The last thing the White House needs is another dog, damn it. That's been the animal of choice for the last several presidents. And so, as Barack Obama harbors Portuguese water dogs, we remember a time when the leader of the free world kept a pet that refused to be tamed--and was often perfectly capable of devouring a human.
7Josiah the Badger
For most Americans, when the president comes to town they dress up in their best red, white and blue, wave a miniature stars and stripes and hope the most powerful leader in the western world will give 'em a smile.
But in 1903, one little girl--perhaps the most awesome little girl ever born--decided to throw a badger.
That's not a metaphor. She threw an actual badger at President Theodore Roosevelt. On one hand, you wonder how she survived the encounter--this was Teddy Roosevelt, after all. Then again, you realize that in Roosevelt's world, a thrown badger was probably a common form of greeting.
Still, badgers are fierce little bastards and one wonders how the little girl was able to even get a hold of one, let alone hurl it at a passing Theodore Roosevelt as his train pulled out of some backwater train station in Kansas. She even managed to yell the critter's name. And so, little Josiah the badger passed from Kansas flatland to White House opulence.
The first family bottle-fed Josiah until he cut his teeth, at which point the badger would zip along White House floors, nipping and biting at the heels of passers-by. It should be noted that getting your heels bitten by a wild badger was the least-violent greeting one could hope for when passing through the Roosevelt White House .
6Old Whiskers the Goat
If there was ever a creature that hated spending time at the White House more than George W. Bush, it was Old Whiskers.
You might suspect that Old Whiskers was a nickname for the 23rd president, a stodgy ol' coot with more than a passing resemblance to Obi Wan Kenobi...
... but it was in fact the name of the goat he shared an address with, which was given to Ben's grandchildren by the ol' coot himself.
If only Harrison had been as wise as Obi Wan (or any Jedi for that matter, 'cause how cool would it be to have a Jedi as the leader of the free world), he would've thought twice about adding the animal to the stable of pets the first family had already amassed. Upon moving in at 1600 Pennsylvania, Old Whiskers got busy thinking of a way to make the president look like a dumbass.
Why was the goat so bitter? Well, the grandkids used Old Whiskers as a work horse, tying a harness and miniature stagecoach to the goat who would then pull the kids around the lawn of the White House.
"Wait for it. Waaiitt for it..."
Finally, Old Whiskers decided he'd towed the bratty grandkids for the last fucking time. He took his shot and bolted out the White House gates (Apparently at that time, the White House gates were just sort of left open, just in case one of the neighbors wanted to wander on in and borrow something from the Lincoln bedroom).
What ensued was a wild goat chase down Pennsylvania Avenue, involving the grandchildren and the president himself, clutching his top hat and holding his cane as his constituents pointed and laughed. We have to assume that the whole affair took place in fast-motion while somebody played "Yakety Sax" in the background.
The animal was finally caught and returned to the White House lawn, and everyone shook their head, smiled and thought about what an amusing story it would make for future comedy websites.