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Dog Days at Sagamore Hill

To help kick-off National Park Week, the Friends of Sagamore Hill the house is closed during a $7 million renovation until late 2014-early 2015, a large crowd of dogs and their walkers came to enjoy the grounds, nature walk and museum on Sunday, April 21.

TR and the Roosevelts loved and cared for their dogs, horses and other animals, including a pet badger named Josiah.

National Park Service locations are pet-friendly, welcoming dogs on six-foot leashes and accompanied with responsible masters. Many in the crowd could testify how limited most of Nassau County is regarding pet-friendly events. Most open land and nature walks do not allow man’s best friend, which would probably have brought a feeling of chagrin to TR in his day.

“The Roosevelts were very fond of all types of pets, ponies, and horses. They even had a one-legged rooster,” said Tom Ross, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site Superintendent.

Activities at Sagamore Hill featured special guest Rick Caran and “Team Jilli Dog” who performed amazing and unique tricks with his pups for the visitors throughout the afternoon.

The afternoon featured a series of fun contests, including best dog costume, best tricks and other winners such as youngest and oldest dog. With the help of the Friends of Sagamore Hill manning the booths, the day was well organized and full of fun. Jay and Ginny Perrell provided important information about the grounds and daily activities to inquisitive walkers. The Long Island Dog Owners Group was also present to answer questions about dog parks and how they are trying to make Long Island friendlier for doggies.

Ross commented, “We get a lot of dog walkers, generally local residents who walk their faithful friends. Visitors are by-and large very responsible and respectful.”

Even the bookstore was open on Sunday, and Sugar, a 7-year-old golden retriever, was reported to have picked-up a copy of Theodore Roosevelt’s autobiography for her master, after she received her bag of treats from the nice people working the store.

The Sagamore Hill park grounds are open seven days from sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with the museum opening at 10 a.m. Sagamore Hill is located at 20 Sagamore Hill Road.