During his time in the White House, President Warren Harding owned two dogs: the famous Airedale Laddie Boy, and a lesser-known bulldog named Old Boy. Old Boy isn’t well known as he was often overshadowed by his much more famous brother. In fact, his name isn’t even clear; being listed on various sites as ‘Old Boy’, ‘Ol’ Boy’, and even ‘Oh Boy.’
President Warren Harding was a tremendous animal lover. In 1920, while still serving as a Senator, Harding visited the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) on two occasions, prompting a cordial thank you to the then-Senator for his interest in animal welfare:
“We expressed, on behalf of all the humane societies in the country, their pleasure in knowing of his and Mrs. Harding’s interest in all that means the better care and treatment of animals.”
Laddie Boy was often found by Harding’s side, but Old Boy tended to be a bit more reclusive. He arrived at the White House after Laddie Boy was in residence and did not always attend cabinet meetings, as Laddie was wont to do. When Old Boy first arrived, President Harding kept him in the stables, as he was afraid that Laddie and Old Boy would fight over turf.
However, when the two dogs did finally meet, Old Boy was happy to take a second in command position and the two dogs could thereafter be seen playing together in the halls of the White House.
It is unclear what happened to Old Boy after President Harding’s sudden heart attack and subsequent death in 1923. Laddie Boy was given to Secret Service agent Harry Barker, as Mrs. Harding could not bear the reminder of her late husband. One website claims that Old Boy actually sickened and died prior to the President.