Happy Birthday, JFK!

John F. Kennedy was a president, husband, father and man. Today, we are celebrating JFK the animal lover! He owned and loved many animals: Tom Kitten the cat, Zsa Zsa the rabbit, parakeets named Bluebell and Marybelle, hamsters named Debbie and Billie, a horse named Sardar, ponies named Macaroni, Tex and Leprechan, and dogs named Shannon, Wolf, Clipper, Charlie and Pushinka.

He loved his pets so much, President Kennedy was the first to request that his dogs meet the Presidential helicopter when it arrived at the White House.

Pushinka was a gift of peace from the Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev. Pushinka was already famous for being a descendant of Strelka, one of the first dogs sent to space, now she was living it up at the White House. Pushinka was very good friends with Welsh terrier, Charlie.

Soon, they had four pups named Butterfly, White Tip, Blackie and Streaker.

Here are the Kennedys at Hyannis Port with Irish spaniel Shannon, Welsh terrier Charlie, German shepherd Clipper and the pups of Pushinka and Charlie.

A regular at the White House was a pony, and they called him Macaroni.

We salute you, JFK, for your animal-adoring ways!

Sources: Exotic Dogs, For the Love of the Dog Blog, Presidential Pets Museum, KC Pets and The Poodle (and dog) Blog .



  1. Check out Macaroni’s pointy socks!

  2. Fird Birfle says:

    MEIN GOTT they kept a lotta animules!!!

    Who (other than the Kennedys) knew??

  3. I knew! Oddly enough, I am currently reading a book about our presidents and their pets! (a souvenir from my recent trip to DC) 🙂

  4. What a menagerie! The Kenedys never did anything halfway did they 😆
    What kills me is the inocence in these photos.

  5. Janet in NYC says:

    Beautiful pictures of a time I can remember. I was about 11 years old then and had many pets of my own to tend to. It seemed so natural to have animals in your life!

  6. Athena's mom says:

    Love it, but please spell German shepherd correctly.

  7. Wow. This was like my moment of learning. I knew most presidents had dogs..but never knew there was a pony at the White House!

  8. Alice Shortcake says:

    Athena’s mom, you’ve brought out the spelling Nazi in me:
    The Kennedy’s – no need for either a capital T or an apostrophe.

  9. It’s my birthday, too! What a nice gift to me – thanks! (‘Cause I know you did this just for me!)

  10. So many of the presidents and their families had a bunch of pets. I can’t remember which one but one of the presidents kept an alligator in the White House. Lincoln had a bunch of cats and a goat, T. Roosevelt had EVERYTHING, including a bear. Wilson grazed sheep on the White House lawn. Jefferson had a mockingbird who would take fruit from Jefferson’s lips. The presidents had all kinds of animals in the past. It’s only been recently that they are down to just dogs and cats.

  11. Ellen W. says:

    Alsatian? 😉

  12. Mary (the first) says:

    This was great. Thanks, CP!

  13. Crazy Pants says:

    Thanks, Athena’s mom. Should be all better now.

  14. Crazy Pants says:

    Thanks Alice Shortcake. All fixed.

  15. *sits in front of oldbellydancer and takes notes*

  16. John Quincy Adams had an alligator!

  17. John Quincy Adams! It’s one of my favorite bits of presidential trivia 🙂

  18. also, Men of CO tag for that last pic? *eyebrow wiggle*

  19. If he were still with us, JFK would be 95 years old today…

    I had no idea about the pony or the alligator, either. The things I learn on CO!

  20. Why am I not surprised that you know that bit of trivia @Tracylee 😉

  21. warrior rabbit says:

    What about hear vs here? (Hovertext, last pic.) Killing me.

  22. I’ve heard tell that Sir Gerald Nabardo has a pet prawn called ‘Simon’–you wouldn’t call him a looney…furthermore, Dawn Pailthorpe, the lady show-jumper, had a clam called ‘Stafford,’ after the late Chancellor…Allan Bullock has two pikes, both called ‘Chris’…and Marcel Proust had an haddock!

  23. Crazy Pants, you are a prince among posters, for humoring us! 🙂

  24. Fird Birfle says:

    wot tha — ????? Izzis forRealzies, TUM???

    (also, I’m missing the . the . and the . from your screenname 🙂 )

  25. Fird Birfle says:


    yewbetcha!!! 🙂

    Not currently a candidate for Vice President.

  26. It’s an old Monty Python sketch about applying for a fish llicense. I can never remember whether I put in the ., ., and .!

  27. Crazy Pants says:

    Boy Howdy!

  28. Crazy Pants says:

    So sorry for the killing! All better now.

  29. Crazy Pants says:

    ceejoe – you are sweet and I thank you!

  30. Crazy Pants says:

    This is your birthday song, it isn’t very long, HEY! Happy Day zoetta!

  31. skippymom says:

    Caroline is a few years older than I am, but when I got my first pony my parents told me that she had a pony named Macaroni, and that was so cool.

  32. Oceanview says:

    Am I the only one who has some doubts as to whether Charlie is the father of those chubby puppehs? The light bibs and darker coloring doesn’t look much like either parent or a combination of them. Not that they’re any less cute, of course.

  33. irritablevowel says:

    I suggest you head straight over to the hands-down best list on Wikipedia asap: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_pets

  34. victoreia says:

    The innocence of a lost era, for sure!

  35. victoreia says:

    Of course Teddy Roosevelt had a bear! What I want to know is did he bring back an elephant from Africa?

    not currently running for office

  36. Awe.Some.
    Thanks, irritable vowel 🙂

  37. and a friggin badger!

    TR fan


  38. Pretty sure one of those puppies is an English Cocker Spaniel (I am not sure what an Irish Spaniel is…). I grew up with them and the blue roan puppy in the pic is most certainly is a spitting image of my dogs.

  39. JFK needed ants. 😛

  40. Dwight D. Eisenhower on the other hand hated cats and reportedly ordered any cats near the White House to be shot. What a horrible man…

  41. bob drummond says:

    Yeah, thanks ,Irritable (or I V -if you prefer )! I luuuuv that list ! Too bad there were no presidential turtles …

  42. bob drummond says:

    Amen to that … Dwight you monster !!!!!

  43. bob drummond says:

    In that last pic- was that a car or a P.T. Boat ???

  44. Saffron says:

    🙂 There is an awse book about two guys who went around the US correcting mistakes on signs…and got into legal trouble for it!

  45. Aww, thanks!

  46. noellesbootcutkittenpants says:

    Only one cat? Hmmph, I am suspicious.

  47. noellesbootcutkittenpants says:

    Gah, I would rather have not known that. 😦

  48. Charlie is a welsh terrier and the welshie puppies are dark when they are born and then lighten up as they grow, keeping a black or grizzled saddle. Their original ancestor was the Black and Tan. Alas, welshies are quite rare these days, and they are excellent dogs and have the best temperament of the terriers.

  49. Fird Birfle says:

    “got your FIRST” pony????

    From which one might infer that skippymom has shared adventures with more than one pony, dans sa vie????


    *sigh of happies for skippymom*