RIP J.D. Salinger, who may or may not have had a dog

To tell you the truth, I am really more interested in whether J.D. Salinger left behind a desk full of unpublished novels, as frequent rumour has had it, than I am in whether or not he had a dog, but this is the Scottish Terrier and Dog News not the Scottish Terrier and Book News so we have scoured the web to try and discover the author’s history of canine ownership. Here’s the scoop:

There (was) what Time called the “coy fraudulence” of the “throwaway self-interview” published only on the first edition jacket-flap of Franny & Zooey, which ends with “My wife has asked me to add, however, in a single explosion of candour, that I live in Westport with my dog.” This had led Time to thunder: “The dark facts are that he has not lived in Westport or had a dog for years.” Time was right on the Westport part but Salinger must have been amused when weeks later Life carried a photograph of, what it claimed was the Salinger family dog. So here’s a man who, as JDS’ absolutely unauthorised biographer Ian Hamilton sums up, left “America’s two wealthiest and most resouceful news magazines unable to agree on the matter of whether or not he owned a dog.”