Meet Pete, the presidential pet squirrel of the Warren Harding. Pete lived on the grounds of the White House and would scamper through the halls inside, attending press conferences and news briefings.
“In the earlier stages of the Harding administration, Laddie Boy (the President’s dog) nosed his way among the correspondents, sniffing shins here and there…Pete has lately taken on these duties. At the conference last Friday, Pete entered the executive offices before the meeting was in session, ran nimbly to and fro during the proceedings, and was one of the last to leave,” reported a tongue-in-cheek correspondent in 1922.
Harding wasn’t the first President to own a “Pete the Squirrel” – President Harry Truman also kept a pet squirrel named Pete.