Friday, January 2, 2009

The Presidential Pet Museum: If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog

Clare McLean and her portrait of Amy Carter and her dog
A portrait of the Reagan's dog made with genuine dog hair. (Really!)

President Taft's cow's cowbell

There have been some good presidents, some bad presidents and some mediocre presidents but there are no bad presidential pets, and there's a place that pays tribute to them. The Presidential Pet Museum was in a storefront shop in a quaint part of Annapolis, Maryland when we visited there in 2007, but it has since moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, and is now part of President's Park (the last swell place I blogged about). This is a great idea because now you get two, two, two eccentric roadside attractions in one! The pet museum is the "pet" project (sorry) of Clare McLean, a nice lady whose life's mission since 1999 has been to share her quirky collection of artifacts and original artworks with curious history buffs and school kids on field trips. Clare does folk art paintings of the White House's most beloved residents and the pièce de résistance is a portrait of Lucky (President and Mrs. Reagan's Bouvier des Flandres) made from her own hair (Lucky's that is, not Clare's). Her most prized pocession is an original cowbell that hung from the neck of Pauline Wayne, the last cow to graze the White House lawn and was a favorite of President Taft who drank her milk every morning. Places like this make you proud to be an eccentric American. Here's their website:

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