(note: curatorial duties have been severely impacted this week by some nasty back problems. I'd much rather have been here posting!)
I've said here before that it's a good thing for heads of state to have pets. Whenever some item is on the news about the President's pets, I always hope there is comfort and happiness in the relationship, though I admit to a certain nagging feeling that it's all a PR stunt. But I realize there is another thing that would be entertaining to see: the occasional, really wacky pet.
You see, Presidents did use to have a few. Benjamin Harrison had a goat called Old Whiskers that took off on a tear once, President in hot yelling pursuit. Calvin Coolidge (him again! He's quite the source of animal stories) had a raccoon named Rebecca that once had a limousine sent for her. Thomas Jefferson has a couple of bears. (Not that I recommend that. Leave bears to their ursine pursuits.)
Where did I learn all this? Stumbled upon it at Biography.com's page on Presidential Pets, where you may learn more about these and other critters, and see some photos that will make you smile. I like the snap of Gerald Ford with his dog Liberty. So go and find out who Jack is, and which great President had that badger? And ask yourself why lately they're all dogs, cats and horses. Badgers not so photogenic, I guess.