State Politics

First Dog Mac McMaster featured in governor’s Christmas decoration

Many things are said about South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. Some complimentary, others derogatory. As the head of state, it comes with the territory.

But one thing that can never be said about McMaster and South Carolina’s First Family, is that they don’t love their dogs.

The governor, and his wife Peggy, have an English bulldog named Mac. He joined McMaster’s family after another beloved pet bulldog, Boots, died following a battle with lymphatic cancer.

Like Boots, Mac has been highly visible and doted upon by McMaster. The bond with South Carolina’s First Dog is so strong that Mac’s likeness was added to the governor’s gingerbread house.

McMaster shared a picture of “Marshmallow Mac” on Twitter, adding a Merry Christmas message with the holiday staple from the Governor’s Mansion.

In May, McMaster introduced Mac, then an 11-week-old puppy, calling him the “prettiest little dog in the whole wide world.”

Since then, the bulldog named after McMaster’s father in law, has grown. That’s obvious in his marshmallow likeness.

Whether he gets as big as Boots remains to be seen. He’s on the right track, but has some catching up to do to have as high of a profile as Boots.

Boots rose to celebrity status in political circles, appearing with McMaster in campaign ads.

As lieutenant governor, McMaster kept a place for Boots in his office. When he ascended to the governor’s office, the dog followed.

Before he was sworn in as governor, McMaster said Boots wouldn’t be a distraction in the State House.

“He has bursts of energy, then he’ll sleep several times a day,” McMaster said. “Often, people will hear him snoring.”

In addition to Mac and Boots, another bulldog has called the Governor’s Mansion home.

The governor and wife Peggy agreed last spring to provide a foster home for Winston, an adult English bulldog at the request of a friend of the First Lady who works at a pet shelter.

“She knew we loved bulldogs and knew we had just gotten a little puppy, so she asked if we would consider keeping him,” McMaster told The State. “She brought him (Winston) over and, of course, we fell in love with him right away.”

The dog had been removed by court order from an owner who was not taking proper care of the animal, McMaster said.

But at the mansion, Winston spent his days lounging on the porch, romping on the lawn and playing with Mac, McMaster said.

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