Dogs and Politics—
Not Like Oil and Water!

These 22 quotes are about dogs and politics. Some are anecdotes about heads of states and their dogs; many are about how dogs have helped the powerful and influential. Others are mild satire.

The country at large takes a natural interest in the President's dogs and judges him by the taste and discrimination he show in his selection.... Any man who does not like dogs and want them about does not deserve to be in the White House.

AKC Gazette, 1924

I was there in Jack Kennedy's office that day. Everything was in an uproar. I was then feet from Kennedy's desk as Pierre Salinger ran around the office taking messages and issuing orders while the President sat looking awfully worried. There was talk about the Russian fleet coming in and our fleet blocking them off. It looked like war. Out of the blue, Kennedy suddenly called for Charlie to be brought to his office.

Traphes Bryant, White House kennel keeper, describing events in the Oval Office during the Cuban missile crisis. After petting Charlie, his Welsh terrier, the president relaxed, returned Charlie to the kennel keeper, and said, "I suppose that it's time to make some decisions."

Every year the State will be the dog that chases its own tail... engaging in a futile attempt to close a perpetual budget gap.

Richard J. Codey

I would rather be beat on and be a man than to be elected and be a little puppy dog.

Davy Crockett

Dogs are great assets to candidates, and the feeling seems to be engendered that if a dog loves the candidate, he can't be all that bad.

Dick Gregory

Politics are not my concern.... They impressed me as a dog's life without a dog's decencies.

Rudyard Kipling

Clinton's pet Labrador, Buddy, is getting neutered. The dog will never have sex again. Overnight, they've turned Buddy from a Democrat into a Republican.

Jay Leno

A politician's record is like a tin kettle to a dog's tale—it's a noisy appendage, wich makes the dog conspicuous and invites everybody to shy a brick at him.

David Ross Locke ("tail" and "which" were spelled differently in Locke's day)

If the old dog hadn't got distracted by the fire plug, he would have caught the rabbit.

Hayes McClerkin, referring to Ross Perot during the 1992 presidential election campaign

During the Prince's visit, King Timahoe will be referred to only as Timahoe, since it would be inappropriate for the Prince to be outranked by a dog.

Richard M. Nixon (writing to White House staff on how to address the president's Irish Setter, during a visit by Prince Charles)

A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two daughters would like to have a dog. And believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore, saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel in a crate that he sent all the way from Texas.... And our little girl, Tricia, the six-year-old, named it Checkers. And you know the kids love the dog and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they [the Press] have to say about it, we are going to keep it.

Richard M. Nixon, speaking on TV about the dog given to him after he was accused of accepting improper gifts.

This speech later became known as the Checkers speech, and saved Nixon's political career. It also made Checkers one of the most famous dogs in political history.

The body of Checkers was exhumed three years after Nixon died, and moved to the Nixon Library grounds, near the graves of the late president and his wife.

I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons.

Will Rogers

These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, on my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don't resent attacks... but Fala does resent them.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, about allegations that his Scottie had been left behind on an Alaskan island, and a destroyer was dispatched to bring him home, at great expense.

My advice to any diplomat who wants to have good press is to have two or three kids and a dog.

Carl Rowan

Millie, the young Springer, is sitting beside me, head in my lap as I type, practicing the "spaniel gaze." At sixteen months she's already got it down. The spaniel heart is warm. The soft spaniel eye brims with love. If ever the world's diplomats and arms negotiators learn the spaniel gaze there will be peace on earth.

Larry Shook

My dog can bark like a Congressman, fetch like an aide, beg like a press secretary, and play dead like a receptionist when the phone rings.

Gerold Solomon, US Congressman

America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair.

Arnold Toynbee

Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.

Harry S. Truman

You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.

Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie!"... till you can find a rock.


The unpleasant sound Bush is emitting as he traipses from one conservative gathering to another is a thin, tinny "arf"—the sound of a lap dog.

George Will

I may have grown cynical from long service, but this is a tendency I do not like, and I sometimes think I'd rather be a dog and bay at the moon than stay in the Senate another six years and listen to it.

John Sharp Williams

Recent Articles

  1. Our Beautiful Dog-ter Priya

    Priya Benedict - loved by all
    Here I sit some 10.5 years after writing a memorial for another dog-ter, Janey Goodgirl. Another rescue, Priya came to New York state via Tennessee. She

    Read More

  2. Legend... My Hero

    My hero My  love…. Legend
    It's time to finally write this. I haven't been able to really accept that he's gone, and it's been four years. I feel so guilty because I didn't do his

    Read More

  3. R.I.P. My Sweet Hunter, My Bobo Bear — 17 Years Old, An Amazing Life!

    I rescued you when you were a senior, 12 years old. Over the last 5 years you've enriched my life with your unconditional love, your strength, your determination

    Read More