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Famous presidential pooches

By: Matt Hickman on June 5, 2012, 6:38 p.m.
Pets, dogs

Photo: Ollie Atkins/Wikimedia Commons

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Vicki, Pasha, and King Timaho (Richard Nixon)

When it comes to four-legged companions, Richard Nixon is best known for being the proud papa of Checkers, a black-and-white cocker spaniel. In 1952, Nixon, then a Republican vice presidential candidate and senator from California, gave his game-changing, FDR-inspired “Checkers Speech” in which he defended himself on broadcast television against accusations that he had misused campaign funds. Well, long story short, Checkers died before Nixon even became commander in chief in 1969, so the pooch never actually graduated to the ranks of official first dog. However, the Nixon family did own a trio of canines — Vicki, a poodle; Pasha, a Yorkshire terrier, and King Timaho, an Irish setter — during their abbreviated stay in the White House. According to the Nixon Presidential Library, only King Timaho personally belonged to Nixon; Pasha and Vicki were pets of his daughters, Tricia and Julie. Those three perfectly lovely pooches were sadly (and inaccurately) ignored in the underrated 1999 comedy “Dick” in which two bumbling high school students played by Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst are appointed by Nixon as official White House dog-walkers and inadvertently become embroiled in the Watergate scandal.