Rutherford B. Hayes and his Greyhound Grim

Rutherford B. Hayes was a Republican President who led the United States between
the years of 1877 and 1881.

Despite a somewhat controversial election, where Hayes initially lost but was
declared winner after an investigation, he went on to become a popular President.

Mr. Hayes and his family owned many dogs during his time in office.

President Hayes and his First Lady, Lucy, entered the White House with a number of pets. Lucy was especially fond of animals, and spent a lot of time caring for them. Some of the Hayes family dogs included a mutt named Jet, Deke the English Mastiff and Dot the Cocker Spaniel. The family also owned a Newfoundland, several shepherd dogs and two hunting dogs, although unfortunately their names don't appear to have been recorded.

Out of all the family's pets, Hayes and his children loved their dog Grim the best. Grim was a Greyhound that was gifted to the family during their time in the White House. The President recorded in his diary that the family had fallen in love with the dog from the minute he arrived. Lucy was said to be especially fond of the dog, and she developed a close bond with Grim. Unfortunately, Grim suffered a tragic death after moving into the Hayes family home. One day, while out running, he stepped onto a train track and was too scared to move out of the way of the oncoming train.

Today, people often only associate Greyhounds with racing, and often overlook their many delightful qualities that make them a wonderful companion. Greyhounds, like Grim, are highly intelligent and very gentle. They aren't aggressive and become very attached to their owners. A misconception about Greyhounds is that they need a lot of exercise. This is an understandable mistake, but Greyhounds were bred for short sprints so don't need extended periods of exercise. In fact, Greyhounds are estimated to sleep an average of 18 hours every day!

One of the most important characteristics for Mr. Hayes would have been a dog that was tolerant with children. He already owned a collection of hunting and working dogs, so Grim would have been the family pet. Greyhounds are generally very good with children, as long as the youngsters are taught how to behave around a dog. This breed is gentle and quiet and can be shy, and likes to have a safe place to escape from over-enthusiastic children. In the large grounds of the White House, this was unlikely to be a problem for Grim as he would have plenty of space to hide.

The Hayes family didn't just own dogs, but also a number of other pets including cats, a mockingbird and canaries. One of their cats, a Siamese called Siam, was a gift from a US official living in Thailand and was the first of its kind to be brought to the United States. Unfortunately, there appear to be no remaining pictures of the Hayes dogs. Photography was still in its infancy in 1877, so it's possible that no photos of the pets were actually taken.