Sergei and Katie

Dear Mark, I got my first dog, Sergei, at a local animal shelter. I had just bought a house so I had graduated from the renters world to home ownership. Sergei was a found dog. He looked just like Lassie but he stayed close to the back of the kennel and shook. He was so frightened. I’ve never seen a dog so completely scared in my life. I suspect it was in part the noise of all the other dogs barking. When I got him home he continued to be very shy at first and I wondered if he would ever warm up to people. Well – that is a thing of the past. He is so gentle and caring. Sergei has a heart of gold.

A year after I got Sergei I started searching to find him a friend. Since he was so sensitive, I didn’t want to get a dog that was too dominate. I searched and searched the shelters and my mother, recently widowed and thrilled to be helping me fix up my new home, came with me. She was non to thrilled though. She kept saying to me “why do you need another dog” – “you don’t need another dog” she’d say.

Well – one day we were at the Kingston Animal Shelter and I saw this dog – I knew in an instant she would clean up nicely though she was the awfullest looking dog you ever saw at the time. She was just the right size and a girl too. Lady, as she was called then, had no hair around her neck because she’d been on a chain collar for so long. She was filthy. When she first saw this dog, my mother said – “OH YOU DON’T WANT THAT ONE” – well – we gave my mother Lady, who we now call Katie to walk her around. Forget the rope, Katie went to my mother and clung to her like it was love at first site. My mother melted – she said “OH MY SHE LOVES ME – we’ve GOT to have this one.” and so we did. I’m sure that Katie was abused in her other home. She was an owned dog. She’d been raised by a family of teenage girls who must have really taught her to be so kind. I suspect the dad in the family mistreated her and kicked her by the way she favored her rib cage and by the cool way she was at first with men. So Katie came home with us but Sergei and I didn’t really get our new friend because Katie and my mother were inseparable. Even though we wanted her – my mother needed her. We were together a large portion of the time though.

I named them Sergei and Katie after the Russian Figure Skating team – Sergei – you may remember passed away on the ice in Lake Placid – where I used to live.

Katie was with my mother when she had her brain bleed – she visited her in the hospital at the brain injury rehab and she was with her through her chemo. Now Sergei and Katie and I live together. In the summers we travel upstate to the Finger Lakes to vacation at mommy’s house – now mine as well – I’m a music teacher to retire in 4 years. Katie has a congenital heart defect but she has no problems from it. Sergei had a tumor removed about a year ago but it was not cancer. They are showing signs of age – so am I for that matter.

They are both fond of music. Katie in particular will sit at my feet and listen for ever if I’m playing piano.

They are both nearly 13 years old. I worry about them. They follow me around like they are my seeing eye dogs. They watch and worry over me and are so loving and understanding. They know everything and understand more than we will ever understand about the world and life. The photo I am sending is the photo I took of them when I asked them to pose to get a shot for my mother in the hospital at the time of her brain bleed. They had never ever sat side by side long enough for a photo before and never will again I’m sure. It was a rare moment getting them to pose like that – but – they knew it was for mommy and so they did it really good.

I love your show – bought 2 copies of your book tonight at Barnes and Noble in Poughkeepsie. Will share the extra with a friend who recently lost her dog.

Best Wishes

Mark, Sergei and Katie from New York

Sergei & Katie

One Response

  1. sharon Says:

    beautiful dogs and a beautiful story.