Fala was the nickname of Murray the Outlaw of Falahill (after John Murray of Falahill, a famous Roosevelt Scottish ancestor), Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Scottish Terrier.
Roosevelt, during the 1944 election, was accused of sending a destroyer to fetch Fala, who supposedly had been left behind on the Aleutian Islands during a campaign tour. FDR responded with the Fala speech:
“These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family doesn’t resent attacks – but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him – at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or 20 million dollars – his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since! I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself – such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog.”
Fala is with his master FDR in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial on the Tidal Basin. Fala was a late addition to the memorial, suggested by Senator Carl Levin, a member of the Roosevelt Memorial Commission.
My son, who had a fascination with the Presidents (as a three year old, he recited the names of the Presidents in order to the other tourists on a Tourmobile ride around Washington, D. C.), had a stuffed black Scottish terrier plush toy named Fala.
Books about Presidential Pets:
First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Best Friends by Roy Rowan
Presidential Pets by Niall Kelly
Wackiest White House Pets by Kathryn Gibbs Davis