Having won the presidency by a landslide, the isolationist, pro-business
Warren G. Harding brought to the White House in March 1921a rambunctious young Airedale named Laddie Boy, whose first official act was to tree the Wilsons'
cat. Tales of Laddie Boy, along with his occasional press interviews and
letters to other dogs and people, brought some life and humanity to an
administration otherwise noteworthy for its corruption, its support of
immigration restrictions, its tax cuts for the rich, its imposition of high
protective tariffs, and its veto of a bill providing veterans' benefits. . .
Laddie Boy held a chair at cabinet meetings, as did Florence Kling Harding,
the president's wife. . .
Even Laddie's siblings and offspring joined the ranks of celebrity.
In fact, in late July 1921, Albert R. Lowrie, answering charges in court that
his Airedale, Dickie Boy, had slaughtered a neighbor's chickens, asked the judge
whether he honestly believed a dog who was full brother to the president's own
Laddie Boy would stoop so low as to kill some scrawny chickens. The jdge
agreed that he failed to see how that could happen, and the case was dismissed
for lack of evidence. A year later in New York, several boys rescued
Laddie's five-month-old son, Happy, from an enraged goat. The puppy had
wandered away from his home on Eighth Avenue two weeks earlier to join the ranks
of New York's street dogs.
From Mark Derr, A Dog's History of America: How Our Best Friend Explored, Conquered, and Settled a Continent (New York: North Point Press, 2004), pp.267-8.
- Washington, United States
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