No matter whom you voted for or what your political affiliation is, there is one great common denominator that brings us humans together. And what would that be? Our pets.
I believe that if we put Queen Elizabeth, Kid Rock, and Mitch McConnell in a room together, they would have one thing in common…their furry friends. There is no better ice-breaker with a stranger or someone with whom we have nothing in common than to strike up a conversation about pets. It always works.
And now that the country is divided more than ever, perhaps companion animals will be at least one thing our citizenry will have in common. President Trump was the first president in more than a century to not have a dog. The White House has been pet-free, but soon that will all change.
The NPR website recently reported that President and First Lady Biden will be moving into the presidential home with two German Shepherds, the aging “Champ” and the young “Major”. Major’s story is of particular interest to those of us who love shelter animals.
This handsome guy will be the first dog to go from an animal shelter to the White House. That shelter, the Delaware Humane Association, planned an “indoguration” for Major in a virtual ceremony that just might have rivaled his human’s inauguration a few days ago.
In March, 2018, Major came to the Delaware shelter as one of six puppies in a litter that was in a medical crisis. According to the shelter director, the pups had ingested something poisonous and were lethargic, vomiting, and hospitalized for several days.
However, with the help of fluids, medications, and loving care, the pups bounced back and were ready to be placed in foster homes. Ashley Biden, daughter of the President and his wife, Jill, notified her father that the shelter was looking for foster homes. She thought that one of the puppies might be good company for their aging German Shepherd, Champ.
So, Joe Biden showed up. “He just dropped in on Easter Sunday of all days,” said the shelter director, “and wanted to meet the puppies.” Major won over the Bidens, and in November, 2018, he was officially adopted into his forever home.
Major and Champ will be living the good life with the first family, but they will need to wait a while yet before all is ready. According to CBS News, White House staff are in the process of making the residence dog-friendly for the four-legged kids, but it won’t be long before they will take up residence in their new digs.
Cat lovers versus dog lovers...another source of contention in our country. And in an effort to bridge the gap in these fractured times, the Bidens will also be bringing a cat into their new residence.
According to CBS Sunday Morning, Mrs. Biden told a reporter that she would like to get a cat. “I love having animals around the house.” The New York Times reports that the Biden feline will be the first to be “first feline” since George W. Bush was president. During his term, the Bush family had a cat named “India”. Supposedly the very first cat to live in the White House was Abraham Lincoln’s “Tabby” back in the 1860s.
As pet lovers, it will be fun to follow the antics and adventures of these first pets. Life in the White House is undoubtedly stressful, and being the leader of the free world can be daunting. Thankfully, President Biden and the first lady will have the best possible therapists…their furry friends.