Jack: A Presidential Pet: 1902

Jack, Presidential Pet

Jack, Presidential Pet


Although Without Pedigree, the President’s Dog Has Won Favor by His Almost Human Traits

President Roosevelt’s dog Jack is not a fine dog, but he has by some almost human traits won a place in the President’s affections second to no other of the numerous pets of the White House. Jack would be its master’s constant attendant if permitted, and every afternoon as the President and Mrs. Roosevelt start out for their horse-back ride Jack begins to sniff the air, and if possible steals out to lie in wait for the departure and accompany them. The exertion is so great for the old fellow, as the President rides both far and fast, that this is forbidden, but it is not unusual to see Jack run into the White House ahead of the President and Mrs. Roosevelt on their alighting at the door after dark in the evening, his tail tucked between his legs and a decidedly tired but triumphant air about him. Jack does not count much on his pedigree, and even as the President’s pet would not take a booby prize at a bench show, but he is well fed, fat, and hearty, and so nicely groomed by the constant petting of the President and Mrs. Roosevelt, all the children, and the servants, that his jet black coat shines with wondrous brightness.

Jack is a finely educated dog, and understands when spoken to in several languages. Moreover, at the President’s command, he will say his prayers, beg for a morsel, sit up like a gentleman, walk about as upright as a person, lie dead until commanded to arise, roll over and over, speak when appealed to, and when shut out politely stands, and, though a trifle boisterous about it, asks for admittance.

He knows every door leading into and out of the White House, and when he fails to gain admittance by the stained glass door through which the family make their entrance and exit to and from the White House, steals up the public stairway. The dog is sly enough about it, lies down, with the rest of the waiting ones in “Anxiety chamber,” and when the opportunity presents itself steals in to the presence of his master. One of Jack’s greatest longings when he first came to the White House was to take a bath in the great basin about the fountain on the south front lawn. The dog would no sooner get his nose over the brim of the basin when up would come myriads of frightened goldfish, whereupon Jack would bark furiously for a time, and then abandon his bath and trot off to the house.— The World Review.

The Minneapolis [MN] Journal 4 January 1902: p. 7

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Jack’s master was United States President Theodore Roosevelt, he of “Teddy Bear” fame, rather than Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose equally famous Scottish Terrier, Fala, captured the heart of the nation. The Theodore Roosevelt White House menagerie was immense: guinea pigs, cats, multiple dogs, a pig, a rabbit, a rat, a one-legged rooster, a hen, a macaw, several ponies, a lizard, a bear named Jonathan Edwards, and a snake called Emily Spinach. The image of great packs of ravening gold-fish frightening Jack away from the fountain is a diverting one.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.




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