Recently, during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the city’s treatment of stray dogs received nearly as much press as the actual sports coverage.
With this in mind, I decided to get the real scoop and subsequently submit a hard-hitting story to Dan’s Papers. I even imagined some type of press award for my reporting.
Moving ahead with my efforts, I was able to establish email communication with an English-speaking gentleman in Russia. He is an uncle of my barber, and because of this connection, Vladislav was more than eager to share his thoughts. During the course of our emails, I disclosed that I am a frequent contributor to Dan’s Papers in New York. This piqued his curiosity and he soon shared that he had read no less three months of Dan’s online. He seemed to have a keen interest in the goings on in our neck of the woods.
As our electronic relationship blossomed, the stories of stray dogs in Sochi being rounded up and executed had become colossal news. In response to this, I graciously offered to send a $100 check to help in the rescue efforts, if Vladislav could please point me toward the right organization or person to receive it. His response, which I have shared below, was shocking. Vladislav’s English writing is not the best, so please excuse the grammatical errors:
I appreciate you try to help many dogs of Sochi. My family tell me you goody man. Thanks for being friend to them and now me. Sochi dogs need much help and it is sad to think that so many are no home and run street without food or love.
I red in your Dan Paper that you kill many deer just because like puppy there too many. I also red people want to kill swan because you no like the way swan act. I can’t accept your money knowing that where you live in Hampton money needed for animals more than Sochi. Give your money to help those animal. I sorry like Russia – Hampton so poor to not be able to take care of all animals. Maybe Sochi and Hampton same. Friend-Vladislav
So there goes my award out the window. My story is nothing like what I expected and my new friend now thinks that the way we treat animals in the Hamptons is as bad as the way they treat them in Russia. I think he may be right.
[Editor's Note: This story is 100 percent true]