The Washington Monument

AP Image Ingested via Automated Feed
AP
Most every day that he's in Washington, Senator Edward Kennedy takes his dogs Sonny and Splash out for a workout, but that's not all.

He loves his Portuguese Waterdogs so much that he really does take them to work each day.

And he's now written a children's book about the oldest, Splash, the all black dog. Called "My Senator and Me" it's a dog's eye view of life in Washington, reports CBS Sunday Morning contributor Rita Braver.

Though this is a chance for Kennedy, the senior Democratic senator from Massachusetts, to show his lighthearted side, he's also just published another book, one that showcases his penchant for politics and policy: "America Back on Track."

Of his book, Kennedy says he is worried about what he perceives as the concentration of power in the presidency. "You're getting a different America than our founding fathers intended when they talked about checks and balances. That is completely alien to everything I believe, I think most Americans believe."

When Kennedy was one of the few senators to vote against authorization for the Iraq war, he took heat from both Republicans and Democrats.

"My vote against that was the best vote that I cast in the United States Senate," Kennedy, 74, who has served in the Senate since 1962, says bluntly.

It was in 1962 that Ted Kennedy, just 30-years-old won election to the Massachusetts Senate seat his brother Jack left to become president.

Kennedy knows his family's name helped carry him to victory, and is proud of it.

"Oh, unquestionably, helped immeasurably," Kennedy says. I've been very, very proud, always. Of both the name and the standard that it's, it's set."

Kennedy took office when Camelot was in full flower, but his life was soon touched by tragedies: the assassinations of his two older brothers, first President Kennedy, then Senator Robert Kennedy.

"Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world," Kennedy said in a tearful eulogy for his brother Robert.

And Ted Kennedy had his own debacle when a young woman in the car he was driving was killed at Chappaquiddick.

There was also the end of his tumultuous marriage to his first wife, Joan.

Yet, Kennedy says he never wanted out of his public life.

"In darker times, I was still able to see that I was making some difference in some areas that were important and I thought this is the best thing that I could be doing," he says.