To settle in the family of the president, to find love and world fame, it is not at all necessary to have a solid pedigree and unusual appearance. A vivid example of this is Pushinka, who appeared in the family of the 35th US President John F. Kennedy with the light arm of his wife Jacqueline.
Background: Fluffy Star Mom
On August 19, 1960, the Sputnik-5 spacecraft was launched into Earth’s orbit with the Belka and Strelka mutts on board. The daily odyssey was safe, the astronauts returned unscathed. Soviet scientists made sure that with proper preparation, orbital flights are safe for living things. Soon, Strelka confirmed this again by giving birth to healthy puppies. One of them was Fluffy, so named because of its lush white fur.
Arrow - Fluffy's mother - was a homeless, outbred dog. She was distinguished by a lowly, friendly, slightly timid disposition and good learning abilities.
The famous Squirrel (left) and Strelka (right) can be seen today: their stuffed animals are stored in the Moscow Museum of Cosmonautics
From our house to yours: Fluffy - a gift with a hint
In the 60s of the XX century, relations between the USSR and the USA were rather strained. The Cold War and the arms race continued, and the successful launch of Soviet dogs into space only fueled the spirit of rivalry between the two superpowers. To establish contact, US President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Secretary General Nikita Khrushchev conducted active negotiations, exchanged letters, and held high-level meetings. At a dinner party in Vienna, during a small talk, Jacqueline Kennedy, the first lady of the United States, asked Khrushchev how the puppies of the famous Strelka were doing. The Secretary General made his conclusions: he decided to give her one of them, while recalling the achievements of the USSR in space.
Arrow gave birth to six puppies, one of whom decided to give the Kennedy couple
Soon, Strelka gave birth to three “girls” and three “boys”, they were shown on TV. And there was a completely white puppy named Fluff. He really liked the wife of US President Jacqueline Kennedy. And they decided to give her the "son" of the astronaut . A large delegation came to us from the US Embassy under the cover of complete secrecy, collected documents for Pushka, made vaccinations, and then they transported him to the American Embassy with traffic police machines. It was something! It seems that some kind of prince is being taken.
Adilya Ravgatovna Kotovskaya, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor
Pushinka was issued a passport signed by Lyudmila Radkevich, Deputy Head of the Nursery of the USSR Academy of Sciences
Fluffy was safely transported across the ocean, as Khrushchev said in a letter to the US president, expressing his gratitude for the gift. Thus began an informal correspondence between the two leaders - Pushinka managed to defuse the heated atmosphere. FBI officers checked the dog for bugs, after which it was settled in the White House.
New life: Fluffy masters the White House
Fluffy quickly got used to a new place and found a common language with other pets:
- Irish Wolfhound Wolf
- German Shepherd Clipper;
- Welsh terrier Charlie;
- English Cocker Spaniel Shannon .
Trap Bryant, one of the White House employees, looked after her and other four-legged family members.
The presidential couple loved dogs, even though John Kennedy was allergic to them
The Kennedy couple, especially the children, fell in love with Fluffy, and she liked to bask in their arms and frolic in the courtyard of the White House. She was pretty quick-witted, learned to ride a hill and climb stairs there. Bryant trained her, treating her to peanuts. When Caroline, the daughter of Kennedy, found out about this, she was seriously worried: "The veterinarian said it was bad for her."
White House employee Trafs Bryant taught Pushkin to ride the hill
Fluff + Charlie = sweet couple
When Fluffy grew up, the Welsh Terrier Charlie became interested in her. They had four puppies:
- White Tips;
Outbred Fluffy Conquered Charlie's Welsh Terrier Heart
John Kennedy called the kids "pupniks" - from English puppy ("puppy") and sputnik ("companion"). According to the memoirs of Bryant, he was keenly interested when they open their eyes, begin to eat and walk on their own.
When the media reported on the replenishment of the president’s family, the White House began to flood thousands of letters from those wishing to take puppies. Butterfly and Stricker were given to children from the West of the USA, and two others went to live with family friends. Fluff missed them, became nervous, avoided attention, could bite anyone who annoyed her. When Kennedy was killed in 1963, she was given in the care of the White House gardener.
Thousands of Americans wanted to take puppies Fluffy
Video: rare shots depicting Fluffy and Charlie
In the 60s, the USSR and the USA were on the verge of World War III, but, fortunately, both Khrushchev and Kennedy wanted to reduce the degree of tension and stop nuclear weapons tests. The feedback between the two leaders was important. But Pushinka, donated to the Khrushchev family of Kennedy, according to historian Martin Sandler, played at that time the role of a goodwill ambassador and contributed to the warming of US-Soviet relations.