Dogs of Our Founding Fathers and Mothers

Posted by Amy Hempe on

It's soon going to be time to celebrate the writing of the document that turned the world upside down: the Declaration of Independence. As July 4th approaches, let's take a look at what we here at Really Good Pets are most interested in: what kind of dogs did these Founding Fathers & Mothers have?

George and Martha Washington

George Washington loved his dogs. While his hunting dogs living in a kennel at Mount Vernon, Washington was known to visit them every day. Fox hunting was one of his favorite pastimes, and he desired a hound that was faster than the hunters he had.

Thanks to the Marquis de Lafayette, Washington got his wish. Lafayette sent Washington seven French hounds that Washington eventually bred with his own English Foxhounds. This breed proved successful and helped lead to the current breed of the American Foxhound.

Martha Washington also proved to be an avid dog lover. Her dog, Madame Moose was a "coach dog" which, also known as a "carriage dog" is a dog who trots alongside the carriage to protect the people inside. She loved Madame Moose enough to request a male to breed with her so that she could have more coach puppers.

 John and Abigail Adams

Not much is known about the Adams' dogs other than each of them had a mixed breed. John's dog was called "Satan," which clues us into the pup's temperament. Perhaps he chewed John's favorite boots, or maybe he piddled on some of his letters to friend/rival Thomas Jefferson. 

Abigail, on the other hand, showed off her classical education well by called her dog "Juno," and once wrote in a letter, "If you love me, you must love my dog."

Benjamin Franklin

Perhaps the coolest of the Founding Fathers, Ben Franklin was surprisingly dogless for nearly all of his life. However, his son had a Newfoundland who despite his typical Newfie slobber, created a fan in the elder Franklin. Franklin became a doting dog granddad and walked him regularly and spoiled him with treats. In fact, as this dog was with him in France during his time as the US Ambassador, a friend told him, "Nothing shall tempt me to forget your Newfoundland dog."

And Peggy

The Hamilton's had a a few dogs, mostly bird-dogs, and one who was interestingly named "Old Peggy." Fans of the musical "Hamilton" surely know that one of the Schuyler sisters is Peggy, sister of Alexander's wife Eliza. This makes one wonder what A.Ham and Eliza really thought of the young Peggy...

Deborah Sampson

Little is known about Deborah Sampson. What we do know is this: she was a profoundly brave woman who disguised herself as a man in order to fight in the American Revolutionary War. She demonstrated incredible bravery for two years until she fell ill when her doctor discovered that she was female. Her dog ownership is unknown (she did go onto have four children, however), but she has been honored by who named one of their top Therapy Dogs Sammie, after Sampson. Sammie works with children who struggle to read by comforting them as they read aloud. Sammie has been described as "smart, feisty, and affectionate."

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