“Do you think President and Mrs. Trump will get a dog?” As an East Wing historian and author of “Pets at the White House,” I get asked this question a lot. The reality is, it wouldn’t be unprecedented if the Trumps did not get a new dog or cat during their first term, or even at all.
Does Donald Trump Have a Dog?
In fact, Trump is the first president in more than 100 years to be dogless. This gaping hole in Americanness shouldn't be that shocking given Mr. Trump's contrarian, "Drain the swamp!" style.
There is no evidence of the Trumps owning pets in their immaculate 5th Avenue Trump Tower apartment before coming to the White House. But some first families have opted to get a pet in the White House even if they did not have one previously. President Truman did not have a pet in the White House, unless you count Feller, the Cocker Spaniel he promptly re-gifted to his physician.
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump could think outside the presidential pet box in a unique way by following the lead of daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who supports causes that rescue animals. In the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt, the first couple could become conservationists and foster an orphaned elephant. During the first lady’s historic trip to Africa last year she visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya where she fed a baby orphaned elephant. And as the elephant is the mascot of the GOP — this would be a nontraditional move, yet one that is still in line with history.
Why Trump Doesn't Have a Pet Dog?
If the Trumps decide to get a pet, it would definitely become an instant social media celebrity, much like the Obamas’ dog Sunny, Bush 43’s Barney, the Clintons’ cat Socks, the Fords’ Liberty, FDR’s Fala, or Bush 41’s beloved Millie — the greatest champion of all White House pets. Even Rebecca the raccoon, whom first lady Grace Coolidge walked on a leash and had a special house built just for her, became a household name in her own right.
Trump was supposed to have a first dog—Patton, the goldendoodle, named after the president’s favorite general. Patton even got a page on the presidential pet museum website.
Lois Pope, an 83-year-old Florida philanthropist whose husband founded the National Enquirer, and who has known Trump for decades, set out on a mission to find the perfect dog for the president. She came across the gentle teddy bear, and presented him to Trump and son Barron at the Mar-a-Lago, where she has been a member for 24 years.
“I went through great trouble to find the perfect dog for Donald Trump,” she told Newsweek. "He would’ve been a perfect dog for any president." Patton is hypoallergenic, loyal and beautiful, she said.
But it seems Patton wasn't destined for the White House—Pope said Trump told her he was too busy for a dog, and she, in turn, was actually relieved she wouldn't have to give up the "lovable giant pup" with whom she had fallen in love.
"He's unreal," Pope said of the dog. "He's the perfect dog."