By Adrianna Pitrelli
INDIANAPOLIS — With a bowtie around his neck, grey floppy ears and a cute beard, First Dog Henry Holcomb prances through the Hoosier State — tail wagging and tongue panting.
The 6-year-old Miniature Schnauzer is often seen tagging along with his mom, First Lady Janet Holcomb, at events or hanging out with his dad, Gov. Eric Holcomb, at the Statehouse. He rarely leaves their side and loves when they share their food.
“I LOVE going to events when I get to tag along,” Henry said in an email via the governor’s press office. “I love meeting Hoosiers. I’ve met some awesome people all over the state.”
Henry first met his mom and dad when he was a small pup. The Holcombs went to look at a litter of Henry’s brothers and sisters, but fell in love with Henry who said he was chill while his siblings were loud and crazy.
“I saw a tall man and a pretty lady come in who seemed really nice,” Henry said. “I ended up accidentally falling asleep in the tall man’s lap. I felt a little bad about it since that’s kinda rude for a first date, but they didn’t seem to mind since they ended up taking me home that day.”
From getting told he’s a handsome boy everywhere he goes, to being an internet sensation, Henry is the state’s most popular pet. But it didn’t completely happen until his dad took office.
“My handsome looks garnered lots of attention even before Dad’s new job,” Henry said. “There are definitely more cameras around, but I enjoy it!”
Despite his popularity, Henry is just like the neighborhood dogs. He loves to chase squirrels, eat bacon and nap on his mom and dad’s lap.
But if laps aren’t available, he prefers to sleep on the couches.
“I usually sleep in front of my window since residence security falls under my duties as Indiana’s first dog,” he said.
Traveling the state can get exhausting, but Henry doesn’t mind.
“I love riding there in the car with the windows down because I put my face out the window and feel like I’m flying,” he said.
With more than 1,300 Twitter followers, 920 fans on Facebook and more than 500 followers on Instagram, Henry spends a lot of time on social media connecting with people. But without thumbs, it hasn’t been too easy.
“Siri hasn’t learned bark-to-type transition yet but I penned a letter to the CEO of Apple asking him to do something about that,” Henry said. “I want to use my position as first dog to make real change for the betterment of all, you know?”
Henry Holcomb poses as the pupparazi snaps photos. As first dog, Henry said he hopes to implement bark-to-text translation for smartphones. Photo by Adrianna Pitrelli, TheStatehouseFile.com
Former Statehouse bunny, Marlon Bundo, whose dad is Vice President Mike Pence, is also a social media star with more than 14,800 followers on Instagram and a book deal. The children’s book will be written by his mom, Karen, and his sister, Charlotte.
If other Statehouse animals want to have a playdate with Henry, they’re encouraged to hit him up.
“Tell ‘em to slip into my DMs: @FirstDogHenry.”
Adrianna Pitrelli is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.