Liberty Ford was the dog of the former President Gerald Ford and his wife Betty. Her registered name was Honor's Foxfire Liberty Hume. Liberty was born on February 8, 1974 and given to President Ford as a birthday present in the fall of 1974. Ann (Avis) Friberg was Liberty's breeder. Liberty died in 1984.
President Gerald Ford mentioned Liberty in a speech honoring William W. Scranton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 9, 1974.
As some of you might have seen in the last few days, either through the newspapers or television, the White House has a new addition. My daughter, Susan, and Dave Kennerly, our new White House photographer, got together a few days ago and surprised Betty and me with an 8-month-old golden retriever.
This puppy has really taken over the White House. In fact, you may have seen some of us laughing up here during dinner. As I reached in my pocket to get a match to light my pipe, look what I pulled out of the pocket--some dog biscuits! [Laughter]
Let me tell you the story about Susan and Dave and how they bought this dog. I first should preface that the Fords had had two previous golden retrievers. One lived 13 years and unfortunately died, and then another one died a year ago in August after 9 years. So we are fairly partial, I would say, to golden retrievers.
Well, Dave and Susan called up a very highly recommended individual who had contacts with the people who raise golden retrievers all over the country. And Dave, as I understand it--who is communicating with the individual up in Minneapolis who happened to have a golden retriever about this age--Dave asked the individual if they had a dog and was it available, and the owner said that they had this 8-month-old golden retriever, but the proprietor or the owner was a little cautious--they're very possessive about these dogs-- and he asked in a very nice way who the dog's owner would be.
And they said, Dave and Susan, that they had to keep it a secret. Well, the kennel owner said that they don't sell dogs that way. He would have to know who the dog's owner would be, and he wanted to know would the dog have a good home.
So, Dave and Susan very specifically assured the dog owner that it would have a good home. They explained that the parents were friendly and middle-aged and they had four children. The kennel owner said, "That sounds fine. What kind of a house do they live in?"
Susan and Dave said, "Well, it is a big white house with a fence around it." The kennel owner said, "This is a big dog. Will it have enough to eat? Does the father have a steady job?" Well, on that question, they were stuck a bit. [Laughter]
Needless to say they got the dog and, in the appropriate spirit of the city of Philadelphia, we have named her "Liberty." One of those inquisitive reporters that we have in Washington asked Susan who is going to take care of Liberty; who is going to feed her and groom her and take her out each night or every morning? And Susan did not hesitate one minute. She said, "Of course, it will be Dad." So, I have this feeling--this is one Liberty that is going to cost me some of mine. [Laughter]
But in a very broader sense, that is the true nature of liberty. It comes with both privileges and obligations. Freedom, we all know, is seldom free. (Source)
Other Links on Liberty:
Liberty Ford is a Golden Light because of the awareness she raised of the positive traits of the Golden Retriever when she was photographed hundreds of times in her role as the Presidential pet. Liberty has been gone almost 30 years, but her well-known owners make her one of the most recognized Golden Retrievers in the United States.
Golden Light Honors the Lives of Golden Retrievers.
The photo in this post is in the Public Domain.