On April 12th of 1945, a few months before the end of World War II, the U.S. President of 12 years, Franklin Roosevelt, passed away after suffering a brain haemorrhage. He was 63-years-old. Nine days later, the following letter of condolence was printed in various newspapers, addressed to his beloved dog, Fala. It was written by Bob Hope.
(Source: Bob Hope: A Life In Comedy, by William Robert Faith; Image: President Roosevelt & Fala in 1940, via Flickr.)
April 21, 1945
You probably don’t remember me. But I knew you back in our kennel days when we were a couple of young pups—in fact we chewed our first bone together, remember? In writing you this letter, I’m speaking for dogs throughout the world. For we are all deeply grieved to hear of the death of your master. Your personal loss is felt by all of us. You know as well as I do that leading a dog’s life is no bed of roses. But a dog’s life is for dogs. Human beings shouldn’t horn in on our territory. But lately a lot of men and women and kids have been leading a dog’s life, and your master was one of the humans who didn’t like to see that sort of thing happening. That’s why we respected him—he wanted to keep human beings in their right place. And he did something about it. He made plans, and people had confidence in his plans because his integrity and sincerity were felt the world over. In other words, he made a lot of people see the light, or as we’d put it, he put them on the right scent. Let’s hope they can keep their noses to the ground and work it out for themselves, even though his personal guidance has been taken away from them.
With deepest sympathy,