Scottish Terrier history: FDR’s Fala was once attacked by relative’s mastiff

In 1945, Time magazine reported:

Elliott Roosevelt’s famed Apriority bull mastiff, Blaze, 125 lbs., won a bloody encounter with 20-lb. Fala on the lawn at) Hyde Park. He lost to Malvina Thompson, Eleanor Roosevelt’s companion-secretary. When Blaze charged in a surprise attack, plucky Miss Thompson snatched the Scottie into her, arms. Blaze leaped. He got 1) Fala, 2) Miss Thompson (on the left index finger). Blaze tried to finish Fala. Miss Thompson conked Blaze with a rock. Fala went to the vet for a patching-up, Blaze (by Elliott’s order) went to the vet to be destroyed. The state got his head for a rabies test, found none. That saved Fala’s life.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s customary cordiality to the press sagged under the strain. To a reporter who asked for details, and quoted the Associated Press, she crackled: “Go back to your office and telephone the Associated Press and tell them to mind their own business.”

The attack is confirmed by FDR’s grandson Curtis in a book about his famous family.

3 thoughts on “Scottish Terrier history: FDR’s Fala was once attacked by relative’s mastiff

  1. Wow – didn’t know this story about my namesake. Thanks for the story, Ann. Love Fala stories. I bet Fala was trying to give as much to the Mastiff as he was taking, though.

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