First dogs' diaries

In his review of my biography "Theodore Rex" (Nov. 21), Gerard DeGroot implies that I fictionalize descriptive details, and cites in particular a sentence describing Theodore Roosevelt's visit to Sagamore Hill in the fall of 1903: "Two dogs greeted him: a third stared indifferently."

"How does he know?" Dr. DeGroot asks. "Did the dogs leave diaries?"

As the note to this passage clearly indicates, my source was a letter TR wrote to his son Kermit about the welcome he received from the family dogs: "They were in excellent health, laying about the door.... Sailor Boy and Brier were exceedingly affectionate; Hector kindly, but uninterested."

If Dr. DeGroot would like to check this letter, written on Nov. 15, 1903, he will find it in Joan Paterson Kerr's edition of "A Bully Father: Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children" (Random House, 1995).


Edmund Morris

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