Meet the pets: The dogs of the presidential contenders. And Beto's turtle.

Image: Sen. Elizabeth Warren Announces Possible Run For Presidency
Bailey, the dog belonging to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., stands with her husband Bruce Mann as Warren addresses the media outside of her home after announcing she formed an exploratory committee for a 2020 presidential run in Cambridge, Massachusetts Copyright Scott Eisen Getty Images file
Copyright Scott Eisen Getty Images file
By Dareh Gregorian with NBC News Politics
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

The fur is going to be flying — more than half the Democrats in the crowded presidential field have a four-legged friend.


The 2020 Democratic presidential contenders are going to the dogs — and a turtle.

Donald Trump is the first president to forgo an animal companion in the White House since Andrew Johnson in the 1860s, according to the Presidential Pet Museum. Trump has said he'd "feel a little phony" with a dog, but presidents haven't kept just canines — Calvin Coolidge had a bobcat, Teddy Roosevelt had a one-legged rooster, and Thomas Jefferson kept a pair of grizzly bear cubs on the White House lawn.

About half of the declared Democratic candidates looking to move into the White House, however, are dog owners. Sen. Elizabeth Warren's pup has become a force on the campaign trail, while others have become social media stars. Some have shunned the political spotlight altogether.

Here's a look at the potential presidential pooches:

Bailey (Sen. Elizabeth Warren)

Bailey, a golden retriever, has accompanied Warren to town halls, where the Massachusetts senator's supporters have waited on lengthy lines to pet the cuddly canine and get their pictures taken with him. Bailey, who turned one this past week, even has his own Twitter account, @FirstDogBailey, which is filled with messages like "things I love: my ball, chasing my ball, and humane immigration policies w/ a path to citizenship."

A gift from Warren's husband, he was named after Jimmy Stewart's community banker character in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," after Warren said she decided against suggestions like "Anthony Scarapoochie."

Bailey is described in his Twitter bio as a "consumer watchdog and campaign furrogate."

Artemis and Rosie (Beto O'Rourke)

The former Texas congressman has two dogs, along with a cat and a turtle that recently vanished.

O'Rourke's labs, Artemis and Rosie, don't have a social media account, but Artemis went viral anyway after she was featured in a Vanity Fair photo spread in the runup to his campaign announcement. Artemis showed up in many of photographer Annie Leibovitz's pictures, looking sad-eyed and setting the internet ablaze.

New York Magazine's The Cut site did a story on the pictures headlined "What is Beto's Dog Thinking?"

"Artemis looks somehow mournful in every single shot she's featured in throughout the Vanity Fair spread," the article read.

Artemis, Beto O\'Rourke\'s dog.
Artemis, Beto O\'Rourke\'s dog.Beto For America

O'Rourke shared pictures of Artemis, Rosie and cat Silver on Facebook last year for National Pet Day, and the family also boasts a snake and a gerbil. But the latest addition to the O'Rourke menagerie, a tiny turtle named Gus, disappeared last week.

"Our baby turtle Gus went missing last night," he said at a town hall meeting in San Diego on Tuesday, according to The Times of San Diego. "And it does not look good."

There was speculation online that Artemis might have taken the turtle out, but O'Rourke reported Friday that Gus had been found alive and well, hiding in a closet. "Artemis, not guilty!" his Instagram post said.

Truman and Buddy (Mayor Pete Buttigieg)

Buttigieg and his husband also have two dogs, Truman and Buddy, and they have their own Twitter account, @firstdogsSB. The South Bend, Indiana, mayor got beagle/labrador retriever Truman from a shelter in 2017. The couple added Buddy, described by Buttigiegas a one-eyed puggle with "a little bit of a weight problem," to their clan last year.

The dogs' Twitter account is less partisan and has less policy than Bailey's, and is filled with tweets like, "CHICKEM OVER SAMON THERE I SAID IT." They did respond "Hi" to a picture of Warren helping Bailey wave. While all three are good dogs, Buddy and Truman's Twitter feed has 65,000 more followers than Bailey's 3,817.

Champ and Major (Joe Biden)

The former vice president recently added a new dog to his household, a German shepherd named Major. Biden got Major from the Delaware Humane Society.

"Major was 1 of 6 puppies who were brought to DHA after coming in contact with something toxic in their home. Their original owner was unable to afford veterinary care so they surrendered them," the group wrote on its Facebook page. "Joe Biden caught wind of them and reached out immediately. The rest is history!"

Former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, poses for a portrait with his newly adopted dog, Major.
Former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, poses for a portrait with his newly adopted dog, Major.S. Gomez

Biden had been on the lookout for a pal for his aging German shepherd, Champ, who'd been a fixture at Biden's side during the Obama administration. The veep was known to give out little "Champ" plush pets to kids during his time in office.

Maple (Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand)

Gillibrand has one dog — a labradoodle named Maple that she got in 2017. While Gillibrand's campaign tried raising money last week with video of her making a tricky beer pong shot, Maple seems to have some shooting skills as well.

The New York senator tweeted out a video of Maple making a difficult trashcan basket with a ball last year.

Skye (John Hickenlooper)

Hickenlooper's dog, Skye, was a frequent guest in his office during his two terms as Colorado's governor, but the Akita-bulldog-Chow Chow mix might be a little too busy for presidential politics.

Hickenlooper posted a video on Instagram "with my faithful dog Skye" by his side on his couch in March as he made his case for tackling climate change, but Skye bolted after 25 seconds.


Bear and Buckeye (Rep. Tim Ryan)

Ryan has two shelter dogs, Bear and Buckeye, and the siblings, lab mixes, make frequent appearances on his social media. The Ohio congressman's officetold Quartz the family had been looking for one puppy at the shelter, but couldn't resist getting both. "They make our family pawfect," Ryan wrote of the pair on Instagram last month.

Mimi (John Delaney)

Former Rep. John Delaney, who announced his candidacy back in 2017, used to have two dogs, but the family's cocker spaniel, Annie, recently passed away, his campaign told NBC News. The family still has a little Maltese named Mimi.

Former Rep. John Delaney with his wife April, daughters Grace, Lily, Summer, Brooke, and their dog Mimi.
Former Rep. John Delaney with his wife April, daughters Grace, Lily, Summer, Brooke, and their dog Mimi.Courtesy Rep. John Delaney

Penny (Rep. Eric Swalwell)

The California congressman has a black lab named Penny, whom he brought home in 2016. The playful pooch has gone on to make numerous appearances on Swalwell's various social media platforms.

The rest of the pack?

Two other candidates, businessman Andrew Yang and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, reportedly have dogs, but their reps did not respond to inquiries about their pets.

Sen. Cory Booker doesn't have a dog, but told an 11-year-old Iowa boy at a campaign event in February that he'd get one if he's elected president. He made headlines back in 2013 when he was the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, and rescued a dog that had been left outside in the freezing cold.

Share this articleComments