The dog is famously man's best friend—but it is not this president's.
Not only is President Donald Trump the first White House resident in generations to not have a first pooch, but the very word "dog" is the root of so many of the Tweeter in Chief's favorite insults.
"Couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee” the president said of arch-rival Republican Senator Bob Corker. He used the exact same term to describe former New York Governor George Pataki and former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu in 2015.
Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper choked “like dogs” in Senate testimony in May, he told Time. And he said the same of Mitt Romney's campaign.
He said he watched Marco Rubio “sweating like a dog” (point of information: dogs don’t sweat) during his campaign, and called former Obama administration adviser David Axelrod a dog after he criticized him on Fox News.
That’s a lot of ruff-housing—or is it something more?
The Trump family are some of the only White House residents ever to forgo the furry friends, breaking with a long tradition that made presidents seem a little more lovable, and surely brought their families some comfort in the midst of such a stressful job.
Obama’s Sunny and Bo inspired us with their shade-throwing; Bush’s Scottish Terrier, Barney, had his own White House web page and guarded his home “as if he were a Secret Service agent;” and Bill Clinton's Buddy was infamous for being archrivals with the family cat, Socks. Some presidents practically ran a farm from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—JFK had 10 dogs, as well as ponies, rabbits and birds. Most presidents at least had some sort of pet—even raccoons, for President Calvin Coolidge and his wife, Grace.
William McKinley is the last president to not have a dog, though he had other pets.
But Trump’s legacy, other than the occasional dog-related insult, may exclude the beloved canines, after all.
“Donald was not a dog fan,” Ivana Trump wrote about her former husband in her memoir, Raising Trump. When she brought a poodle named Chappy into their home, Trump fought back. But Ivana's love of dogs would not be quashed: “It’s me and Chappy or no one!” she told him. And he eventually acquiesced—but never seemed to grow all that fond of that poodle.
The feeling was mutual: When the president went near Ivana’s closet, “Chappy would bark at him territorially,” she wrote.
But for now, "There are no plans" to add a pet to the household, a White House spokesperson told CNN.
Whatever happened to Patton the Goldendoodle?
Trump was supposed to have a first dog—Patton, the goldendoodle, named after the president’s favorite general. Patton even got a page on the presidential pet museum website.
Lois Pope, an 83-year-old Florida philanthropist whose husband founded the National Enquirer, and who has known Trump for decades, set out on a mission to find the perfect dog for the president. She came across the gentle teddy bear, and presented him to Trump and son Barron at the Mar-a-Lago, where she has been a member for 24 years.
“I went through great trouble to find the perfect dog for Donald Trump,” she told Newsweek. "He would’ve been a perfect dog for any president." Patton is hypoallergenic, loyal and beautiful, she said.
But it seems Patton wasn't destined for the White House—Pope said Trump told her he was too busy for a dog, and she, in turn, was actually relieved she wouldn't have to give up the "lovable giant pup" with whom she had fallen in love.
"He's unreal," Pope said of the dog. "He's the perfect dog."
And it seems that Patton is doing just fine without the Trump family. He's "so happy," Pope said.
“He calms me down, he makes me laugh,” she said. “He stays outside of my door until I get up in the morning. I go to sleep at night, I say, 'good night!'...Every dog has a bad fault. Patton doesn't have any."
Maybe Patton would've been the perfect addition to the president's family, and maybe the first family will have a change of heart and make room for man's best friend.
Perhaps Ivana said it best in Raising Trump: “How can you not love a dog that acts like he’s won the lottery for life just because he sees you walk through the door?”
Then again, this president has his cabinet for that.
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