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FDR's Fala, World's Most Famous Dog

FDR, Fala in the car
FDR and his "little dog Fala" were inseparable

FDR gives 'Fala speech' The 'Fala Speech'
"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

Video | Original text | Listen to entire speech | Listen to speech excerpt | Analysis

Constant Companion
FDR, Fala in Hyde Park, New York "...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 health."--From "No Ordinary Time, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II" by Doris Kearns Goodwin, 1994
                                                                                    (FDR Library photo, 1942)

Fala sits in chair next to FDR at desk

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.'"
--From "No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin
                                        (FDR Presidential Library photo, c. 1940)

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