Calvin Coolidge and his Collies

Calvin Coolidge, who occupied the White House between 1923 and 1929, was one
of the quietest, most softly spoken Presidents in American history.

He loved animals all his life, mainly due to his upbringing in the countryside, and had
a strong attachment to his many dogs.

Some people even joked that he liked his dog's company more than any human!

Aside from dogs, the President and his wife Grace were known to have a wide variety of different pets, including birds and cats. The President's most famous dog was called Rob Roy. Rob was a white Collie that the President adored, even though the dog was called a "wild one" by the White House kennel master!

Having spent most of his life as a sheep dog, the confines of the White House were initially difficult for Rob Roy to adjust to. The dog is said to have had a deep mistrust of the narrow corridors and especially the elevators, although he did eventually get used to them. Rob Roy was included in the portrait of Grace Coolidge that still hangs in the White House today.

Grace Coolidge owned a second collie called Prudence Prim, and Grace and Prudence became closely bonded during the President's time in the White House. It was often said that the First Lady and Prudence Prim were inseparable. Grace even had calling cards created for the dog, which she left with her own. When the dog died, both Grace and Rob Roy found her death difficult to cope with. Aside from their two white collies, the Coolidge family had many other dogs for varying lengths of time.

These included a terrier called Paul Pry (originally known as Laddie Buck) and Calamity Jane the Shetland Sheepdog. The family was also fond of a Bulldog known as Boston Beans. The kennel master at the White House certainly earned his pay while Coolidge was President!

While the President was given some unusual pets including a wallaby and an antelope, he chose a breed of dog that he loved. The Collie is an appropriate breed to live in the White House - their elegant and graceful appearance is perfect for a Presidential pet.

Collies are very active dogs and require a lot of exercise. This would have suited Coolidge, as he enjoyed spending time outdoors and on fishing trips. In his autobiography, Coolidge frequently mentioned his dogs - especially Rob Roy who was his favorite - and recounted many fishing trips where he would be accompanied by one of his pets.

Collies are also bold and courageous dogs, which is essential for a Presidential pet that's likely to spend a lot of time with crowds of unfamiliar people.

Out of all the past Presidents, Calvin Coolidge may well be the one who loved dogs the most. The family owned many different types of pet, but both the president and Grace had a special adoration for dogs. Grace Coolidge even once wrote that she couldn't understand how anyone could live without a dog, and Mr. Coolidge felt the same way.