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If Trump wins, the White House will be pet-less

If Donald Trump wins the election, he will be the first pet-less president since the infamous Harry S. Truman.

The Donald would be the first president in more than 60 years without a furry companion

The popular #TrumpYourCat movement swept through social media. (Jill Carlson (jillcarlson.org)/Flickr)

As the U.S. presidential race enters its final days, the campaign will forever be coloured by controversy surrounding Trump's lewd comments and Clinton's e-mail scandal.

And while many voters will look to the candidates' stance on key issues like terrorism and the environment before they vote on Tuesday night, small animal veterinarian Dr. Ted Morris has a warning for all Americans gearing up to cast a ballot: if Trump wins, there will be no pets crawling in the White House for the first time in more than half a century.

"In this election, Hillary Clinton owns two dogs — she has two poodle-mixes," Morris told host Sheryl MacKay on CBC's North by Northwest.

"Donald Trump owns no pets — zero. And if he's elected, he'll be the first president since Truman to not have a pet at the White House. I don't know why people aren't talking about this scandal!" he lamented.

Morris is also a comedian. However, he pointed out some fascinating instances when cats and dogs actually swayed voter approval — so Trump might want to consider picking up a golden retriever before election night.

Nixon relatable because of his dog

Richard Nixon's famous dog Checkers is believed to have increased his approval rating among voters. (Cliff/Flickr)

Morris says one of the reasons why Richard Nixon was able to capture the public's imagination when he was up-and-coming was because of his dog.

When Nixon was running for vice-president in the early 1950s, multiple reports suggested that his financial backers were showering him with dollars and gifts, including a black-and-white cocker spaniel named Checkers.

Fearing charges of corruption from journalists and political opponents, Nixon addressed the issue on national television, detailing that his funding was modest and necessary — and that the dog wasn't going anywhere.

"He refused to give the dog back, so he kind of came across as this man of the people and it really improved his approval rating."

Truman regifted a pooch

President Harry S. Truman, however, took the opposite approach when he was gifted a pup.

"When he first got into office, someone gave him a dog — and then he regifted it to someone, and that got him in tons of hot water."

It's believed that Truman's reputation never recovered after giving the dog, named Feller, to a White House physician.

Feller is widely considered to be the saddest looking dog ever, according to the internet.

Truman's legendary unwanted dog Feller is believed to have damaged the president's approval rating. (Cliff/Flickr)

A dog was a political symbol of Cold War

But dogs can also be a sign of power, said Morris.

Who could ever forget the Soviet space dog Laika, the first Earth-born creature to launch into outer space?

Laika was thrust into the great beyond by the Soviets on Nov. 3, 1957 and was said to have survived six days in the earth's orbit before dying.

It's since been revealed that the dog died within two hours due to panic and overheating.

Laika launched into outerspace on November 3, 1957 and died within two hours. (Bobbie Johnson/Flickr)

Regardless of the dog's unsurprising death, the Russians eventually got it right after a dog named Streika made the first successful round trip to outer space, paving the way for humans to start making the trip.

Nikita Khrushchev, the USSR's first secretary at the time of Streika's voyage, gifted U.S. president John F Kennedy one of her puppies, named Pushinka, after the voyage.

"It was a subtle way of demonstrating Soviet superiority in the space race," said Morris.

The dog lived happily ever after in the White House.

With files from CBC's North by Northwest


To listen to the full interview, click on the audio labelled: If Trump wins, there will be no pets left in the White House

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