Donald Trump might be the first pet-less president in 150 years, after a plan to have him adopt a goldendoodle dog fell through.
Lois Pope, a Palm Beach, Fla., philanthropist and a longtime friend of the president-elect, believes a pooch belongs in the White House and began searching for a hypoallergenic breed for Trump once he won the election.
“Every president has had a first dog, and he did not have a dog,” said Pope, 83, whose husband, Generoso Jr., founded The National Enquirer and left her $200 million after his death in 1988. “I wanted to find a dog with a great disposition, and I didn’t want a small dog. He’s a guy who is 6-foot-2. He doesn’t want a small dog.”
Pope chose one with a burnt-orange coat — similar in color to Trump’s mane — that is part golden retriever and part poodle.
She named the 8-week-old pup Patton — after Trump’s favorite military hero — and sent him an ownership certificate.
“He’s a great dog. He’s intelligent. He doesn’t forget things. You tell him ‘no’ once, and he stays put,” Pope said of the now-30-pound canine. “Even ladies like him because he doesn’t jump all over them.”
When Pope joined the future first family for Thanksgiving dinner at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, she brought pictures of Patton.
“Show it to Barron. He’s going to fall in love with him,” Trump said, according to Pope, referring to the president-elect’s 10-year-old son with wife Melania Trump
But Pope began to fret.
“I couldn’t sleep, and the reason I couldn’t sleep was because I fell in love with the dog,” she told The Post. “I thought, what am I going to do? I’m going to have to get him another dog.”
When the Trumps arrived in Palm Beach for Christmas, Pope steeled herself and went to Mar-a-Lago.
“I walked over to him, through the Secret Service, and I told him, ‘Donald, I’m sorry. You can’t have Patton,’ ” she said.
Turns out the future president was also having second thoughts.
“Donald said, ‘But, Lois, I can’t take the dog,’ ” Pope recalled. “He said, ‘Look at what I do. I’m here, I’m in New York, I’m in Washington. What am I going to do with the dog?’ And I said, ‘Well, you can’t have him!’
“We went back and forth between ‘You can’t have him’ and ‘I don’t want him’ for a little while,” she added.
“What a relief! Introducing a dog into a family is not an easy thing to do. When I was potty-training him, he made a few mistakes. I’m sure they wouldn’t like that at Trump Tower.”
Barring any plans to adopt a goldfish, Trump would be the first president since Reconstruction without a pet in the White House and the first since 1901 without a dog. Trump transition officials did not return messages for comment.
President Andrew Johnson had no furry companions in the West Wing other than a nest of white mice he found in his bedroom. Johnson was impeached in 1868.
President William McKinley had two kittens, roosters and a yellow-headed Mexican parrot, but no pooch. He was assassinated in 1901.
Most modern presidents kept animals on the White House grounds, many as gifts from world leaders.
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave a white puppy named Pushinka to President Kennedy. And Sen. Ted Kennedy gave Bo, a Portuguese water dog, to President Obama in 2009.
Pope offered to find another pooch for the next first family.
“I said, ‘When you’re ready for a first dog, I would scour the nation for the perfect dog,’” she recalled.
Source: New York Post
Photo: Getty Images/Larry Marano