The First Dogs are sharing a little bit of White House dog history with us, and it involves another German Shepherd named Major, too!
In a post shared to The Oval Pawffice Instagram account on April 18, we learned about Major Roosevelt also known as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s German Shepherd. While many Presidential historical enthusiasts might know about FDR’s beloved Scottish Terrier Fala (who was apparently as much a public favorite, as he was a favorite of the President’s), who not only slept at the bottom of the President’s bed, but was only allowed to be fed by the man himself, he was not the only pup FDR owned.
In fact, Franklin D Roosevelt was clearly a dog lover, as he owned multiple pups over the years, including another Scottish Terrier named Meggie. However, our story is all about Major.
Before we get into the teaser that our First Dogs shared with the world, we have to give a little background on the other Major who graced the halls of the White House. Major Roosevelt was actually a former police pup before he was given a new home with FDR and his family when he was still governor (the pup was actually a donation to FDR from the New York State Police).
Major Biden is not the first Presidential pup with a nipping scandal to his name
So what exactly did FDR’s German Shepherd do while in the White House? Well, according to the post shared by The Oval Pawffice, we learned that Major Roosevelt was actually said to have chased the British Prime Minister, PM Ramsay MacDonald, up a tree on his very first visit to the White House. In fact, he did not just chase the PM up a tree (the PM climbed the tree to get away from the pup) but he apparently tore the backside of the PM’s pants out and the poor man needed to change before he could leave the White House with his modesty and perhaps even his dignity in tact.
It is also said that Major once “bit” the Arkansas Senator, Hattie Caraway, during a party. Although reports at the time explained that this “wasn’t a bad bite, just a scratch that made a momentary bit of excitement.”
During our own research into the previous Major of the White House, we even learned that he was quite the scoundrel beyond these nipping incidents. According to the Presidential Pet Museum’s website, it seems that this former K-9 officer, “was known to chase White House maids to the point that they had to use their brooms and dust mops to keep him at bay.”
Considering all of the shenanigans that Major Roosevelt got up to during his time at the White House, it seems safe to say that Major Biden is doing just fine. And while we completely understand why he is getting a bit of extra training, we can’t help but turn to the past and see that when it comes to German Shepherd’s named Major in the White House maybe we can be a bit more forgiving to our rescue pup.
We love learning interesting dog history facts, and we are pretty excited to have learned more about a former Presidential pup like Major. As long as Major Biden doesn’t chase anyone up a tree, I think we are all doing fine.
Did you know about FDR’s German Shepherd named Major? Are you fascinated by these bits of dog history? Let us know in the comments below.