Abraham Lincoln Was Crazy About Dogs, Too

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Matthew Algeo, author of the new book ‘Abe & Fido: Lincoln’s Love of Animals and the Touching Story of His Favorite Canine Companion’ whose publication coincides with the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death on April 15, 1865, tells the hart-warming story of the 16th President of the United States and his deep love for all living beings.

Though he cherished his dog Fido above all other animals, one of Lincoln’s earliest memories was of a piglet he took care of, according to Huffington post. Unfortunately, the tale is not a happy one. When his beloved pet grew up, his father butchered it for food, and that single event changed Lincoln’s life forever.

Here’s what Lincoln himself said about the incident:

“I saw the hog, dressed, hanging from the pole near the barn. I began to blubber. I just couldn’t reconcile myself to my loss. I could not stand it, and went far back into the woods again, where I found some nuts that satisfied my hunger till night, when I returned home. They could not get me to take any of the meat; neither tenderloin, nor sausage, nor souse; and even months after, when the cured ham came on the table, it made me sad and sick to look at it.”

However, Algeo says that Lincoln was not a vegetarian. That, however, didn’t stop him from developing a relationship with animals that was very unusual at the time, if not unique.

When it comes to Fido, there’s no doubt that he was extremely important to Lincoln. Despite the fact that he left his pooch with friends when he was elected to the White House, one of America’s greatest presidents made sure the dog had everything he needed, and more.

Here’s why Lincoln’ didn’t take Fido with him, according to Algeo:

‘’After he was elected president in 1860, Lincoln, fearing the long trip to Washington would be too stressful for Fido, left the dog in the care of friends in Springfield. Lincoln also gave the friends Fido’s favorite horsehair sofa. They had to promise to never leave him tied up in the backyard. He was not to be scolded for wet or muddy paws. He was to be allowed inside whenever he scratched at the door. And he was to be given scraps from the dining room table. Fido was a pampered pet. After Lincoln left Springfield for the White House, Fido practically became the town mascot. He was given free reign, and unaccustomed to mistreatment of any kind.’’

And in case you’re wondering, yes – Lincoln had pets at the White House: dog, cats, rabbits, goats and ponies.

 

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