They say that you can tell a lot about someone by the way he treats animals. When you read Abe and Fido, the story of Abraham Lincoln’s adored dog Fido, and Abraham Lincoln’s fierce love for animals, you can tell he would become a hero, willing to sacrifice himself.
When Lincoln was about six, a neighboring farmer gave him a piglet. He loved the little pig and even built a cradle out of a hollow log for him. You can imagine what happened when the pig became a hog. One day Lincoln woke up and saw that his Dad had built a spit to roast the pig. He ran into the woods with his pig and hid him all day. The next day, his Dad got up before him and Lincoln didn’t have a chance to hide his pig again. He had to hear the pig squeal and watch his family eat the meat later. He refused to eat the meat himself.
The story of a farmer’s child becoming attached to an animal who will become food isn’t new. But Lincoln is one of the few children who would risk his own comforts and his family’s wrath trying to save the pet he cherished. A hero protects animals. And through Abe and Fido, you can read the story of an emerging hero.
Fido was a stray dog who looked, judging from the surviving photographs, a lot like a Labrador Retriever. Fido would nap with Lincoln on the seven foot sofa Lincoln had custom made to accommodate his height. In the town of Springfield, Fido became a charming character, indulged even when his exuberance left muddy paw prints on the people he greeted. Lincoln’s young sons and their friends played with Fido when he wasn’t napping on the sofa.
Lincoln’s admiration for cats began when his Dad married his stepmother and she came with a cat. When he was in the White House, he used to feed a beautiful tabby in the chair next to him with a gold fork. Someone questioned him about feeding the cat with a gold fork. Lincoln replied that if the fork was good enough for President Buchanan, it was good enough for the cat. He played with cats when he needed a respite from unrelenting stress.
When I read the description of Abe and Fido, I was surprised that Lincoln didn’t take Fido to the White House with him. Spoiler Alert: Fido didn’t like politics. In the months leading up to Lincoln’s election, Fido began hiding under his seven foot sofa when boisterous politicians came to the house. Lincoln knew Fido would hate the long, noisy, train ride to Washington. He chose Fido’s happiness over his own and left Fido in Springfield with family friends. Lincoln insisted that the family take Fido’s favorite sofa too.
If you love animals, you’ll love Abe and Fido. You can see Abe and Fido at Amazon by clicking on the link below:
Abe & Fido: Lincoln’s Love of Animals and the Touching Story of His Favorite Canine Companion
Disclosure: I received a copy of Abe and Fido from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.