Warren G. Harding’s dog sat in on Cabinet meetings. 

  • Harding’s dog, Laddie Boy
Harding's dog, Laddie Boy
Credit: Glasshouse Images/ Alamy Stock Photo

It isn’t uncommon to see pets in Zoom meetings these days, as some cats and dogs can’t help being the center of attention while their humans attempt to check in with their co-workers. Even so, the fact that Warren G. Harding’s dog sat in on Cabinet meetings sounds especially distracting (albeit in an adorable way) for such important positions as, say, the secretary of state. Laddie Boy, who’s been called the White House’s first celebrity dog, was an Airedale terrier whom the 29th president of the United States deeply adored. In addition to fetching the newspaper and joining the First Lady at fundraisers, he had his own seat at Cabinet meetings and was written about in the press on a near-daily basis.

Sometimes, Laddie Boy even “wrote” back. “So many people express a wish to see me, and I shake hands with so many callers at the Executive Mansion,” read one such letter, “that I fear there are some people who will suspect me of political inclinations. From what I see of politics, I am sure I have no such aspirations.” The presidential pup remained popular even as Harding did not (he’s routinely ranked among the worst heads of state in American history). Following Harding’s untimely death in 1923, a poem by Edna Bell Seward titled “Laddie Boy, He’s Gone” was set to music by composer George M. Seward in order to console the faithful dog.

You may also like

Love it?

Arts & Culture