Eisenhower grew up in a poor family on a farm near Abilene, Texas. He was the third of seven brothers, all of whom were nicknamed “Ike.”
He is pictured between his parents and two younger brothers with his little childhood dog, Flip, looking on.
At one time, paraphrasing Mark Twain, he said,” What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog.” He may have had this dog in mind.
Because he didn’t have enough money for college, Eisenhower joined the military and graduated from West Point. After he retired from the army he served as president of Columbia University before being elected president of the United States in 1952.
Weimeraners were quite rare in the United States during this time. The breed had been developed by the Court of Weimar in the early 1900’s as one of Germany’s top sporting dogs and companion animals.
The breeders were very selective about who owned one of their dogs. For many years any Weimeraner sold to an American was sterilized to prevent a breeder from changing the basic attributes of the breed, their hunting skills and pleasant, loyal dispositions.
When World War II began, the breeders were concerned about the safety of the dogs. If a kennel were bombed, the breed could be wiped out forever. So before and after the war breeding pairs of Weimeraners were allowed to go the United States.
”Heidi is definitely an asset to life in the White House. She cavorts on the South Lawn at a great rate, with such important projects as chasing squirrels and investigating what might be under bushes.
"She is beautiful and well-behaved (occasionally she tends toward stubbornness but is then immediately apologetic about it). And she is extremely affectionate and seemingly happy. I am constantly indebted to you both for giving her to me . . .” Source
All the Presidents' Dogs