Friday, January 08, 2016

Teddy Roosevelt and Skip

Teddy Roosevelt was the kind of guy who got shot on stage just before giving a speech. No pansy, he gave the full 90-minute speech before being rushed to the hospital to have the bullet removed.

Teddy Roosevelt was hardcore. No surprise then to learn he was also a terrierman.

The dog, pictured at top in Teddy's lap, is Skip, a terrier given to Roosevelt in 1905 by bear hunter John Goff while they were on an ursine expedition out west.

Skip was Teddy's favorite, and when the dog died in 1908, he was buried at the White House, but his grave was dug up so his body could move with Roosevelt to his Sagamore Hill, New York home after the presidency was over. Did we mention that Roosevelt loved this dog? True!

Skip is seated on Archie Roosevelt's lap at Sagamore Hill.

Skip was basically a black and tan
terrier with his tail docked a wee bit too short. He did not have erect ears, and the only white on his body was a blaze on his chest. In short, he was not too far off from a modern Patterdale.  

Roosevelt himself described the dog in a letter to his children (4/20/1905) as "an absurd little terrier" about half the size of Jack (a large Manchester terrier). Teddy later said "by little I mean a little of this, and a little of that.”

1 comment:

Amy Nexus said...

TR was quite the terrierman. Enough so that he adored Airedales and owned several...(just a wee jab because I've been reading your thoughts on the matter of earth dog labeling for years) along with Patterdales and I think a jack or two. He's remembered as saying, "An Airedale can do anything that any other dog can and then lick the other dog".

Dales are jacks-of-all-trades, not strictly earth dogs, I understand. I've worked in the field with several of the finest. My life would be so much the poorer for never having known and lived with a great Dale. We could talk about semantics, the terrier's disposition and a dog's purpose all day. I'll even buy you a cup of coffee. Thanks for these great pics!