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George Washington: Our First President And Total Dog Lover

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George Washington
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We all know that George Washington was our nation’s first President, but did you know he also deeply loved dogs?

Washington was a farmer and dog breeder.  After being named as a representative to the Continental Congress, Washington was disappointed there was not much time to hunt and have time with his dogs.  After catching the attention of a prominent political acquaintance, Washington eventually became a member of the Glouchester Hunting Club.  Through his friendships at the Club, Washington later became commander of the Continental Army.

During the Revolutionary War, many soldiers brought their hunting dogs to battle, and Washington was no exception.  He brought his prized foxhound (which he bred himself) Sweet Lips with him.

Washington was such a dog lover, at one point he halted battle because of a dog.  British General William Howe’s terrier was captured by our Continental Army during the Battle of Germantown in 1777.  Others in the Army thought it a good idea to keep the dog to use as leverage against the British, but because he was such a dog lover, Washington took care of Howe’s dog and proposed a truce so dog and owner could be reunited.

After the war ended, Washington returned to his home in Mount Vernon and focused on his dog breeding efforts.  He is credited with development of the American Foxhound dog breed.

One more reason to celebrate Washington’s birthday this President’s Day, I’d say!

Photo Source:  iStockphoto/Georgiosart

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