Sunday, May 31, 2009


We don't know if you know this or not, but our Dad is a Geography teacher at a local middle school. This past week he had the ,er, opportunity to go on a whirlwind tour of Washington, DC. We know the highlight of his tour was getting to see the Fala Memorial. He promises to take us there this summer.

Fala was the dog that brought Scottish Terriers to the forefront. She was the personal pet of Franklin D. Roosevelt - and the forerunner in the White House to Barney and Miss Beezly.

Mom found the following article on the internet and it gives a lot of information about Fala - we hope you enjoy reading it.


Photograph of Fala FALA : Scottish terrier and favorite pet of President Franklin D. Roosevelt

BORN : April 7, 1940

DIED : April 5, 1952, and was buried in the Rose Garden next to the sun dial near his master on April 7, 1952

GIFT : Given to the President by Mrs. Augustus G. Kellog of Westport, Connecticut through Franklin Roosevelt's cousin, Margaret "Daisy" Suckley. At first his name was Big Boy. Franklin renamed him Murray the Outlaw of Falahill after a Scottish ancestor. His nickname became Fala. Before Fala went to the White House, Daisy taught Fala how to behave and do tricks. He could sit up, rollover, and jump. Fala went to live in the White House in Washington, DC on November 10, 1940. He spent most of his time there. However, time was also spent at the houses in Hyde Park and Warm Springs, Georgia. At Hyde Park, Fala rode in FDR's Ford, which FDR drove with special hand controls because of his paralysis from polio.

Fala had a bone every morning brought up on the President's breakfast tray. Fala got a full dinner every night. During the day, Fala would beg for food from the White House staff. He was so cute that he was fed all the time and became sick. The staff was asked not to feed him extra food. At night, he slept in a special chair at the foot of the President's bed.

Fala traveled with the President on long and short trips by train, car, or boat. He , of course, met many famous visitors and entertained them with his tricks. He could even curl his lip into a smile for them. Here are some trips and people that he met.

In August 1941, Fala was at the Atlantic Charter Conference in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland with the President and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of England.

In September 1942 and April 1943, Fala went on inspection trips of defense plants and visited Monterey, Mexico and President Camacho.

In August 1943 and September 1944 he went to the Quebec Conferences.

In 1944, Fala was with the President on a sea trip to the Aleutian Islands. Rumors spread that Fala was accidentally left on one of the islands. During the 1944 presidential campaign, the Republicans accused him of spending millions of taxpayers' dollars in sending a destroyer back for him. The President answered the attack in his famous Fala speech while talking to the Teamsters Union. Roosevelt defended his Scottie, saying, that he, Roosevelt, expected such criticism aimed at himself, and that even his family expected negative talk about themselves. However, Fala had not been the same. Since the charge was made: "His Scotch soul was furious."

There was another incident on a sea trip aboard the ship Tuscalosa in the West Indies. It was a hot day. The sailors were trying to cool off. They were lying on the deck stretched out in a row. Their bare feet were lined up. Fala caused quite a commotion by moving quickly along the row licking and tickling their feet.

And yet another time, Fala was with the President on a fishing trip to Florida. As the fish were caught, they were thrown in a pile on the deck. Quite a pile accumulated. They were all flip-flopping in the air as fish do. Fala began to flip-flop, too. It was such a fun game that he did it for several days.

In April of 1945, President Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia. Fala attended the funeral. He went to live
with Mrs. Roosevelt at Val-Kill. He never really adjusted to the loss of his master. Even so, Val-Kill was in the country. It was a great place to run, play, chase squirrels, and even cats sometimes. She brought his grandson, Tamas McFala to live at Val-Kill, too, and be Fala's playmate. Sometimes they would run off together and get into trouble. They came home hours later covered with burrs and mud. By the end of such a busy day, he was an exhausted dog. Sometimes he slept on his back with his feet in the air.

He was so popular that he received thousands of letters from people. He even needed to have a secretary appointed to him to answer his mail. One letter dated August 5, 1947, was from a poodle named Abigail. Fala chased a skunk once, which was very unpleasant for everyone. The poodle scolded Fala for not acting with more intelligence and dignity. Abigail hoped that Fala would never, ever let that unfortunate incident be repeated.

In 1942, a movie was made about Fala and his life in Hyde Park. Children and other visitors who come to the Roosevelt Museum and Library in Hyde Park, New York still enjoy watching it today. .

Cartoon paw prints

Have a Super Sunday,
Lilly, Carrleigh and Java

PS - Piper is still in exile.


Maggie and Mitch said...

You'll have to make sure you get your picture taken with Fala, guys! What a pretty memorial and a great story!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

The OP Pack said...

We didn't know about that Memorial. Thanks for sharing the story. Our Mom used to teach middle and high school mathematics and French - she misses it but we are glad she is home with us.

woos, the OP Pack

Pamela, Kira and Scampi said...

Wooo! neat memorial to a cute pup. I think I need to break Piper out of the doghouse....
-Kira The BeaWootiful

pughy said...

That is so lovely, what a lovely memorial. Your dad is lucky to get to do that.

Hugs GJ xx

Rocky Creek Scotties and Java said...

We do have to let you know that Fala is a resident at the FDR Memorial. We are just calling it the Fala Memorial, because, well you know how important he is.

Have a Super Sunday.
Lilly, Carrleigh and Java

Martine said...

Fala is just as cute as you three :)

xo sugar & martine

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

That is a furry khool post!

Mom knew some of Fala's story but not all of that!

When Mom was putting out the trash earlier this evening, a hooman khouple walked by with a skhottie - he was also khwite taken with the khats next door!

Tank woo fur sharing!


Asta said...

That statoo of Fala is soopew!!!
I've always admiwed that stowy, and knew how special scotties awe!
smoochie kisses

Sally said...

Thank you for a great tour - Fala looks super cute! I hope you get to go next time. Licks
Sally and Paddy

karensbrae said...

I think your mum should be a history teacher. Thanks for the info.

DCampy34 said...

WOW - that is very impressive - and educational - thanx for the info


TwoSpecialWires said...

We're happy you may get to go to dee-see this summer. We liked all the information about Fala, and think it would be sooper cool if you got to pose by the statue of such an important Scottie. You can let all the passersby know that you are JUST as important. And just as special. To US!

Jake and Fergi (Thanks for education. We were wondering if Dogs in the White House became part of the New Deal? Think of all the jobs it created!)

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