Statistics show that 30 out of 44 US Presidents brought along the family dog to join them during their time in the White House. Beginning with George Washington and his Foxhounds and leading up to Barack Obama and his beloved Portuguese Water Dogs named Bo and Sunny, the vast majority of elected Presidents were known dog lovers. Yet 44, Mr. Donald Trump, remains firmly in the dog-less camp. Though dogs did not play a prominent role in the home of the real estate tycoon and now President, many speculated that President Trump might opt to follow in the footsteps of those before him and add a dog to the first family. Instead, in a break with tradition seemingly opposite to the platform he ran on, Mr. Trump preferred to remain status quo and not add a pooch to the Trump family, becoming the first president in recent history not to share the White House with a cherished canine. But is this a case of missed opportunity for Mr. Trump? Could a dog do something for the White House and for Mr. Trump’s lagging popularity that he himself could not do? Could a dog change the White House?
Why Having a Dog Could Help President Trump
In the early years of his relationship with Ivana Trump, Donald Trump’s soon to be wife shared her home with a doted upon Poodle by the name of Chappy. Trump was reportedly not a fan of dogs in general, and particularly not of Chappy, though he quickly relented and accepted the dog when presented with the fact that Ivana and Chappy were a package deal. Media reports cite that Mr. Trump’s current plans do not contain a change from his anti-dog ways any time soon. Yet there is no doubt that choosing to become a dog lover would bring immeasurable benefits to Mr. Trump who currently is most definitely one of the most talked about figures in households across America.
Here is a list of reasons how adding a dog to the Trump family could help the White House:
- Improves image
People might not like Mr. Trump, but even the most hateful figure in history becomes instantly more likeable when seen sharing special moments with their dog. Tender private interactions caught between a President and his much-loved canine friend is enough to soften the hardest of hearts. Yet, Mr. Trump, who possesses an intense fear of germs, strongly dislikes dogs. Sadly, this penchant will have the opposite effect on his constituents. If a President is looking for a means to gain popularity with a lagging and disenfranchised fan base, deciding to bring a dog into the family is a good way to go.
The truth is that caring for a dog involves basic human kindness and a relationship that is built on trust. A dog chooses to be subservient to its master. An animal capable of using its teeth for harm, the dog instead chooses to love his family and to place his faith in them to treat him with compassion and the utmost of care. A strong bond is built between an owner and a dog, and for many, it becomes a relationship equally as strong as that of blood relatives. This owner-dog partnership as evidenced by citizens under the mandate of a sitting president instills feelings of good will in the hearts of those the president serves. Displaying affection towards an animal shows proof of a soft heart, a quality that is endearing to people.
- Humanizes a polarizing figure
The office of the president is certainly one that sets Mr. Trump apart from his common man. Even the most down to earth politician is still placed upon a pedal that puts distance between him and the people he has been elected to serve. Many people find it difficult to relate to the challenges a president faces every day. Even the home that they provide for him in the White House is beyond their wildest imaginations. But a dog can dramatically change that picture.
Why is that?
Because though Joe Blow cannot fathom a meeting with Putin, an airplane ride on Air Force One, or a meeting in the Oval Office, he knows what it means to own and love a dog. He knows the sacrifices a dog owner must make, the duties they must fulfil, and even the heartaches that must be endured when it is time for a cherished family pet to pass from this life to the next. This knowledge gives the average constituent common ground with a person with whom they otherwise would have no basis for understanding. But more than this, it also fills each dog-loving citizen’s heart with the promise that the president cares about legislation that affects dogs negatively. A dog-loving president will fight to ensure that all dogs have the best quality of life, and that law-abiding dog owners’ rights are preserved. This instills a quiet confidence in the president purely on the basis that though they may not agree on every issue, they stand together on one very important thing—they love dogs and want what is best for them.
Sadly though, it would not be enough for Mr. Trump to merely purchase a dog or for him to slough the responsibility for his new canine pal off on one of his children or his wife. Dog lovers easily recognize people who don’t truly enjoy the company of dogs and eschew their attempts to “fake it” for the sake of their own poor popularity ratings. Mr. Trump certainly could buy a dog, but you can’t manufacture love. If there was no love in his heart for the animal that would share his home, this instead would have negative repercussions for him, as it should.
- Provides a different perspective
Dog lovers around the world know that when you own a dog your perspective changes. You view the world just a little bit differently all because of the dedicated companionship of your furry friend.
If President Trump were to allow a dog to get a hold of his heart, he would have a better understanding of what it means to need time off work to attend to veterinary appointments or to sit with a sick pet. He would learn that the loss of a favorite pooch is as difficult to face as the death of a family member and requires adequate time for mourning. These simple truths would make Mr. Trump a gentler, more approachable version of himself. Though seemingly innocent changes, this new perspective would lead to a person who is instantly just a little more human and less machine. If behind the gruff demeanor and bawdy speech lay the heart of a true dog lover, people would forgive his far less than perfect moments much more readily.
- Reduces stress
There is one thing the entire world can agree upon when it comes to President Trump; he is under tremendous pressure. Though Mr. Trump loves to play a round of golf or two to alleviate tension, studies show that one of the most effective modes of stress relief is to simply sit comfortably and pet a beloved dog. Even the act of snuggling up next to your fave furry friend or engaging in rewarding physical activities such as walks or a game of fetch improves mood and reduces the risk of depression. This improved mental outlook would be a tremendous help to Mr. Trump who most definitely is tasked with an incredibly difficult job and an immensely busy schedule. A family dog could even travel with Mr. Trump on some of his journeys providing him with something to look forward to at the end of a particularly hectic and difficult day.
But more than that, sometimes a guy just needs someone to talk to, and a wife just isn’t going to do the trick. If President Trump owned a dog, he would have immediate access to the perfect sounding board. His dog won’t be offended by some of his more insulting comments, and perhaps if he worked his speeches out on his canine pal ahead of time, he’d realize that some of his planned public performances could do with a little rewording.
A dog is a trusted advisor. He doesn’t need security clearances because he isn’t going to tell anyone about the highly classified things he and Mr. Trump discuss. Though he may not be able to offer advice, he will always be interested and encouraging, and sometimes, that’s just what a president needs. Yes, President Trump could tell all of his trouble to his dog, and it would benefit him, for sure.
- Personalizes the White House
Though the White House is the house of the people, few will ever visit its hallowed grounds. For those who do make the trek, they soon discover it is awe-inspiring indeed. The American people are proud to offer their president and is family such a a magnificent place to live, but most cannot conceive of what life inside those walls is truly like. But add a dog into the mix, and suddenly the White House changes from a cold mansion of impressive architecture to a warm and thriving family home. The people of the United States can then imagine true family life happening behind its doors, making them feel that their country is in the hands of flesh and blood mortals who are not that different from themselves.
Could a dog change the White House?
Most definitely. If Mr. Trump could learn to truly love a dog and accept it into his family, a dog could definitely improve his popularity, decrease his stresses, and enhance his overall quality of life. There is a reason that 30 out of 44 presidents brought their dogs along to join them in the White House. Positive change is just one dog away…if only President Trump would open his heart to a dog.