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Animals in the White House - First Dogs



Animals in the White House - First Dogs
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.7

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    frisk, howler, pant-leg, tidbit, destroyer, spotty, whisperer, spaniel, well-known, well-trained, glaring, rumor, arrival, beloved, refused, truce
     content words:    President George, Harry Truman, White House, George Washington, Revolutionary War, General Washington, First Family, Calvin Coolidge, Rob Roy, First Dog


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Animals in the White House - First Dogs
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     Caption: Spot, President George Bush's dog, fetching a tennis ball, February 2004.
 
2     You've probably heard the saying: "A dog is man's best friend." American presidents must agree. Harry Truman, the 33rd president, said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." Leading the country can be a lonely job. Sometimes the president needs a friend who isn't in politics! Maybe that's why almost every president has had pets in the White House.
 
3     George Washington must have felt that dogs were good friends. When he was president, he kept hounds (18 of them!) for hunting. He even called a "time out" in the Revolutionary War for a dog. During one battle, a British general's dog ended up in American hands. (It could have been the first time a dog became a prisoner of war!) General Washington ordered a flag of truce so that the dog could be returned.
 
4     Theodore Roosevelt's family had a regular zoo when they lived in the White House. Roosevelt was the 26th president. He had six children. They brought all kinds of animals to the White House. Their pets ranged from bears to snakes, with a hyena and a wildcat or two thrown in. Along with all their other furry, feathered, and slithery friends, they had at least five dogs.

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