Presidential Animal Lovers Calvin and Grace Coolidge

"Grace Goodhue Coolidge." Howard Chandler Christy, 1924. White House Collection/White House Historical Association.
“Grace Goodhue Coolidge.” Howard Chandler Christy, 1924. White House Collection/White House Historical Association.

Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace were animal lovers. They owned several dogs, cats, canaries, and even a raccoon. They also received animals as gifts from other countries, which they often kept at the White House. Some, such as a black bear and wallaby, were sent to the National Zoo to be raised.

Calvin Coolidge’s favorite dog was a white collie named Rob Roy. He was prominently featured in First Lady Grace Coolidge’s official portrait, painted by Howard Chandler Christy in 1924. This painting still hangs in the White House China Room, which was decorated in a shade of red that matched her dress.

Rob Roy became ill with a stomach ailment in September 1928. He was taken to Walter Reed Hospital to be treated and died there days later. Rob Roy was buried at Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery.

Pres. Coolidge with "Rob Roy," 1924 October 31. National Photo Company Collection. Library of Congress call number: LC-F81- 33110
Pres. Coolidge with “Rob Roy,” 1924 October 31. National Photo Company Collection. Library of Congress call number: LC-F81- 33110

 

Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, half-length portrait, standing, facing front, holding her pet raccoon Rebecca, ca. 1922. National Photo Company Colleciton. Library of Congress call number: LC-USZ62-100816
Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, half-length portrait, standing, facing front, holding her pet raccoon Rebecca, ca. 1922. National Photo Company Colleciton. Library of Congress call number: LC-USZ62-100816

One thought on “Presidential Animal Lovers Calvin and Grace Coolidge”

  1. Hi, Julianne – can one find the burial site for Rob Roy at Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery? Have you been able to find any information about the racoon?

    I really look forward to your Pet Cemetery stories – thank you SO much for doing this!!!

    Jane

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