Did you know that a Virginia hound named Sweet Lips played a leading role in establishing George Washington’s presence during the Continental Congress?
Philadelphia takes notice
“His movements and gestures are graceful, his walk majestic, and he was walking with a tall, exceedingly graceful dog of the hound type as he strode down Walnut Street,” exclaimed Elizabeth Willing Powel, wife of Philadelphian Mayor Sam Powel.
Welcomed by the Powels and community, Washington actively participated in local fox hunts. Love of dogs undoubtedly helped raise his awareness, influence and impact during the Continental Congress.
Sweet Lips admirably served as Washington’s companion and fellow hunter in Philly. After returning to Mt. Vernon, he bred these English Foxhounds into more robust American Foxhounds. The American Kennel Club acknowledges him as a father of the breed.
President Washington, his family and slaves cared for many breeds. Beyond his famous hounds, there were spaniels, terriers (called tarriers), a newfoundland, and other sporting and non-sporting dogs living at Mt. Vernon.