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President Ford and his golden retriever Liberty - NARA - 6829597.jpg
President Gerald Ford and Liberty in the Oval Office in 1974
BreedGolden Retriever
BornHonor's Foxfire Liberty Hume
(1974-02-08)February 8, 1974
Died1984 (aged 9–10)
OwnerThe Ford Family
Susan, Betty and President Gerald Ford with Liberty and her puppies at the White House in 1975
Susan, Betty and President Gerald Ford with Liberty and her puppies at the White House in 1975

Honor's Foxfire Liberty Hume (February 8, 1974 – 1984) (AKC Registration Number SB578950) was the Golden Retriever Presidential pet of Betty Ford and Gerald Ford. Liberty was born February 8, 1974 and given to the president as an 8-month-old puppy by his daughter Susan Ford and new White House photographer David Hume Kennerly in the fall of 1974. The breeder of the dark gold pup was Ann (Avis) Friberg of Mount Vernon, Washington.[1]

Liberty was frequently photographed with Ford in the Oval Office, in the swimming pool at Camp David and on the South Lawn of the White House. She also had a litter of pups in the White House on September 14, 1975, one of which – Misty – was kept by Ford.[2] At one point Ford was locked in a White House stairwell after returning from walking the dog on the South Lawn early one morning.[3] Photographs of the dog were autographed with a rubber stamp of her paw print.[4] Stories indicated that if Ford wanted to end a conversation in the Oval Office he would signal Liberty and she would go to the guest wagging her tail creating a natural break.[5]

Ford discussed the dog in a speech on October 9, 1974 in a tribute to William Scranton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:[6]

This puppy has really taken over the White House. In fact, you may have seen some of us laughing up here during dinner. As I reached in my pocket to get a match to light my pipe, look what I pulled out of the pocket — some dog biscuits! [Laughter]
Let me tell you the story about Susan and Dave and how they bought this dog. I first should preface that the Fords had had two previous golden retrievers. One lived 13 years and died, and then another one died a year ago in August after 9 years. So we are fairly partial, I would say, to golden retrievers.
Well, Dave and Susan called up a very highly recommended individual who had contacts with the people who raise golden retrievers all over the country. And Dave, as I understand it — who is communicating with the breeder who happened to have a golden retriever about this age — Dave asked the individual if they had a dog and was it available, and the owner said that they had this 8-month-old golden retriever, but breeder was a little cautious — they're very possessive about these dogs — and he asked in a very nice way who the dog's owner would be.
And they said, Dave and Susan, that they had to keep it a secret. Well, the kennel owner said that they don't sell dogs that way. He would have to know who the dog's owner would be, and he wanted to know would the dog have a good home.
So, Dave and Susan very specifically assured the dog owner that it would have a good home. They explained that the parents were friendly and middle-aged and they had four children. The kennel owner said, "That sounds fine. What kind of a house do they live in?"
Susan and Dave said, "Well, it is a big white house with a fence around it." The kennel owner said, "This is a big dog. Will it have enough to eat? Does the father have a steady job?" Well, on that question, they were stuck a bit. [Laughter]
Needless to say they got the dog and, in the appropriate spirit of the city of Philadelphia, we have named her "Liberty." One of those inquisitive reporters that we have in Washington asked Susan who is going to take care of Liberty; who is going to feed her and groom her and take her out each night or every morning? And Susan did not hesitate one minute. She said, "Of course, it will be Dad." So, I have this feeling — this is one Liberty that is going to cost me some of mine. [Laughter]
But in a very broader sense, that is the true nature of liberty. It comes with both privileges and obligations. Freedom, we all know, is seldom free.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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    23 710
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  • Pups of Liberty: The Dog-claration of Independence - Full Video
  • Meet Liberty
  • "Liberty's DoG Street Adventures" Trailer


Hi! I'm Anne Kennel, and the episode of Pups of Liberty you're about to see is based on the Declaration of Independence. (Slurps) However, in this version, all of the real people of history will be portrayed by cats and dogs. For example, you will see Spaniel Adams, a dog like me, representing Samuel Adams, who was a real living person like you. Then we have Paul Ruffere, who is based on Paul Revere. See how that works? Well they do say people look like their dogs. After the Boston Tea Party, King George III instituted new rules that were intended to make the colonists give up their fight for independence. This only made them want their freedom more. They called together a convention of delegates from each of the thirteen colonies and met in Philadelphia. This Continental Congress focused on one very important decision, whether or not to declare independence from England. The colonies would become a free nation. But that would mean they have to go to war with England, which is Catland in our story. Well, that's the end of our lesson. I hope you enjoy The Pups of Liberty: The Dog-claration of Independence. After the Boston Tea-Bone Party, the Royal TomCat wanted the dogs to pay for what they did. He ordered that the following laws be taken into effect: The port of Boston will be closed; any doghouse may be taken over and used by RedCat soldiers; all disobedient dogs will be sent to Catland to stand trial; there are to be no more canine gatherings and finally- there is to be no freedom of the press. In Philadelphia, the dogs formed a Continental Congress to govern themselves. The Pups of Liberty in Boston were sending dogs to represent them. For Anne's safety, John sent her with them, so she could be apprenticed to Bonejamin Franklin. Meanwhile, the RedCats were on their way to seize powder and guns from the MinuteMutts in Concord. They knew Anne and the delegates were on that road. Orders were to arrest them all before they reached Congress in Philadelphia. The Pups had eyes and ears everywhere, and sent Paul Ruffere to warn everyone that the RedCats were coming. The RedCats are coming out! The RedCats are coming out! (Howls) The RedCats are coming out! The RedCats are coming out! (Howls) (To arms!) The RedCats are coming out. They want to arrest you. The MinuteMutts will try and stall them, but you must go now! Thank you, Ruffere. We are in your debt. The RedCats are coming out! Canines arise! Now is our time! How can the RedCats do this? How could they hurt us? We can't do much here Anne, but if we can get to Congress, we can help. There's no going back now. Here we are, Anne. Give Mr. Franklin my regards. See you in Congress. Mister Franklin? Do you like it? It's off the new press, a prototype really. You must be my new apprentice. How is your father holding up in Boston? He's well enough, but he can't print, or report or do anything. And he seems so far away. He was smart to send you here. He said you're a good printer hound. Do you want to report as well? Fetch the news? Yes, sir! Good, good. As I like to say, it is the working dog who is the happy dog. I can hardly wait! When can we start? It so happens I'm on my way to Congress. I'm a Pennsylvania delegate, so you'll have an inside source. Ow! My tail. So, if you're a delegate, does that mean you get to vote for whatever you want? (Chuckles) If only my job could be that easy. You see Anne, being a delegate means I represent the views of ALL the dogs in my colony. I have to report back to my pack every time there's a vote in Congress, to ensure I make the decisions they want. Wow! There's your friends, the Boston delegates, Spaniel Adams and his cousin Pug. He's one tough terrier. The Virginians, Thomas Jefferhound and George Woofington. (Bangs gavel) This meeting is called to order! Sit! Delegates, today we discuss whether to declare our independence from Catland. Does any dog here object to independence? I object! John Doxen, you have the floor. John Doxen? But he wrote Letters from a Farmdog, the Penman of the Ruffolution. Indeed. A great writer on freedom. But times have changed. My fellow pups, we must make peaceful resolve with Catland. To this day, I consider myself a citizen of Catland, even though it is my desire to have a government of dogs here in the colonies. Heh! The cats will never tolerate that! How do you know if you don't give them a chance? We have given them enough chances. The RedCats attacked our dogs and then made Boston unbearable to live in. It's true! I'm from there. They would rather let us suffer than have freedom. Forgive me, Mr. Hamhock, but I do not believe this pup is a delegate. You haven't been in Boston. This is real; the cats are not giving up. Soon things will get worse for all of the colonies. (Bangs gavel) The fact remains that we need to be cautious in our actions. I do not support independence, for I fear the consequences of splitting from Catland. I present to you, delegates, the Catnip Proposal, to try for peace one more time. It should be sent to the Royal TomCat right away. And he will send it straight to his litter box right away. (Bangs gavel) The motion before this Congress is to send the Catnip Proposal to the Royal TomCat. All of those in favor? Aye. Then it is settled. We send the proposal at once, and wait for a reply. (Bangs gavel) Mr. Franklin, why did you vote yes for the Catnip Proposal if you don't agree with it? Well Anne, sometimes keeping your head and solving problems from a different approach is the best way to get what you want. I don't understand. When the Royal TomCat says no, it will prove to every dog just how unreasonable he really is, and will show them the truth. No dog will heel to that. The pen is mightier than the sword, and knowledge is power. Let's go inform the pack of today's events. See that, Anne? That's Thomas Jefferhound, he's a rare breed. And a good dog to have on our side. We should pay him a visit. That's what I was saying to George Dalmatian. Good evening, friends. May we join you? Oh evening, Bonejamin. Of course! So, you've told the pack of the Catnip Proposal? What's the news then? Love a bit of catnip myself. Umm...uh... What's the matter, Anne? Cat got your tongue? (Chuckles) May I present Mr. Thomas Fang. Nice to meet ya. The world doesn't think the way it used to, there are so many new ideas, like -- All creatures are created equal. Yes, and as such they should be able to self-govern, which means -- No king. No dog should have to be under a cat's rule, it's silly. (Slurps) Don't you feel like you're going against your own kind? Well, Anne, it might seem like that, but I see it differently. I believe that freedom is the right of every creature, whether born in Catland or in the Americanine Colonies. Cats do not have the right to control anyone. We are all created equal, which means the Royal TomCat is born the same as any dog. There should be no king at all. Every dog should know this, it's canine sense. (Moans in pain) I'm from Boston, with Dr. Warren's mutts. I've come to ask Congress for reinforcements. The RedCats are trying new things every day. We're holding them in Boston for now, but if they get out, we're finished. They refuse to leave, and they have the city locked up tight. Have you seen my father, John Kennel? Yes, I know him. He's the printer hound, right? I - I saw him a while back, but I can't lie to you pup; it's a bad place to be. Urgent message, sir, from Catland. A Proclamation by the Royal TomCat, in response to the Catnip Proposal. All dogs are to remain subjects of the Royal TomCat. Any dog who is disobedient will be considered a traitor, and put to sleep. Oh no...Papa. We must declare independence! Th-th-this is too much. I would rather live under the Royal TomCat than see my fellow pups be put to sleep. There will be no life under the TomCat's rule! Certainly not a life of freedom! You'll be on a leash! Muzzled! (Bangs gavel) You heard it for yourselves, delegates. Please discuss this with your pack. We will reconvene to vote on independence. But, we cannot part from Catland. There has to be reconciliation. Th-th-there has to be! Why can't you see? The cats will never let us be free! Papa's trapped in Boston. I have to do something to help him. If we wait too long, he'll surely be taken prisoner and tried as a traitor. Congress has to vote for independence. How can I unite the pack? If only there was something that could convince them, show them the truth. Tom Fang! His Canine Sense! It could unite the pack and convince even John Doxen to vote for independence. Mr. Fang! We have to print your ideas on freedom and equality, your Canine Sense. Hurry! Nothing would please me more! Canine Sense was read by all the dogs of the thirteen colonies, and it changed the way they thought about equality. They let their delegates know that they agreed with what it said. With support for independence growing, and the vote coming soon, congress chose a group to write the final statement of Americanine independence from Catland. The Dog-claration of Independence was delivered to Congress for the final vote. All of the delegates were present, except for John Doxen. As you are well aware, voting yes will sever ties with Catland, and declare us independent- but also at war. Let's begin. New Hampshire. New Hampshire votes yes. Rhode Island. Rhode Island votes yes. Massachusetts. Massachusetts votes yes. New York. New York abstains. Connecticut. Connecticut votes yes. New Jersey. Yes. Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania votes yes. Delaware. Yes! Virginia. Virginia votes yes. Maryland. Yes. North Carolina. North Carolina votes yes. South Carolina. Yes. Georgia. Georgia votes yes. Twelve for, none against, with one abstention. Independence passes! (ALL dogs cheer and howl) Liberty! Liberty and justice! Good day, Miss Kennel. I'm sure that you are happy with the vote. I am, but why weren't you there? Anne, I do not believe in resolving conflict through violence. Yet, I cannot stand in the way of independence either, if that's what the pack wants. I believe in the democratic process. I am devoted to the Rule of Law, and the principles of liberty, but I also respect that dogs can have many different opinions, whether I agree or not. I hope that you learn to serve your country with respect for every creature. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all creatures are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Back in Boston, General George Woofington convinced the Redcats to leave. Fire! (Cannon firing and explosions) But the Ruffolutionary War had just begun. Anne... Papa! You're here! Welcome back, John Kennel. Oh Papa, you should have seen it. Congress passed the Dog-claration of Independence, and now we're at war with Catland, but what's next? Now we fight. We fight to stay free, as every creature was meant to be. There's no turning back now. As Pawtrick Henry says, "Give me liberty, or give me dog breath!"

See also


  1. ^ Honor's Foxfire Liberty Hume - Golden Retriever Weekly - Directory Section - Dog Search
  2. ^ "Gerald R. Ford: Remarks at a Republican Party Fundraising Dinner in Portland". Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  3. ^ The Times of My Life - by Betty Ford - October 1978. ISBN 0-06-011298-0
  4. ^ Psychologist, Rochelle Lesser, School. "Golden Retrievers with Celebrity (Moms and Dads) - E to H". Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  5. ^ A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford, by Gerald R. Ford, August 1979. ISBN 0-06-011297-2
  6. ^ "Gerald R. Ford: Remarks at a Dinner Honoring William W. Scranton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania". Retrieved 15 January 2017.

External links

Media related to Liberty (dog) at Wikimedia Commons

Honorary titles
Preceded by
King Timahoe
(Richard Nixon's
Irish Setter)
White House pet dog
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
Succeeded by
(Jimmy Carter's
Border Collie)
This page was last edited on 6 August 2018, at 23:06
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