Skip – Teddy Roosevelt’s Presidential Rat Terrier

President Theodore Roosevelt was famous for his love of animals and family dogs. One of these dogs who lived in the White House was Skip, an early Rat Terrier.

While details on exactly where TR got Skip are a bit murky, it was on a hunting trip in 1905 that he found this little guy. I have read accounts that he got skip in Colorado, California and the Grand Canyon. TR wrote to his daughter “going to bring home a most absurd little dog called Skip as a present to Archie. He is half fox terrier and half bull terrier, and he is as cunning as possible. He likes to ride on the horses with us when we will let him, and bounces in to do his share of the worry whenever a bear or bobcat is shot. At night, he has insisted on sleeping with me. He is as hard as nails and if we do not let him ride will travel thirty miles over the mountains with entire indifference; and has spasms of shrill woe when he has run off after something and thinks he has lost us.”

Once while President Roosevelt was alone in the White House with the family on a trip he wrote “Poor Skip is a very, very lonely little dog without his family. Each morning he comes up to see me at breakfast time and during most of breakfast (which I take in the hall just outside my room) Skip stands with his little paws on my lap. Then when I get through and sit down in the rocking-chair to read for fifteen or twenty minutes, Skip hops into my lap and stays there, just bathing himself in the companionship of the only one of his family he has left..”

The Skip story by most accounts ends that Skip passed away before the Roosevelts left the White House. Initially Skip was buried in the White House lawn. Before leaving however, Mrs Roosevelt has Skip moved to the family estate in Sagamore Hill.

If you would like to read more about Skip, here are some links:

http://www.presidentialpetmuseum.com/theodore-roosevelts-skip/

https://www.theodorerooseveltcenter.org/Research/Digital-Library/Record?libID=o286631

https://www.nps.gov/thrb/learn/historyculture/roosevelt-dogs.htm

https://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2004/08/teddie-roosevelts-terriers.html