If you squint closely at the famous painting of Washington crossing the Delaware, you will notice his pointer, Sweet Lips, paddling just ahead of the boat, yes, pointing the way. It was Sweet Lips, who, through the weird trick of secretly urinating on Washington’s cherry tree while pointing to the British Bulldog next door, unleashed the Revolutionary War. George never twigged that she was barking up the wrong tree.
We can rightfully call Sweet Lips America’s first First Dog, as opposed to the First Lady, although Sweet Lips was a bitch and a not particularly attractive specimen, Like her Master, she had a full set of wooden teeth that could never pierce skin, such that when she attacked Benedict Arnold she basically gummed him to death. Arnold was a handsome man in the eighteenth century, but you won’t believe what he looks like now!
But America does not have the monopoly on weird First Dogs. Take the case of Pat, First Dog of Canadian Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie-King. This man came to power in the 1920’s on the basis of having invented the hyphenated name!
Gaining the overwhelming support of newly enfranchised and liberated female voters, King became the PM with the longest number of years in office in Canadian History. Unfortunately, the name of his equally talented ancestor, Bobby Lyon Mackenzie-King-Bennett-St-Laurent-Diefenbaker, could never fit on any ballot for public office.
Mackenzie-King believed Pat could contact people who had passed to the Other Side. Specifically the PM’s late mother, whom he often sought out for political advice while she was alive. He believed that Pat could somehow pass on her advice from The Great Beyond.
We don’t know how effective Pat was in that regard, but we do know that during the PM’s many years in office, the price of dog food dropped by half, leash laws were shredded, and all documented cats were deported to Mexico.
For First Dogs it’s no walk in the park. For example, “Buddy”, President Clinton’s Chocolate Lab, loved nothing better than to snooze in the Oval Office. Although a witness to History, historians puzzle over the fact that Buddy never alerted the authorities during the Lewinsky scandal. That’s why they call them Man’s Best Friend.
In his defense, dog owners know only too well that such hanky-panky would seem normal in Buddy’s canine world. Besides, how could he be a whistleblower when he was always the one being whistled for? Back in the 1920’s did “Laddie Boy” bark when President Warren Harding took Nan Britton into that coat closet in the executive office of the White House? Did he whine to Mrs. Harding? Did Moe the Doberman rat out JFK?
At present there is no First Dog in the White House. Rabid Liberals bark that there are too many dogs there already, while Conservatives in the House refuse to go along, citing the fact that no dogs are mentioned in the Constitution. First Dogs also tend to take away attention from the President.
Who would want that?