Pushinka, a Cold War puppy that the Kennedy family loved, was presented as a gift to the Kennedy's daughter Caroline.

Her mother was an animal astronaut that survived orbiting the Earth.

This copy of a note from Caroline Kennedy explains it all.

"My mother told a funny story," says Caroline Kennedy, who is now the US ambassador to Japan, but was once - a little over 50 years ago - a toddler growing up in the White House.

"She was sitting next to Khrushchev at a state dinner in Vienna. She ran out of things to talk about, so she asked about the dog, Strelka, that the Russians had shot into space. During the conversation, my mother asked about Strelka's puppies.

"A few months later, a puppy arrived and my father had no idea where the dog came from and couldn't believe my mother had done that."

The puppy was Strelka's daughter, Pushinka, listed on her official registration certificate as a "non-breed" or mongrel.

"Pushinka was cute and fluffy," says Ambassador Kennedy - in fact the Russian name translates as Fluffy."

Pushkina went on to have puppies with the Kennedy's Welsh Terrier, Charlie, and the pups were named Blackie, White Tips , Butterfly and Squeaker.

Despite being the two most powerful people on the planet, Kennedy and Khrushchev had a decent personal relationship similar to Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan.

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