President Roosevelt and Fala the Scottish Terrier

Fala was a Scottish Terrier who became President Franklin D Roosevelt's near
constant companion during his time in office.

The dog even slept near his master, on a chair near the foot of his bed.

There have been many Presidential pets, but Fala became very well-known amongst
the American public.

Unlike other First Dogs, which have often just been brought out for the occasional photo shoot when it suited the President, Fala followed Mr. Roosevelt around everywhere and quickly became popular amongst the public. The dog was given to Roosevelt for Christmas in 1940 and almost immediately moved into the White House. He was a well-trained dog who was originally called "Big Boy." Perhaps this didn't seem like an impressive enough name for a Presidential pet, so Roosevelt renamed his dog "Murray the Outlaw of Falahill."

As this name didn't exactly roll off the tongue, the dog eventually became known as just "Fala." Fala featured regularly in pictures with the President, but his role wasn't just limited to looking good on camera. There were several occasions where Fala inadvertently became caught up in politics. In 1944, for example, the Republicans claimed that when the president left Fala behind on the Aleutian Islands, Roosevelt had sent a Navy ship specifically to retrieve the dog at a cost of millions of dollars.

Roosevelt immediately denied this, and came out with his now famous line "I don't resent attacks. My family doesn't resent attacks. But Fala does resent attacks." There were many occasions where Fala was present during important events. He travelled with Roosevelt on his private plane, train and ship, and even accompanied the President to conferences and meetings in Mexico and Quebec.

Fala became so popular that he received many thousands of letters during his time at the White House, and even had a series of cartoons made about him! Scottish terriers, which are also known as "Scotties," are determined and fearless dogs. These characteristics, combined with a rugged appearance, make Scotties the perfect choice for a Presidential pet. They generally aren't aggressive, but can be strong willed and relatively difficult to train.

Like other stubborn breeds, Scottish Terriers tend to attach themselves to one or two people and become incredibly loyal to them, which is what happened with Roosevelt and Fala. President Roosevelt is said to have loved being around or on water, and Fala shared this passion.

The dog often accompanied the President on fishing trips and would go swimming whenever possible. There's no doubt that Fala was genuinely much loved by the President and not just for show. When Roosevelt died in 1945, the care of Fala fell to his wife Eleanor Roosevelt.

She often wrote about the dog, and stated several times that he never got over the death of his master. According to Mrs. Roosevelt, Fala used to lie where he could see both entrances to their home for hours, hoping to see Mr. Roosevelt return. When Fala died in 1952 he was buried next to both Franklin and Eleanor at the Roosevelt's New York estate.