2/25/17

Yuki: LBJ's Favorite Dog



Yuki went from being homeless to living in the White House, becoming a famous dog belonging to President Lyndon B Johnson.


President Johnson and Yuki

In 1966 President Johnson's daughter Luci found a stray terrier mix dog at a gas station in Texas while heading to her father's ranch. The President was an avid dog lover, and he and the little pooch who was given the name Yuki (the Japanese word for snow) hit it off right away. According to LBJ "Luci picked him up - she has a love for dogs too - and brought him to me when she came for Thanksgiving dinner. And Yuki's been here ever since. We left word that if the owner ever asked about him, to direct him here. But I'm glad the owner never missed him, because I surely would if he left me."


President Johnson and Yuki serenading Ambassador David Bruce

The President would take Yuki with him to the Oval Office and to cabinet meetings. During leisure times, the two would swim together in the pool, and LBJ even danced with Yuki at his daughter Lynda's wedding. Yuki was good at entertaining  people, and making them laugh. The President especially enjoyed showing off his dog's talent of singing. He and Yuki would lift their noses up in the air and howl together at the top of their lungs. "We had always thought maybe he [Yuki] was with a circus because he was so well-trained," said Johnson.

President Johnson had a few dogs while in the White House and loved them all, but Yuki was his favorite. "He is the friendliest and the smartest and the most constant in his attentions of all the dogs that I've known," said Johnson. When LBJ left office in 1969, Yuki flew with him on Air Force One to the family ranch in Texas. He lived there with his doting master until 1973 when the former president died. Yuki reportedly was by his side when he passed away. After Johnson's death, Yuki lived with Luci and her family until his death in 1979.

Patrick Lyndon Nugent, Johnson's grandson (Luci's son), wrote "LBJ's favorite dog was a rescue named Yuki, a white mutt who had been abandoned by his owner in a gas station in LBJ's hometown of Johnson City, Texas. They shared a very significant bond that personified the American spirit: Only in America could a poor boy from Johnson City end up in the White House."