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Lincoln’s Dog: Fido

While living in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln was known as an animal lover who abhored hunting and fishing. (Abraham Lincoln Blog) That was considered a bit unusual, since he was also known as an outdoorsman.

He named his favorite dog Fido.


Today, we consider that as a catch-all name for dogs. In those days, it was considered unusual. Lincoln had named his dog Fido, because Lincoln knew Latin;  it means faithful.

When Lincoln was elected President, he was faced with the decision of taking his beloved dog to Washington. Some say that Lincoln’s wife was very much against taking this undisciplined dog to the White House to ruin the furniture there. In Fido’s very picture, he is shown sitting “on his couch” in the Lincoln house.

Others say that Lincoln did not take Fido with him because he was concerned that the dog would not survive the trip to Washington, and  he was also concerned about the quallity of life that Fido would have there.

So, for whatever reason, Lincoln left Fido with a good family friend in Illinois; with the intention of moving back to Illinois and Fido, when his Presidency had ended. Lincoln stipulated that Fido would continue to be an indoor dog; receive special treats, since Lincoln was also known to feed him treats from the table; and that Fido would also be allowed to sleep on his favorite horsehair sofa brought over from his Lincoln home.

Those conditions were met. In fact, Fido became a nationally known dog, which is part of the reason that people began to name their own dogs by the name of Fido. Lincoln also had photographs of Fido taken, considered very rare at that time. Here’s another from

Fido again

As we know, Lincoln never made it back to Illinois. After Lincoln was assassinated, Fido was brought to the Lincoln home in Illinois, to also greet mourners there.  About a year later, Fido was also “assassinated” in the street when a drunk man stabbed the dog without any real reason.

Today, photographs of Fido are rare and have become highly collectible. A photograph of Fido has even “fetched” upwards of thousands of dollars. Plus, the name of Fido has become as common as the human name of “John Doe”.

DID YOU KNOW that there was once a state named Franklin. Ultimately, it became the state of Tennessee. For some real history reading, here is how it became the state of Tennessee, with additional names along the way that included the Free Republic of Franklin, and the State of Frankland. (Wikipedia history)

And from Amy M. for pic o’ day on a Monday, here’s to looking cool:


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