Authors: Glenn Plaskin
Tags: #Sociology, #Social Science, #Battery Park City (New York; N.Y.), #Strangers - New York (State) - New York, #Pets, #Essays, #Dogs, #Families - New York (State) - New York, #Customs & Traditions, #Nature, #New York (N.Y.), #Cocker spaniels, #Neighbors - New York (State) - New York, #Animals, #Marriage & Family, #Cocker spaniels - New York (State) - New York, #New York (N.Y.) - Social life and customs, #Plaskin; Glenn, #Breeds, #Neighbors, #New York (State), #Battery Park City (New York; N.Y.) - Social life and customs, #General, #New York, #Biography & Autobiography, #Human-animal relationships, #Human-animal relationships - New York (State) - New York, #Biography
“Katie is a dream come true to the various families living on her floor in a New York apartment. Her heart is so big that
she adopts them all, making you wish you were one of them.”
—Mary Tyler Moore
“I picked up this book to glance through it and suddenly found myself unable to put it down. This warm, touching, tender,
and loving memoir is probably the best book I’ve ever read about a dog. Glenn pulls you in to this moving story instantly.
Even people who are not crazy about dogs will love this tale.”
—Barbara Taylor Bradford
“God can appear in many disguises—even as a dog—bringing people together in a spirit of love. All I can say is that I felt
‘really good’ after reading Glenn’s superb book—there can be no higher endorsement.”
New York Times
“I hate to brag on Glenn Plaskin because he is a famous fan of yours truly. But, I have no choice! His book on Katie just
zeros in to touch your heart. I am a dog lover myself and something of a dachshund specialist but now, I’m thinking, if I
had a cocker spaniel, maybe I’d get one like Katie. Don’t miss this book!”
“Glenn’s book is a perfect reflection of the man who wrote it—engaging, open-hearted, and very warm. His story proves that
the true and small pleasures in life—friendship, loyalty, and trust—are the ones that matter most.”
“It is not surprising that Glenn Plaskin’s innate talents—his insight and human touch—are wonderfully brought to the forefront
in his new book KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL. It’s a significant story well worth reading—Glenn has done a terrific job.”
—Donald J. Trump
“KATIE UP AND DOWN THE HALL runs up and down your heart on four little darling, padded golden feet. This story is for dog
lovers, New Yorkers, for those who have a family, and those who wish to. A celebration of love—it’s for everyone.”
“The healing energy of Katie the dog and pure love and friendship in this book will melt your heart.”
“Glenn has done a masterful job in telling this love story. I raced through it when I was traveling, and got teary eyed. Katie
is a great neighbor and the true definition of a New Yorker—intelligent, adventurous, assertive, protective, warm, loving,
kind, generous—and a joy to know.”
“KATIE is an emotion-packed story that will keep you reading to the very end. This is no ordinary dog.”
“Plaskin’s engaging narration and Katie’s ability to make a community will endear this book to readers.”
“It’s been said that the family you come from isn’t as important as the family you’re going to have—and Plaskin’s heartwarming
story brings that truth to life. Plaskin and Katie leave you with a roadmap for life.”
—Irene Pepperberg, PhD, bestselling author of
Alex & Me
, professor of Animal Cognition at Harvard and Brandeis Universities
“KATIE was a joy to read from start to finish. Plaskin brings to life his many adventures with this mischievous and loveable
dog, and the family that she helped bring together. All dog lovers should put this one on their must-read list!”
—Billy Rafferty, author of
Happy Dog: Caring for Your Dog’s Body, Mind and Spirit
Horowitz: A Biography of Vladimir Horowitz
Turning Point: Pivotal Moments in the Lives of America’s Celebrities
Copyright © 2010 by Glenn Plaskin
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
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First eBook Edition: September 2010
To Mom, Dad, and to my sister Debby—
with much love and gratitude for always being there.
eople often say that writing is a lonely, isolating profession.
And it can be, though I’ve never really experienced it that way.
I guess it’s because I’m always bouncing ideas (and multiple drafts) off of my patient circle of friends, family, and colleagues,
and of course, my editor.
In this, the most personal book I’ve ever written, I was lucky to have so many wise souls on my side—and on the other end
of the phone.
First, heartfelt thanks to Harry Helm, my dog-loving editor at the Hachette Book Group, whose insight, love of the subject,
and incisive editing have been altogether indispensable. Without Harry encouraging me to write this at our fateful first lunch,
there would be no book. Harry and his able team in both New York and Nashville—including Shanon Stowe, Pamela Clements, Jody
Waldrup, Adlai Yeomans, Gina Wynn, Chris Murphy, Martha Otis, Kelly Leonard, Valerie Russo, Kallie Shimek, Jaime Slover, and
Karen Torres—have done a fantastic job making this book come alive.
As always, I’m grateful to my supersonic agents, the great Jan Miller, a dear friend and fellow animal lover who encouraged
me to strike out in a new direction, and the vivacious and efficient Nena Madonia, wise beyond her years. Together with the
entire gang at Dupree Miller, they did a superlative job.
I am greatly indebted to my longtime friend and editorial advisor, Ed Friedel, who provided invaluable suggestions, insight,
and advice on each succeeding draft of the manuscript as well as meticulous corrections. His is a rare talent.
In addition, I’m very lucky to have worked with publicists Lynn Goldberg and Angela Hayes, both unforgettable in their strategic
devotion and vision for
I must also turn back in time and pay tribute to my longtime magazine editor, Ellen Stoianoff, who loved Katie and supported
the original idea for the “Granny Down the Hall” article. She would have been so delighted to see the entire story told.
A strong memory is never quite enough when writing a true-life story, so I’m also beholden to the many people who witnessed
the events I describe and further illuminated them for me by sharing precious anecdotes, recollections, and details.
First and foremost, I was fortunate to draw from the memories of John Freed, and his son, Ryan, two starring figures here,
who shared their firsthand reminiscences, providing an intimate link to the seven-year period they lived down the hall from
Next, I am thankful to Michael Simon, who generously reviewed the manuscript, providing keen observations on the people he’d
known so well, and to Paul Huberdeau, who contributed crucial details to later chapters in the book.
Equally essential were the contributions of Michael Gordon, a once-in-a-lifetime friend and sage adviser. His
impeccable memory was especially helpful in writing chapter fourteen.
In addition, I was greatly aided by the kindness of Naia Kheladze, Lee Blake, Rose Dicker, and Helene Meltzer, each of whom
provided extended interviews about events outside my own firsthand experience.
Many thanks also for the perspectives provided by Scott Simon DMV (Katie’s vet), Stuart Cohen, Jeffrey Cohen, Ramon Aizarna,
Barry Meltzer, Bea Aron, Norah Berner, Anita Diggle, Robert Simko, Manny Norona, Robert Defendorf, and our building’s doormen,
Felipe Dominguez and Dave Scott-Duns.
I’m also grateful to my close friend Brandon Williams and to Diego Costa for producing the Katie book trailer—a project that
would not have happened were it not for book marketing expert John Kremer. I am so thankful to my friend Ann McIndoo for introducing
John to me.
And thanks also to web designers Chris Matthias and Dan Root for creating katiebook.com.
And a special nod to Eileen Calvanese, horticulturist for the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, who enlightened me about
the plantings and landscaping of our neighborhood.
Finally, I am touched and grateful for the close friends and colleagues who have lavished their support on me. They include
a brilliant team of “coaches,” Peg Wallis, Dr. Paul Weinfeld, Eric Mugele, and Mike Mole; the incomparable Owen Laster; the
intrepid Susan Grode; my “youngest” friend, Bud Klauber; the always faithful Gregory Dickow; Michael Darvin; Freda Hertz;
Scott Parris; Jason VanOra; Marvin Feuerstein; Jack Plaskin; Linda Belfer; Rob Rabin, David Winner, Dan Strone, Robby Baker,
Paul Donzella, Bunny Shestack, Ellen Kruse, Geraldine McBride, Norah Berner, Norman Goldstein, Harvey Helfand, Jeff Schoenheit,
Susan Ungaro, Vincent Smetana,
Mickey Alam Khan, Harry Moskowitz, Sy and Esther Kornblau, and Justin Weinberg, to name only a few.
And, finally, a special thank you to Anthony Robbins, a true friend of the heart who has generously contributed to my understanding
of the universal need for love and connection. Tony, better than anyone, taught me about the driving force of emotion and
the “power of proximity,” two principles that have everything to do with the events that unfold in this book.
ucked away at the southernmost tip of Manhattan is a little town built on water.
Many New Yorkers are only vaguely aware of it, while tourists often pass it by. In fact, the charm of the place is that it’s
so hidden away, though impossible to leave once you’ve discovered it.
Armies of gardeners maintain the winding trails, manicured parks, and gardens splashed with flowers of every color.
Here there are playgrounds decorated with fanciful sculptures, playing fields brimming with Little Leaguers, expansive lawns
for sunbathing, duck ponds with waterfalls, and restaurants perched along the water.
Then there are the plazas for outdoor concerts, the marina filled with motorboats and yachts, and the spectacular Winter Garden,
a glass-enclosed pavilion featuring sixteen palm trees overlooking the Hudson.
And best of all, day or night, it’s the water lapping up against the shore that you hear, not sirens or cars, a fact appreciated
by us writers.
The idea for it all began in the late 1960s with the
construction of the World Trade Center. The excavation for those soaring 110-story Twin Towers produced a gargantuan amount
of earth. And like chefs not wasting any of their leftover ingredients, construction crews saved tons of the dirt, rocks,
and sand for a greater purpose.
It took six years to complete, but ingenious engineers devised a way to use this material as landfill, filling in the Hudson
to create a brand-new town. Water was pumped out, new earth was put in, and the boundary line of the river was pushed westward—creating
a ninety-two-acre oasis thereafter known as Battery Park City.
The result is a sleek virtual city—with sparkling sand-colored high-rises flanked by office towers, hotels, museums, movie
theaters, public schools, and a shopping arcade, all of it set on thirty-six leafy acres of open space.