Esfir Dener with her dog Rex

This is me while on a walk with my dog Rex. The photo was taken in Kishinev in 1978 in Ryshkanovka near the lake. I bought Rex as a puppy and he stayed with me for 16 years. In 1978 the doctors said I urgently needed a heart surgery and that there could be no delay. I wrote to my sister in Israel. I wanted her to visit me before the surgery. I sent her an invitation and collected all necessary documents, but the Soviet authorities didn't give her permission to visit here. My cousin Viktoria Dener was a cardiologist in the Republican Polyclinic. She helped me to have the surgery done by assistant professor Vasiliev. She had to pull some strings for me because in the USSR one couldn't choose a surgeon. When I was in hospital, somebody at work got to know that I needed blood for blood transfusions. Once the chief of department at Paskaryuk came into my ward and said, 'Esfir Borisovna, a bus from your workplace brought 18 young men to give you their blood.' 'Where are they, my boys?' I asked. 'Don't worry, we've sent them to the blood transfusion office.' he replied. I started crying, of course, sobbing, 'What have you done. They didn't bring me candy or kefir, they brought me their blood, but you didn't even let me see them'. The doctor didn't want me to worry and joked, 'You know, despite your hot temper 18 young guys are too much for you right now. Let them visit you one by one'. This simple joke put a smile on my face. And he continued, 'Another tear and you will have an intravenous injection. You mustn't worry!' And later, the boys did come to see me. After the surgery my doctors recommended me to have an apartment not higher than the 2nd floor and the construction department gave me another apartment in the same district. Also the doctors recommended me to walk a lot.