In the year of 2002, the Clintons faced a tragic loss. Their male Chocolate Labrador, Buddy, was killed right outside of Bill’s house in Chappaqua, New York. While Bill and Hillary were away on a trip, Buddy was home alone. The 4-year-old Lab was hit by a car while teasingly chasing a contractor who had just left the house. Unfortunately, Buddy took this playful chasing too far by chasing the contractor down to the middle of a busy street. The driver who hit Buddy was reported to be a 17-year-old girl driving a Ford Explorer. The Clintons stated that they were extremely saddened by the loss of their beloved pet. The family had Buddy since 1997 when he was only 3 months old. Buddy was adopted by the Clintons only a few weeks prior to the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The Labrador’s name had a sentimental value to the former president. He was named after Bill’s great uncle, Henry Oren “Buddy” Grisham, who had passed away a few months before the Clintons received Buddy. Ironically, his great uncle was a dog trainer for over 50 years. Grisham was very influential to Bill’s life. Therefore, Bill felt that his new Labrador deserved an honorable nickname such as “Buddy” to resemble his great uncle. A funny part of this story is that the Clintons also had a cat named Socks before Buddy came along. However, since Buddy and Socks would not get along, Socks was given to Bill’s secretary. This just shows how much Buddy was loved and valued in the lives of the Clintons. In 1998, Mrs. Clinton used Socks and Buddy to write a children’s book called Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets. Evidently, this Lab had highly impacted the lives of the Clinton’s.
Also, Buddy was well-known and loved by so many Americans because he was the most photographed presidential pet. There are an abundance of photographs of Buddy and the Clinton family spending time together. Many could see that Buddy was a great joy to the family. He quickly rose to political fame. In addition, Buddy was also notorious for being somewhat of a troublemaker. One time, he attacked and gulped down a box of donuts that belonged to a group of reporters. Another time, he managed to use his leash to tangle up Bill and knock him down to the ground in front of cameras. Perhaps the Clintons are too careless or have bad luck with their dogs because their former Cocker Spaniel, Zeke, was also run over by a car in Arkansas before Buddy came into the picture. Buddy’s tragic death was deeply upsetting to all Americans.