Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Best Friends

Dottie is a good friend that we met a couple of years ago at the dog park in Bristol. Her Czechoslovakian shepherd Katija and our dog Benni hit it off so well they amaze us every time we walk our 2 1/2 miles through the meadow and woods. Which we do usually three or four times each week.

Benni and Katija are truly soul-mates. I have posted several photos and movies of the two romping and running and playing tug with sticks and posing for photo ops on Benni's blog Benedict Bentley.

In early autumn for about a week Dottie was snapping pictures of Katija and Benni every time we went for a walk. I thought nothing of it.

Well, last night we went to Dottie's for dinner and even though we agreed no gifts, Dottie got us a gift. When I unwrapped it I immediately felt a picture frame and thought knew why Dottie had been snapping pictures - that she had one of the photos framed.

But then I saw a familiar signature "N. Poli" and I recognized it as that of Nicoletta Poli, a Provincetown artist whose art, especially her paintings of dogs, we really love.

"No, Dottie, you didn't" I said.

But when I saw the painting, a watercolor of two black dogs in the woods I got all teary-eyed. It was an original painting of Benni and Katija - our two dogs who are truly Best Friends - the title of the painting.

Last summer on a trip to PTown we picked up a book of Poli's prints - all of dogs - and gave it to Dottie as she is a real dog lover. I mentioned that Nicoletta Poli was a favorite artist.

What I didn't know until Dottie told us last night was that she actually made arrangements to meet with Nicoletta to go through the photos she had taken and to commission a work for us. Dottie drove the five hours to PTown to do this, the two women decided on a theme and Nicoletta did the painting and sent it to Dottie a week or so ago. Dottie was so excited to give it to us.

What an amazing person is Dottie! To give such a thoughtful, amazing, personal gift to us. I had tears in my eyes - partly because the gift was so special and partly because Dottie is so special to do this for us.

We are truly blessed to have a friend like Dottie and Benni is fortunate to be Best Friends with Katija.

Benni mentioned the Poli Gallery  once, and again here, but didn't give the name of the artist/gallery.

Here is the link to her gallery: Nicoletta Poli

Christmas Afternoon Madison, CT 12/25/13

On December 31, 2013 I sent the following email to Nicoletta Poli:


On Christmas Eve, my partner, Leon and I were presented with a beautiful Nicoletta Poli painting of our dog Benni and his "Best Friend" Katija, by our dear friend Dottie Kern. 

At first, before unveiling the picture, I thought it might be a framed photo as Dottie had been snapping photographs for weeks, every time we went walking. As I removed the bubble wrap, the first thing I noticed was your signature, which I recognized immediately. I became excited, thinking Dottie had purchased one of your paintings as a gift. 

Unwrapping further - it was a challenge as that bubble wrap was stubborn - I realized that this was not just one of your paintings but a special one of our dog Benni and Dottie's dog Katija. It literally brought tears to my eyes - first, because it was one of your paintings and second, because Dottie had done such a thoughtful, kind and generous gesture of friendship. 

Leon and I were amazed and grateful. Dottie said that because of her initial reaction to the emailed thumbnail photo of the painting, you were a bit anxious about whether we would like the painting. Rest assured that we do in fact love the painting and that it gave us great joy to receive it. 

Thank you for that, and for capturing the essence of "Best Friends".

P.S. We spoke to you last September when we purchased a book of your paintings for Dottie. You checked out Benni's blog. He has written a post about the painting you did of him and his girlfriend. You can read it at:


  1. What a wonderful gift! And a wonderful friend too.

  2. Russ beat me too it.
    What a lovely gift.



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