Sunday, May 2, 2010

Millie Bush, a First Dog from Texas

So here I am, all excited about my upcoming Big Texas Trip, and I thought I would write about a First Dog that came from Texas.  And the name of this dog was Mildred Kerr Bush.  She was called "Millie" for short, which is much cuter than "Mildred," at least in my opinion.  Anyway, she was named for a friend of the Bush family, and that's why she had such a long name instead of just "Rover" or something short like most dogs have.

Millie belonged to the first President Bush, whose name was George H.W. Bush.  He was born in 1924 in Massachusetts.  Then when Pearl Harbor got attacked in 1941, he joined the Navy, and he was only 19, so he ended up being the youngest Navy aviator at that time.  After the war, Mr. Bush went to Yale and got a degree.  Then he moved his family to Texas and made millions of dollars in the oil business before he was even 40 years old.

Mr. Bush was elected president in 1989, but before that, he was the vice-president.  Millie, who was an English Springer Spaniel, was born in 1985, so first she was the Second Dog, and then later she got promoted to First Dog.

President Bush got married to Barbara Pierce in 1945.  Mrs. Bush was born in New York, and then she went to school in South Carolina.  The Bushes had six children, one of whom grew up to be the second President Bush.  And another one turned out to be the governor of Florida.  Anyway, while she was the First Lady, Mrs. Bush's favorite cause was literacy, which means she wanted everybody to be able to read and write, so they could have their own blog, if they wanted to.

But getting back to Millie, she had a good time living in the White House, and later on she wrote a book about her experiences.  This book was called Millie's Book, which I think was an excellent name for it.  She dictated this book to her mom, Barbara Bush, who wrote it all down for her.  I think if Millie lived in the White House now, she would have her own blog, just like Bo Obama does.

In her book, Millie said she liked to go hunting on the White House grounds.  She was a good hunter, too, because she killed four squirrels, three rats, and a pigeon.  And the other famous thing that Millie did was she had a litter of puppies.  There were six of them -- five girls and one boy.  One of these puppies, a girl named Spot Fletcher, later became a First Dog when her dad, George W. Bush, got elected president.

Millie's book was a bestseller because everybody wanted to know about the exciting life of a dog in the White House.  But Millie only got to be First Dog for four years because after that, her dad did not get elected again.  During the campaign, President Bush said, "My dog Millie knows more about foreign affairs than these two bozos," and he was talking about Bill Clinton and Al Gore, who were running against him.  But I guess a lot of people thought Mr. Clinton was not a bozo because they elected him anyway.  I hope Millie did not take this personally, because I'm sure she was a very smart dog.

And now I will tell you the sad part of this story, which is that when Millie was 12 years old, in 1997, she died of pneumonia.  But a dog park in Houston -- my home town! -- was named after her, so how cool is that?


  1. Very touching, I must say. Yet I would like to Know about spot her puppy.

  2. Dear Anonymous,
    I would like to know about Spot, too, but I couldn't find that information. Maybe if you can find it, you can let me know.
    Sincerely, Piper