As the national breed of France with a long and storied history dating to the 15th century, the poodle breed has certainly produced a number of individual dogs that have made their mark on history. Listed below are only a handful of famous poodles with interesting stories to tell.
Many poodles are famous for their heroics during battles in European wars. In fact, the poodle is one of only 32 breeds recognized by the United States military as being fit for combat. Moustache is one of the most famous of battle tested poodles. Born in France in 1799, Moustache participated in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. His feats include alerting his regiment to a surprise night attack during the Italian Campaign of the Revolutionary War, as well as discovering an Austrian spy at the Battle of Austerlitz. Moustache suffered several injuries during his battles, which resulted in having a leg amputated. Despite his injuries, he continued to fight alongside soldiers in many more battles before being killed by a cannonball during the Battle of Badajoz at the age of 12.
Nearly every US president in history has had a canine companion in the White House. Notably, three have been poodles. Grover Cleveland’s French poodle, Hector, was the earliest of poodles to grace Washington D.C. Next was Gaullie, John F. Kennedy’s French poodle who was named after the French President Charles de Gaulle. As an interesting side note, JFK was the first of the presidents to ask that the presidential dogs greet him at the helicopter upon his return to the White House. The most recent poodle to reside on Pennsylvania Ave was Vicky, Richard Nixon’s French poodle. Vicky is perhaps the most storied of White House poodles, as recollections fondly recall her hunting in the gold fish pool, playing with the President during interviews, and even attending a White House wedding!
How could Miss Piggy’s dog from The Muppets not be on this list? Interestingly, Foo-Foo has been portrayed both by a real dog, and as a puppet. The original Foo-Foo was an especially tiny teacup variety that a puppet was eventually modeled after. Foo-Foo is one of very few Muppet animals that only communicated in its native language of barks and growls. Unfortunately, Miss Piggy states that Foo-Foo was rehomed because she did not like Kermit.
Billie Holiday’s poodle
Billie Holiday loved her dogs: from the boxer, Mister, who accompanied her to all the nightly hot spots in New York to the Chihuahua she bottle fed. One of the more interesting stories from Billie Holiday’s menagerie of pets is the story of her Standard Poodle. Although no known name exists for the pet, historians recall the image of Billie Holiday, crying in the rain one night without a jacket. When someone stopped to ask her what was the matter (and why on earth she wasn’t wearing a coat), she stated her poodle had just died, and that she had wrapped him up in her best mink jacket to be cremated.