Michael D Higgins’s Bernese mountain dogs, Shadow and Bród, are being hailed as his secret weapon, charming visitors – such as the Irish Women’s hockey team, right – as they slouch into every photo But he is not the first president to keep canines in Áras an Uachtaráin. Éamon de Valera – usually seen as an austere figure – kept two Shetland collies, Nessa and Bran. Over in the US, Donald Trump is the first president in decades not to have a dog. In fact he uses the word ‘dog’ as a term of abuse. Maybe Shadow and Bród are the reason he cancelled his visit.