New Toy Alert! Introducing First Pets
First Pets is the pet-first way to learn about American history. You’ll see a distinguished gallery of presidential animal illustrations in this 40 block toy set from Uncle Goose.
- Lions? Tigers? Bears? Yes. They've all been presidential pets.
- Dogs? Cats Horses? Of course!
- A badger? A billy goat? Bald Eagles? You bet!
All kinds of critters have romped and roamed around the White House. Have fun uncovering odd facts and pet names. You’ll also enjoy assembling a stately animal-packed puzzle.
Pets bring comfort and joy, especially during tough times. It's probably why so many presidential families needed to have their pets with them in Washington!
Many presidents kept traditional pets. Popular presidential choices are dogs and cats, as well as birds and fish. Quiet pets like rabbits and hamsters also found their way to the White House.
Some presidential pets were practical. Before cars became popular, so many presidents rode their favorite horses! Farm animals like cows, sheep, turkeys, and chickens roamed the White House grounds, too.
Other presidents kept non-traditional animals while they were in office. Lions, tigers, and bears found their way to the White House. So did raccoons, a badger, and alligators!
Some first pets had creative names that seemed politically motivated.
- Which president named their opossums Mr. Reciprocity & Mr. Protection?
- Was there a president who named their pet dog Veto?
- Who named his twin lion cubs Budget Bureau & Tax Reduction?
Some pet names seem inspired by popular events, people, or achievements of their day.
- Millard Fillmore named his two ponies Mason & Dixon after the Mason-Dixon line.
- William McKinley named his parrot Washington Post -- 20 years after the paper was first published.
- Andrew Jackson named his horse Sam Patch after a famous daredevil of the time.
- William Howard Taft’s daughter named her dog Caruso after the operatic tenor.
Other pet names — like Drunkard, Satan, Grim, and Misty Malarky Ying Yang — seem more whimsical and fun! So if you ever find yourself wondering:
“Hey, when did Satan first arrive at the White House?” — you’ll want to explore First Pets by Uncle Goose! Enjoy discovering American history through the eyes of animals.
If you were president of the United States, what kind of pet would you have?