great blue heron

here fido—come here—come on boy

at a recent support meeting, the question came up on why so many dogs have the name fido. A quick internet search found plenty.

the notre dame Latin dictionary lists fido as to trust, believe and confide in. many books defines fido as i am faithful. so fido is is considered faithful, trusty and worthy confidante.

before we go any further, q: what is the name the the first presidential dog that got photographed? (okay , you can probably guess the name.) why was the photo taken?

as spelled out pretty well in abraham lincoln’s diary and other historical works, he faced melancholia or as it is known in the modern day, depression. he had a dog, a companion and often ab would be seen walking with his dog behind him carrying a package. you could probably guess that the name of the dog was fido.


Fido served as a trusty companion in lincoln’s pre-presidential years. when the plans got made for moving to the white house, mary todd made the decision that fido would not make the trip. mary todd felt that some of fido’s allowed behaviors, such as coming in the house with muddy feed would not go over well at the white house. ab found a neighbor who took fido in with many stipulations such as being allowed to come in the house with muddy feet, being fed scraps from the table and not being left tied up alone in the backyard. in other words, the dog had it good.ab feared his two boys would be like him and greatly miss fido. in that time, people felt that the spirit of the things being photographed would go with the photograph. for that reason, ab had photos taken with fido and each of the boys so they could take the spirit of fido with them. hence, the first photographs of the presidents dog.

we know how abraham lincoln’s story ends, but what about fido? how’d his story end?

the lincolns moved back to springfield after ab’s passing. about a year after abraham lincoln’s assassination, fido went out on his morning rounds. he approached a drunk man asleep on the street. fido supposedly went down to lick the man’s face. the man awoke to see a wide open dog mouth hanging over his face. he freaked out, pulled out his knife and unfortunately stabbed him to death. )-:

i wish i could rewrite history and let fido die while burying his favorite bone, but i haven’t found a way to travel back to the future. and if i f did that, i rip a whole in the space/time continuum. let’s not forget that fido lived up to his name being a faithful, trusty and worthy confidante to the lincoln family. i can only guess the number of times fido let ab scratch his head and lift his gloominess, if only by a little.

and now for a truth in advertising statement: this writing highly relies on an article in physiology today, why are dogs so frequently called “fido”?.

16 thoughts on “here fido—come here—come on boy

  1. Ava Savage

    Oh it was good to read your sweet words on my last post. Am so glad you are writing again. I believe dogs are the best help to us suffering from depression. My little Pomeranian, ‘Bear because he looked like a little bear) died last August. I’m having a hard time without him. But poor little Fido that is so sad, but I enjoyed learning that about Abe and his beloved Fido. I hope you are doing good and keep writing. I am computer illiterate so I can’t blog, but I still feel connected through all the blogs I read. Talk to you later.

  2. Ava Savage

    I left you a long post but all you got were xxx. I don’t know what happened? We’ll see if you get this.

    1. bipolarsojourner Post author

      The messages were moderated, needing my approval. don’t understand why since you have successful replied before without moderation. on my blog, moderation is required on a person’s first post, then the person can freely reply.

  3. jennymarie4

    This is really interesting! I didn’t know that about the name Fido. I’d heard Lincoln had depression, but didn’t know about his dog. Ours is named Buddy. A popular dog name, and he definitely is our best buddy 🙂


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