On August 19, 1960, the Soviet Union sent two dogs, two rats, and 40 mice into space on the Korabl – Sputnik 2. One of the dogs was named Strelka, and after she returned home, she had a puppy named Pushinka. Nikita Khrushchev sent Pushinka to John F. Kennedy. The Kennedys already had a dog, a Welsh Terrier named Charlie, and the two dogs had a litter of puppies which were called "pupniks," which were quickly dispersed.
Dogs have been regular gifts between world leaders for several centuries.