon announced that he would be running for president.
On the day the Nixons moved into the White House, departing President Johnson and his wife arranged for a special greeting, according to President Nixon’s other daughter, Julie Nixon Eisenhower:
Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson were waiting at the top of the steps. A few feet away were our French poodle Vicky, dressed in a new white jacket trimmed in red, white, and blue, and Pasha, our Yorkshire terrier, his thin hair pulled back from his face by a ribbon. President Johnson had sentimentally arranged for the dogs to be the first to greet us in our new home.”
Playing With His Big Brother
During his time in the White House, Pasha enjoyed spending time with the family — which included his much bigger brother, Irish setter King Timahoe. These two could often be spotted playing together in their kennel outside the West Wing or on the White House lawn.
Vicky, the French poodle, would engage in some outdoor play as well, but she was more fond of trying to catch goldfish out of a small pond in the gardens.
“Pasha Passes By”
In early 1974, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, 25, published a children’s story about Pasha — then 6 years old — in the Saturday Evening Post. Her story was titled “Pasha Passes By,” and it imagined “a brief and unsatisfying exploration of the White House” after Pasha escapes from his kennel, according to the Associated Press.
Here’s an excerpt:
Once Pasha had made the hard decision about his friend, he began to dig furiously in the tiny hole he had discovered under his fence a few days before. Large chunks of soil flew out from under his paws. By the time he had enlarged the hole enough to wiggle through, he was thoroughly dirty and happy. With one last glance back at King and Vicky, Pasha popped through the hole under the fence. He was free!”
The Associated Press said the short story launched a new career in writing for the young author.
Bringing a Smile to the President’s Face
It’s clear that the Nixons loved their dogs, and genuinely enjoyed greeting them after any time away. According to dog handler Traphes Bryant: “Tim and Pasha and Vicky are happy, affectionate dogs. And it’s a wonderful thing to see that big smile on the president’s face when he comes home and sees those three running out to meet him.”
Nixon family veterinarian Dr. Colden Boyle agreed with Bryant’s assessment, stating that the family cared very much for their dogs: “They took good care of the animals, and they were concerned. They were affectionate, close with the animals.”
After the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s subsequent resignation in August 1974, the family — dogs included — returned to their home in San Clemente, California.
Mary Brady says
Thanks for giving us something Presidential to smile about!
Presidential Pet Museum says
Thank you, Mary.