Trump Under Fire for Using Male Pronouns to Describe Conan the Hero Dog

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence and First Lady Melania Trump, introduces Conan the military working dog to members of the press Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Forget the alleged quid pro quo with Ukraine, Trump has a new controversy on his hands which might actually succeed in getting him impeached: referring to the hero dog Conan, who took part in and was injured during the al-Baghdadi raid, with male pronouns.


Conan, a Belgian Malinois, was at the White House for a ceremony honoring her role in last month’s raid when Trump made the unforgivable error.

Naturally, the mix-up launched a lot of social media buzz, with people posting photos of Conan and noting the situation on the dog’s underside.

As comforting as it is that people are acknowledging the biological reality of the presence of certain sex organs and how that correlates to gender, the amount of digital ink and time spent on this rather simple mistake seems excessive.

For starters, I was originally shocked to learn the name of the dog was Conan because Conan is a male name—or at least generally it is. Of course, in my experience, people generally assume dogs to be boys. I have a beagle-bulldog mix named Zuzu, and people who meet her have been incorrectly referring to her as a boy for eight years. “What his name?” “How old is he?” “What breed is he?” etc. etc. Even people who have known her for years occasionally slip and use male pronouns.


Zuzu, the world’s greatest dog. (Photo by Matt Margolis)

Nevertheless, the innocuous mix-up with Conan was fodder for the media and social media alike.


Aren’t you glad there’s nothing better to get worked up about?

There are, of course, a large number of tweets mocking Trump for getting Conan’s gender wrong. They never asked whether Conan identifies as a male and simply hasn’t started to transition yet. Shame on them for assuming gender!


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