Elvis Presley had an affection for animals of all kinds. Over the years he had quite a menagerie at Graceland. It would be a daunting task to name all the animals that came and went over the years. Here are stories of just a few.
Shortly after buying Graceland, its location still rural in nature at the time, Elvis was given several donkeys. The fence around the property hadn't been completed yet so he kept them in the new, empty swimming pool until the fence was finished. Elvis' mother Gladys had her chickens and there was a turkey named Bowtie. Elvis' father Vernon raised hogs and he smoked and cured pork in the old pump house that Elvis, years later, would turn into a temporary makeshift firing range.
One time Elvis, Vernon and Lamar Fike drove a limo out to Germantown, a suburb of Memphis. There they purchased chickens, ducks and other fowl to stock was becoming their little farm at Graceland. Lamar rode in the back with the livestock to try and control them. However, they flew around and made a huge mess of the back of the limo. Even after cleaning and fumigation it was never the same. Elvis soon replaced the car.
Twice fans in Australia sent him a wallaby, a type of kangaroo. Once was while he was on the set of "Jailhouse Rock" in 1957 and the second time was in 1962. He ended up donating them to the Memphis Zoo. Elvis had several beautiful peacocks until while admiring their reflection in his car, they started scratching the paint. They too found themselves at the zoo.
At one time he had a mynah bird that often made interesting statements about "where Elvis could go". We're not sure who taught him that.
Scatter was a chimpanzee Elvis bought in 1961. He had been owned by Memphis TV personality Captain Bill Killebrew. For a while Scatter would be dressed in his own human-like wardrobe and would party with Elvis and his friends. Just one of the guys. He became hard to control and on the MGM lot one day got away and into producer Samuel Goldwyn's office, which Scatter proceeded to tear apart. He was escorted out by two security officers, one on each side of him. As Alan Fortas put it, "he looked like he was under arrest". Scatter had to be sent back to Graceland.
Elvis fans, the Lewis family, gave Elvis a squirrel monkey for Christmas 1966. They had bought it from Katz Drug Store and named it Bambi. They were regulars among fans who hung out at the Graceland front gate and they were invited often to the movies with Elvis. It was at the movie theater that they presented the monkey to him. Both Elvis and Priscilla were pleased with the tiny creature and drove back to Graceland playing with it.
Elvis owned a number of horses over the years, too many to name them all. Just a few of them were: his beloved golden palomino quarter horse named Rising Sun and Tennessee walking horse named Bear, Tennessee Walking Horses named Memphis and Ebony's Double, and a mixed breed bay he named Mare Ingram after then Memphis mayor William Ingram. Once, Elvis brought daughter Lisa inside Graceland astride her Shetland pony Moriah for his grandmother Minnie Mae Presley to see. The pony "did what comes naturally" and Elvis had to clean it up. Minnie Mae was not amused.
He had many dogs over the years including: a Bassett Hound named Sherlock, Great Danes named Snoopy and Brutus, and Edmund, the Pomeranian he soongave his aunt, Delta Presley Biggs, with whom the dog had bonded. Get Lo, a Chow, was flown in Elvis' small Jetstar plane to Boston for treatment of a kidney aliment. He stayed there for three months of intensive care and then was flown home, where his treatment continued. Sadly, the veterinarians couldn't cure him. Other dogs over the years included Whoosh, Oswald and, named after one of Elvis' movie characters, a dog named Michael Edwards.
Elvis' girlfriend Linda Thompson tells the story of how she and Elvis would sometimes buy out a pet store and give the animals away and the fun they had doing it. Elvis sometimes gave animals as special gifts to a loved one. One was Sweet Pea, a tiny dog he gave his mother Gladys in 1956. Another was Honey, a puppy he gave Priscilla for Christmas 1962. Puff was the name of a cat he gave Lisa Marie.