5/18/16

Heidi: Eisenhower's Grey Ghost



Heidi became famous in history as President Dwight D. Eisenhower's beloved dog who was later removed from the White House after a costly accident.




In the fall of 1955, the son of the Postmaster General gave Eisenhower a Weimaraner, a German bred dog that was considered an unusual and somewhat exotic dog. The President named her Heidi and affectionately referred to her as the Grey Ghost.


Heidi and President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Heidi was an active dog who had the full run of the White House and grounds. She was gentle and friendly with the grandchildren and often spent time in the President's private office where he gave her belly rubs and head scratches. Once, when Heidi was alone in the office, she pushed the buzzer underneath the President's desk that was used to summon his secretary. The secretary rushed in, notepad in hand and ready to follow orders, only to find that it was Heidi who'd summoned her.

Although an obedient dog, the attention the press paid to her made her nervous. She would often jump on people, and twice she urinated in the White House - the second time was on a $20,000 rug in the diplomatic reception room where the President greeted foreign leaders. The White House cleaning staff tried to remove the stain but couldn't. They had to remove the rug instead.

After the costly rug incident, the President felt it would be best for Heidi to stay at his farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Her life was simpler there and she still spent time with the President when he visited the farm before retiring there after his second term. Heidi reportedly enjoyed life on the farm and even gave birth to at least one litter of puppies.