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President Trump says owning a dog feels ‘phony’

Donald Trump giving a speech dog-angry
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George Washington had Vulcan, Abe Lincoln had Fido and JFK had Pushinka. In fact, 32 former Presidents of the United States famously enjoyed the company of a dog. So why does America’s current president not like the idea?

By Nick Whittle , 15 Feb 2019

Most Americans are used to his currying resentment, but some believe Donald Trump’s adverse comments about dogs may be a step too far. 

The President’s acknowledgement at a recent Republican rally of his dislike of dogs rails against the opinion of over a third of US voters who own one or more dogs. It also brings to an abrupt end the long-standing White House love affair with dogs. 

Dogs aren’t for everyone

Visiting El Paso, Texas this week, the president was treated to a demonstration of the talents of a German shepherd sniffer dog before giving a speech to an assembled audience eager to know his latest plans for the Mexico-US Barrier.  

Telling his supporters how impressed he was with the Secret Service canine the President took the opportunity to express his opinion of dog ownership. 

‘I wouldn’t mind having one, honestly, but I don’t have any time,’ Trump said. ‘How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?’

He continued to remark that he was quite happy not to need a dog in his life. ‘I don’t know … I don’t feel good,’ he said. ‘Feels a little phony, phony to me’.  

Arguably, the most famous of all of White House dogs was that belonging to the late George HW Bush. Millie, an English springer spaniel, even ‘wrote’ a book called ‘Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush’, which ended up being a New York Times bestseller in 1992. 

At this week’s gathering, Trump admitted that his advisers regularly suggest he gets a dog, because to be seen with a dog is ‘good politically.’ But Trump’s reply is characteristically blunt: ‘that’s not the relationship I have with my people’.

Some politicians on both sides of the house may disagree with that sentiment.