Skip to comments.Lafayette's Dogs
Posted on 02/17/2009 8:20:08 AM PST by BGHater
President's Day seems to be a good moment to talk about presidential dogs this year, as the topic is of some importance to the media mindset of late. President Obama's interest in obtaining a new White House dog for his children has created a widespread positive copycat effect, a meme of interest. Did you know Lafayette would turn up in this history too?
The first dogs were a direct result of gifts from the individual who seems to be there in much of the "name game" found in lexilinking mentioned as recently as yesterday here, the Marquis de Lafayette.
The Revolutionary War was fought from 1775 to 1783, and George Washington served as the first President of the United States of America, from 1789 to 1797. Washington got a shipment of foxhounds from England in 1770 and then in 1785, Washington received from Lafayette a shipment of French foxhounds.
Washington had an intense interest in breeding a fierce breed of American dog, and thus, Marquis de Lafayette, Washingtons French friend and ally during the Revolutionary War, sent him seven massive hounds. The French hounds were reportedly so fierce Washington assigned a servant to monitor their meals because they tore each other apart fighting over their food.
Washington's groups of dogs were bred to produce the American foxhound breed. He had over thirty dogs. One was named Vulcan.
One of Washingtons hounds, Vulcan, black and so big a young boy could ride him like a pony, had powerful jaws and an insatiable appetite. It seems he had a taste for Virginia hams. A story is told of Vulcan sneaking into the Washingtons Mount Vernon kitchen, snatching a succulent ham, and running straight to the kennels with it locked in his great jaws. Mistress Martha was miffed, but the event delighted Master George.
It is commonly held belief that the Marquis de Lafayette also gifted George Washington with a French basset hound, bringing the basset for the first time to America, but no historical evidence is available to support that claim.Source
Interesting! However, re the Obama’s “desire” to have a dog for the White House, I wouldn’t want to be that dog. My observations of this family tell me that they are extremely self-centered people and any interest in a dog would be fleeting at best. The only salvation a dog might find in the environment of this White House would be a domestic servant who loves dogs and will see that the animal is cared for. I wouldn’t want to be around these people for more than a few fleeting moments and, knowing dogs as I do, he/she will want to find salvation elsewhere.
To the best of my recollection from reading about Thomas Jefferson, I really question that “...his pet Buzzy caused Jefferson to have several puppies.””
He did have a couple of daughters, though.
Just teasing, BGHater, I enjoyed the history about early dogs.
I’ll bet the Obamas will name the dog Abe, just to keep the Lincoln thing going.
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