|A nice picture of the Garfield family, |
but where is the dog?
|President Garfield getting shot in the back|
Anyway, President Garfield was a very smart man with a good sense of humor, and he didn't want the same things that the Congress wanted, so they called him a Mugwump. Also, he vetoed a whole bunch of bills, and he even named his dog Veto. Sadly, I can't find any pictures of Veto, so we will just have to imagine what he or she looked like.
At least we know that President Garfield was an excellent person because he had a dog, and he might have made a great president who was remembered in history, except for the little problem of his getting shot and dying. Back in those days, the presidents didn't have any Secret Service people to guard them and keep them safe, even after President Lincoln got shot. So in my opinion, President Garfield should have taken his dog Veto with him everywhere to keep him safe and bite any assassins in the butt.
A journalist named Alexander McClure wrote, "No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted as Chester Alan Arthur, and no one ever retired . . . more generally respected, alike by political friend and foe." The unfortunate thing about President Arthur is that we don't know whether he ever owned any dogs or not. He had a kidney disease, and he didn't feel like trying very hard to get nominated to run for another term. So after serving his one term, he retired. He only lived about three more years after that, and the day before he died, he had all his personal papers burned.
The next president after President Arthur was Grover Cleveland. It turns out that his first name was Stephen, but I guess he never went by that name, only by Grover. Mr. Cleveland was the only Democrat to be elected president during the period from 1860 to 1912. All the others were Republicans. This does not seem very fair, but that's the way it happened.
|The wedding of Grover Cleveland|
and Frances Folsom
President Cleveland was first elected in 1884. He was a bachelor, so his sister moved to the White House and became his hostess for two years. Then the president got married, in a great big, fancy wedding, to a woman named Frances Folsom. Miss Folsom was only 21 years old at that time, and President Cleveland was 49. This meant that he was 27 years older than she was, but the American people didn't mind this. They liked their new First Lady, who was beautiful and who had a warm and friendly personality.
Okay, but here's the important thing. Mrs. Cleveland really loved all kinds of animals. And as soon as this news got out, a man from Milwaukee sent her a little 9-month-old poodle. Except that it might have been a Pekingese. It was described as the smallest "pug dog" in the U.S., since it only weighed a pound and a half. So who knows what it was, exactly? I tried to find a picture of this little dog, but all I could find was pictures of Mrs. Cleveland wearing very fashionable dresses, which seems to be something she liked to do. I think she could have just held her little dog while she was posing for photos in her fancy dresses, but maybe she didn't want to get dog hair on her clothes.
When he ran for a second term, President Cleveland lost to Benjamin Harrison. I already told you all about President Harrison's pets. Then after Mr. Harrison had been the president for four years, Mr. Cleveland ran again, and he won! So he is the only president ever to have two terms that weren't one right after the other. And he was the only president to be counted twice, because he was both the 22nd and the 24th president of the U.S.
|The president is on the right, and the dog|
is on the left.
President McKinley served one term, and then he got elected a second time in 1900. The next year, he went to the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, and I'm sorry to say that a crazy man shot him there. But the morning of the day when President McKinley got shot, he went to see Niagara Falls, and while he and some other people were walking around, a black dog kept following them. Nobody knew where the dog came from or whose dog it was.
|The assassination of President McKinley|
Later on, when people remembered the black dog at Niagara Falls, they thought that the dog must have been a bad omen. At first it seemed like President McKinley was going to get well, but after a few days, his wounds got infected, and he died. This was another sad case of a president not being guarded from bad guys, even by a dog, and of doctors not understanding enough about germs and icky things like that.
So here are the lessons we can learn from these four presidents:
1. Every president should have a dog.
2. Every president needs bodyguards.
3. Never stick your dirty fingers into a wound, even if you are a doctor.