Mr. Coolidge soon got involved in politics, and he served in the Massachusetts legislature. After that, he was elected Lieutenant Governor and then Governor. In 1920 he ran for Vice-President on the Republican ticket with Warren G. Harding. They got elected, and then when President Harding died, Vice-President Coolidge became President Coolidge.
|The president with Rob Roy and Tiny Tim|
One really good thing that President Coolidge said was "Any man who does not like dogs and want them about, does not deserve to be in the White House." The Coolidges all believed in this because it is obviously true, and they had a whole bunch of dogs, plus lots of other pets, while President Coolidge was in office.
Their first First Dog was Peter Pan, who was a wire-haired fox terrier. But Peter Pan was too nervous to get used to all the activity of the White House, so he had to go live someplace quieter. After that came an airedale named Paul Pry, who was a half-brother of President Harding's dog, Laddie Boy. Paul got the name "Pry" because he was always sticking his nose into stuff where it didn't belong. And worse than that, he was very protective of Mrs. Coolidge, so he would not let her maid come into her room to pick up things and clean. So Paul Pry had to go live somewhere else, too.
|The Coolidges with Blackberry|
The Coolidges also had a black chow-chow named Blackberry, a brown-and-white collie named Ruby Rough, a black German shepherd named King Kole, a yellow collie named Bessie, an English setter bird dog named Palo Alto, and a bulldog named Boston Beans.
But the two most famous Coolidge dogs were white collies named Rob Roy and Prudence Prim. These two dogs got baths with blueing to make their coats look whiter. Mrs. Coolidge especially loved Prudence Prim, who was so well-behaved that she could go to White House garden parties. The First Lady made a little straw bonnet with ferns and green ribbons on it for Prudence to wear. Prudence seemed to enjoy wearing bonnets, and she also wore one when she went to the Easter Egg Roll each year. Sadly, Prudence Prim died while the Coolidge family was vacationing in the Black Hills one summer. Mrs. Coolidge missed Prudence very much, and so did Rob Roy.
In September of 1928, Rob Roy started having stomach problems. The Coolidges sent him to Walter Reed Army Hospital for surgery, but the surgery did not work, and he died. This made everyone very, very sad, especially the president.
Anyway, besides dogs, the Coolidge family also had two cats named Tiger and Blacky. President Coolidge liked to walk through the White House with Tiger draped around his neck.
The Coolidges were also were given two lion cubs which they named Tax Reduction and Budget Bureau, a pygmy hippo, a wallaby, a duikir, a wombat, 13 Pekin ducks, an antelope, a bobcat, and a donkey. There were 3 canaries named Nip, Tuck, and Snowflake; a thrush named Old Bill; a goose named Enoch, and a mare named Kit.
|Calvin Jr., Calvin Sr., Grace, and John Coolidge,|
probably with Rob Roy. This photo was taken
on the same day that Calvin Jr. got a blister while
playing tennis and later died from the infection.
A very tragic thing happened to the First Family in 1924. Their younger son, Calvin, got a blister on his heel while playing tennis with his brother on June 30. The blister got infected, and then Calvin got blood poisoning. There were no antibiotics in those days, so he died only a week later, on July 7. He was 16 years old.
President Coolidge got elected in 1924, but he refused to run again in 1928, mainly because he was still very sad and depressed about his son's death. "When he went, the power and glory of the presidency went with him," Mr. Coolidge wrote. "I don't know why such a price was exacted for occupying the White House."
After her husband's death, Mrs. Coolidge did work to help deaf people. During World War II, she was active with the Red Cross, civil defense, and scrap drives. She died on July 8, 1957 at the age of 78, and she is buried next to President Coolidge in Plymouth, Vermont.