Get in the Arena!

Roosevelt and his dog Rollo

Teddy Roosevelt our 26th president arrived at the White House with a flurry of animals, six children, and a LOT of personality.

Dog’s were a large part of President Roosevelt’s large life and boy did he have a lot of them. There was Sailor Boy, a Chesapeake retriever, Rollo, a good-natured St. Bernard, and Manchu, a black Pekingese gifted to his daughter Alice by the last empress of China.

There was also Blackjack, a Manchester terrier, and Pete, a bull terrier, whose “antics” (the last of which was removing half of the French ambassador’s pants) had him exiled to Sagamore Hill, the Roosevelt’s country house in New York.

The Roosevelt’s love for dogs was not just of the President. Edith Roosevelt had a love for mixed breeds. Little dog Tip followed her everywhere as they moved into the White House. When Little Tip died another mixed breed named Mutt took his place.

Above all though, the President’s favorite dog was Skip. Skip was a small terrier mix who was a gift from one of his hunting guides, John B. Goff. Skip would often jump up into his lap and sleep there, as the President napped in the afternoon.

When Skip died in 1907, he was buried behind the White House. In 1908, just before Roosevelt left office, Edith Roosevelt had Skip transported to the family country home at Sagamore Hill.

“Perhaps no family enjoyed the White House more than the Roosevelts,” said President Roosevelt.

He might be right.

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