In 1860, the name Fido used to be one of the top five most popular dog names in the country, alongside Tippet, Pippy, Rags, and Price. But somewhere between 1860 and 2022, Fido has changed from the most popular dog name to the most popular dog noun.
In 1861, the first dog, Fido, was introduced to the American public as Abraham Lincoln’s right-pawed pup. When Lincoln won the presidency, he was congratulated with fireworks, cannons and celebratory screams. At that moment, it became obvious the quiet life of the Lincoln family would soon change.
With the travel, continual noise, and constant activity, Lincoln feared Fido would be overwhelmed and anxious, so he decided Fido would be happier with a kind-hearted family until his term was completed. (It would have been nice if YUP PUP had existed in the 1800s, wouldn’t it?)
Lincoln left strict instructions for the Roll’s family to care for his beloved dog. According to the Presidential Pet Museum, they consisted of:
- Fido was never to be tied up outdoors alone
- Fido would never to be scolded for coming into the house with muddy paws
- Fido would be allowed to come indoors whenever he scratched at the door.
- Fido would be allowed to wander freely about the table as the family dined.
Since then, Fido not only became one of the most famous presidential pups, but his name became a common way to identify other dogs in pop culture.