NOTICE: You can now keep up with Fala at FDR's Fala.
World's Most Famous Dog
FDR and his "little dog Fala" were inseparable
The 'Fala Speech'
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"These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons.
No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don't resent
attacks, and my family doesn't resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is
Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in
Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands
and had sent a destroyer back to find him--at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or
eight or twenty million dollars--his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog
since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself--such as that old,
worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right
to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog."--Sept. 23, 1944, address to
the Teamsters Union
"...the president took added pleasure in the arrival of a new puppy named Fala,
a gift from his cousin Margaret Suckley. He had longed for a puppy for years,
he told his cousin as he lifted the little Scottish terrier into his arms, but
Eleanor did not consider the White House a proper place to bring up a dog.
Roosevelt had had pets before, but Fala became his friend in a way no other
pet had been. Fala accompanied the president everywhere, eating his meals in
Roosevelt's study, sleeping in a chair at the foot of his bed. Within a few
weeks of his arrival, the puppy was sent to the hospital with a serious
intestinal disturbance. He had discovered the White House kitchen, and
everyone was feeding him. When he came home, Roosevelt issued a stern
order to the entire White House staff: 'Not even one crumb will be fed
to Fala except by the President.' From then on, Fala was in perfect
Ordinary Time, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II"
by Doris Kearns Goodwin, 1994
(FDR Library photo, 1942)
Witness to History
"During the last week of December (1941), twenty-six nations at war
with the Axis had negotiated a declaration of unity and purpose. The document, entitled
'A Declaration by the United Nations' ... was signed in the president's study at 10 p.m.
As the invited guests gathered round, (Eleanor's friend, Mrs. Charles Hamlin) recalled,
'It was as quiet as a church in the study-not a whisper, the only sound came from Fala
who was stretched out sleeping heavily-oblivious of the momentous happenings.'"
"No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin
(FDR Presidential Library photo, c. 1940)
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