Fala was a black Scottish Terrier and was FDR’s constant companion.

So after some less than light hearted looks at America in this themed week I think we might try a little bit of a different topic. Today I’m going to talk about Murray the Outlaw of Fala Hill.

It’s important to know that that isn’t just an added on bit ot Murray’s name like a sort of Alexander the Great situation. All of “Murray the Outlaw of Fala Hill” appeared on his birth certificate. This may be an opportune moment to mention that I’m talking about a dog. Obviously all of that is a bit of a mouthful so the dog’s owner, Franklin Delanos Roosevelt – for it was he, used to call him Fala.

Up until this point the Roosevelts had had very mixed results with pets. They had always done well until they had arrived at the white house. In the first year of their being the First Family one dog brok it’s own foot and another bit a senator.

At that point they decided not to have any pets until Fala arrived seven years later as a gift. Fala was a black Scottish Terrier and was FDR’s constant companion. At least at first.

At first Fala went everywhere, even meeting Churchill several times. However in 1944 disaster struck. Fala was left behind accidentally on the Aleuthion Islands. And the Republicans seized upon this incident and tried to turn it to their political advantage. They claimed that FDR had used tax payers money to rescue him. But Roosevelt made an important rebuttal saying Fala’s “Scottish soul was furious” at the accusation and that Fala had “not been the same dog since”.

Just one year later FDR was dead. And if the Aleuthion Islands incident had changed him this destroyed him. Fala lived on another seven years but never really adjusted to living with Mrs. Roosevelt. When he died he was buried in the same garden as FDR.

FDR said famously that there is nothing to fear except fear itself. Interesting George W. Bush also has a dog. It is called Spot. As far as we know it doesn’t have any spots.

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