US President Donald Trump has been hard at work building his cabinet and has now made another key appointment.
The First Family need a First Dog – step forward Patton, a cute fluffy Goldendoodle named after World War II General George Patton (Trump’s favourite general).
What is a Goldendoodle?
A Goldendoodle is a cross-breed obtained by breeding a golden retriever and a poodle.
The breed originated in the 1990s with the purpose of developing a guide dog for visually impaired owners with allergies.
The Poodle element of the dog produces a coat that is almost totally hypoallergenic with a low to non-shedding coat. The Golden Retriever parent means the new breed retains the intelligence and work ethic of the more traditional breed of guide dog.
The size of the breed varies depending on whether the poodle parent was full size or miniature, and the commonest coat colours are white, cream, gold and sometimes black.
Who is Patton the Goldendoodle and how did he get chosen as First Dog?
Patton is currently nine weeks old and in the care of a lady named Lois Pope in Florida.
Pope is a prominent Trump supporter and philanthropist who advocates for veterans and animal causes.
She has known Trump for over 20 years and says that she wrote to him about little Patton, suggesting him as the family’s new pet. During the Trump family’s recent Thanksgiving event at their Mar-a-Lago Club, she then showed him a photo of the little pup.
Pope says that Donald told her to go ahead and show the pooch pic to his 10-year-old son, Barron.
She told the Washington Post; “He said, he’s going to fall in love with him. Barron will want him.” When she showed the photo to Barron, Pope said, “this big smile came over his face, and it just brought tears to his eyes.”
Trump’s spokeswoman has said that no decisions have been made about the dog, but Pope remains confident that Patton will be taking up residence in the White House in January with the First Family.
Is there always a First Dog?
Not every President has a dog, and publicly this is the first time Donald Trump has been associated with a pet.
Bill Clinton had a chocolate Labrador named Buddy as well as a cat named Socks.
Jimmy Carter had Grits the dog and the curiously named Misty Malarky Ying Yang, a Siamese cat.
Ronald Reagan had two presidential pooches – Rex, a King Charles spaniel and Lucky, a Bouvier des Flandres sheepdog.
Barack Obama chose a Portuguese water dog named Bo and then added Sunny to their family in 2013.