[Millie] was mated in January to "Tug" Farish, owned by Will Farish, a [Mildred Kerr Bush] family friend. The White House has since been flooded with requests for the puppies, already promised to the Bush grandchildren. Mrs. Bush's office has turned into ad hoc Puppy Central while her staff fields thousands of media inquiries about the dog. What once was Nancy Reagan's beauty salon was converted into a maternity ward, complete with the presidential seal on Millie's box. There are even reports of a puppy shower, where the mother-to-be received six rubber elephants that squeak.
The last White House puppies-nine of them, in 1975-came from Liberty, a golden retriever given to President Ford by his daughter [Susan, Betty]. But the most famous White House puppies have to be the "pupniks" that were born in the Kennedy administration. In an early example of glasnost, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev presented Jacqueline Kennedy with Pushinka ("Fluff" in Russian), the daughter of Russian space dog Strelka, in 1961. The little white puppy was an instant hit, especially with the Kennedys' Welsh terrier Charlie. Two years later, the canine sweethearts produced four puppies, much to the delight of 5-year-old Caroline. This brought the Kennedy menagerie to nine dogs-including Clipper, a German shepherd; Wolf, a gray Irish wolfhound; and Shannon, a cocker spaniel-plus assorted ducks, hamsters (which caused a minor emergency when they escaped into air ducts and appeared in the president's bathroom) and Caroline's pony, Macaroni.
It was Franklin Roosevelt's Fala, a Scottie, who epitomized the title of first dog. Called the "most photographed dog in the world," Fala was [Theodore Roosevelt]'s constant companion, traveling all over the globe with the president. This "tail-wagging busybody" is said to have won FDR a million votes due to the famous "Fala" speech in the 1944 campaign. Responding to Republican attacks, including reports he sent a destroyer to the Aleutians to retrieve the dog, Roosevelt said, "I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself ... but I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog." Fala further enhanced Roosevelt's popularity when he fathered two pups, Meggy and Peggy.
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