September 10, 2015 | Posted in 1st Doggies
Herbert Hoover wanted to become the 31st President of the United States. But his advisors were concerned. His public image was of a stiff and severe man – not appealing to the American people. But something happened to change that image, in the form of a Belgian German Shepherd – commonly called a “police dog” at the time.
Hoover was in Belgium several years before the election, acting on behalf of then-President Wilson. He was there to organize war relief funds following World War I. He was given the dog during that visit and supposedly fell in love with him. For whatever reason, he named him King Tut.
When Hoover began his own Presidential campaign, things were not going well at first. Then, in 1928, Hoover posed for photos with King Tut. The dog was standing up and Hoover was holding his paws. It looked like the two of them were “begging”, and in a sense, perhaps they were. It worked. The candidate suddenly seemed to have a human and personal side and The New York Times said it was “one of the happiest pictures ever made” of Hoover. The shepherd went on the campaign trail with Hoover and was his constant companion. Autographed copies of a photo of Hoover and King Tut were sent to influential voters. He won the election and many people thought King Tut played a large role in helping making that possible.
King Tut was loyal and protective, patrolling the White House property day and night if necessary – and he often felt it was necessary.
Unfortunately, the stress that the loyal and lovable shepherd placed upon himself proved too much for him. He developed stomach problems, sometimes refusing to eat, he was so absorbed in protecting President Hoover. He passed away in 1929 at the relatively young age of 8. By then, the public had come to know and love King Tut and the White House withheld the news of his death for quite some time, not wanting to depress the American people, who were already saddened and upset with the advent of the Great Depression. When the news did leak out, King Tut was referred to as “the dog who worried himself to death.”