Of the more than 500 million Americans who’ve ever lived, fewer than four dozen have ascended to the presidency.
It’s hard to relate to a group that exclusive. But pets that dig up the Rose Garden, chew tassled loafers in the West Wing, and have accidents under the Resolute Desk are the great equalizer: There are more Americans who live with animal friends — around 66%, studies show — than those who don’t.
“Pets humanize presidential figures who seem remote,” said Andrew Hager, historian-in-residence at the Presidential Pet Museum, formerly in Williamsburg, Va., now awaiting a new home. “Seeing the most powerful person in the free world romping on the floor with a dog looks so much more like you or I — a very different image than a person in a suit behind a podium.”