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Famous presidential pooches

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

Photo: National Archives and Records /National Archives and Records

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Fala the Scottish terrier (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

Keeping up the Harding administration’s tradition of press-savvy, trick-performing terriers was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s faithful Scottie, Fala. Born as “Big Boy” in 1940, Fala moved into the White House at a very young age and rarely left his master’s side, accompanying the president and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt on trips both domestic and abroad. And on the subjects of traveling and never leaving his master’s side, if there’s one thing that Fala is famous for – aside from the fact that he had his own press secretary to handle his fan mail – it’s for the incident when Republicans accused Roosevelt of accidentally leaving his faithful companion in the Aleutian Islands and spending millions to employ a Navy destroyer to go retrieve the stranded pooch. Roosevelt responded to the false accusations of dog abandonment and misuse of taxpayer dollars in his famous “Fala speech” in 1944: “These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don't resent attacks, and my family doesn't resent attacks, but Fala does resent them.” To this day, Fala remains at Roosevelt’s side: the dog is buried near FDR in the rose garden at the Springwood estate in Hyde Park, N.Y., and is remembered in statue form at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.