Rex the King Charles spaniel (Ronald Reagan)
While in office from 1981 to 1989, Ronald Reagan was papa to two beautiful canine companions. The first was Lucky, a Bouvier Des Flandres that gained notoriety for very publicly (in the presence of Margaret Thatcher none the less!) dragging her master across the White Lawn. After it was decided that Lucky was simply too spirited and too large to be kept at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., she was sent to live at Reagan’s vacation ranch outside of Santa Barbara. Lucky’s more manageably sized and well-mannered replacement, a handsome little devil of a King Charles spaniel named Rex, was bestowed to Nancy Reagan as a Christmas gift in 1985 (as a young pup, Rex belonged to William F. Buckley Jr). As official first dog, Rex’s responsibilities included helping to light the National Christmas Tree and hanging out in a lavish dog house built by the Washington Children’s Museum and designed by Theo Hayes, the great-great grandson of Rutherford B. Hayes. Rex is also famous for bravely undergoing a tonsillectomy and refusing to enter the supposedly haunted Lincoln Bedroom.