Sunday, February 6, 2011

President Reagan's Dogs

Today is President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, which would be a good day for him to celebrate, except for the fact that he already died a few years ago.  But I would just like to say that if anybody is planning to have a nice, big party for President Reagan, and if you need someone to help eat the birthday cake because Mr. Reagan can't be there himself, I am available.  I'm a good little cake eater, and I also do ice cream!

Okay, well, Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois.  But he mostly grew up in Dixon, Illinois, and he went to Eureka College, in Eureka, Illinois, where he got a degree in economics and sociology.  After that, Mr. Reagan went to Iowa, where he became a radio sports announcer.  In 1937, he took a screen test for Warner Brothers, out in California, and he got signed up to do seven years of "B" movies.  He got some pretty good reviews, though, and he was in some movies that people still sometimes watch, such as Knute Rockne, All American and Kings Row.

Meanwhile, Mr. Reagan joined the Army Reserves, and in April, 1942, he got called to active duty.  Except that he was really near-sighted, so he couldn't be sent overseas.  Instead, he ended up making training films for the Army Air Force.  By the end of the war, his units had made about 400 films.

Mr. Reagan was married twice, and the first time he got married to Jane Wyman, who was an actress he met while making the film Brother Rat.  They got married on January 26, 1940, and they had two children, Maureen and Christine.  They also adopted a boy named Michael.  In 1949, they got divorced.  That same year, Mr. Reagan met Nancy Davis, and they got married on March 4, 1952.  They had two children, Patti and Ron.

After a while, Mr. Reagan got out of the movie business and into politics.  He served as the governor of California from 1967 to 1975.  In 1968 and 1976, he ran for president, but he got defeated both times.  Then in 1980, he finally got nominated and he won the election.

When the Reagans moved into the White House, they did not have any dogs with them, which is sad because Mr. and Mrs. Reagan loved dogs and had several of them at their ranch in California.  But then at the start of President Reagan's second term in 1985, he and Mrs. Reagan got a Bouvier des Flandres puppy as a gift because of their work for the March of Dimes.  This puppy was 9 weeks old and was named Lucky.  She was just a cute ball of fluff when she moved into the White House, but then she grew and grew and grew!

The president takes Lucky
and Margaret Thatcher for a walk

Soon Lucky was 2 feet tall and weighed 80 pounds.  Mrs. Reagan said she was "the size of a pony," and she pulled so hard on leash that Mrs. Reagan could not walk her.  Lucky took some obedience classes, but that didn't help too much.

Lucky was especially excited whenever the family all got in the helicopter because she knew they were going to Camp David, where she could run around as much as she wanted to.  But finally the Reagans decided that the White House was not a good place for Lucky to live, and they sent her to their ranch, where she would have plenty of room to run, plus four other dogs to play with.

After that, President Reagan gave Mrs. Reagan a one-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a Christmas present.  This dog's name was Rex, and one of his first duties as First Dog was to help flip the switch to light the National Christmas Tree.

Rex had a doghouse that was fancier than any other First Dog had ever had.  It was designed by a real interior designer, and it had a white clapboard outside, red curtains, and pictures of President and Mrs. Reagan on the walls.

Of course, when the Reagans went back to California in 1989, after President Reagan's second term, they took Rex with them.  In 1994, President Reagan found out he had Alzheimer's disease.  He lived another 10 years and died in 2004, at the age of 93.  Both Lucky and Rex lived out their lives on the ranch and were buried there.


  1. Gaud how I hate dogs.

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