Dogs love us. Everyone has heard tales of the loyal friends who save their people from deadly attacks from other animals (snakes, alligators, humans), health crises (low blood sugar, seizures), bombs, landmines, and natural disasters (floods, fires, snowstorms). Who can forget the bravery of all the dog rescuers at the World Trade Center?

This month we have the opportunity to explore two great new exhibits focusing on our long-standing relationships with our pets: Dogs: Faithful and True at the Eiteljorg and Presidential Pets at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site.

Dogs - Faithful and TrueAt the Eiteljorg, paintings, photographs, objects, sculptures, and interactive experiences detail the ways in which dogs in the American West have helped us work while also being our heroes and best buddies. You can even climb aboard a dogsled! The exhibit will be open March 4 through August 8, and many dog-oriented activities are planned throughout the upcoming months: Iditarod racer Karen Land (with one of her mushing dogs), veterinary talks, dog trivia, the Humane Society’s pet adoption wagon, pet photography and portrait workshops, and more. Don’t miss this summer’s free, dog-friendly concerts outdoors under The Sails!

Presidential PetsThe Presidential Pets exhibit, opening March 9, celebrates the veritable Noah’s Ark of animals that have resided in the White House for the last 200 years. Pictured above are members of the Harrison family with Whiskers the goat and an unidentified dog.

These VIPs (Very Important Pets) have ranged from alligators to zebras, and include the traditional (canaries, cats, ponies), the exotic (badger, wallaby, bald eagle), and the we-bought-a-zoo (lions and tigers and bears - oh my). 

The most popular pet is, of course, the dog. There have been approximately 126 of them lounging in the Oval Office and putting their paw prints of approval on executive orders.

Did you know that Andrew Jackson had a parrot he had taught to swear? The parrot was agitated at his master’s funeral and accounts from those in attendance claim he let loose with more than the famed 7 Dirty Words.  Learn all of the fun facts through photos and artifacts on display through December 30.