A President’s Best Friend
An editorial from Scripps-Howard News Service
Beside a statue of President Franklin Roosevelt at his newly dedicated memorial In Washington is a bronze image of FDR’s Scottish terrier Fala. This is fitting. Man and dog were virtually inseparable in life, and in public memory they should remain so.
Bred to pull foxes and other uncooperative critters from their underground lairs, the Scottish terrier has been called “a big dog in a small package.” Maybe its inspirational pluck explains why several crisis-tested presidents have owned one or more. Other Scottie-struck chief executives include Teddy Roosevelt (Jessie), Dwight Eisenhower (Telek and Caacie) and Ronald Reagan (Scotch and Soda). Currently, Gov. Christine Whitman, R-N.J., owns three. Political oddsmakers, take note
Further fanciers included Jackie Kennedy, Charles Lindbergh and author E.B. White, who, failing to find a sitter, took his dog to church on his wedding day.
Yet Fala remains the most famous Scottie, and justly. FDR conducted calming fireside chats, but with the weight of Depression and war on his shoulders, there must have been plenty of lonely fireside ruminations, too. Perhaps the destruction of Hitler and the rescue of the economy went more smoothly because in the desperate hours their architect had a shaggy head to rub. Did Fala realize his special place? Hard to say. For any Scotties makes any owner feel — presidential. — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 6, 1997
Photo: Wikimedia Commons