Helen Keller loved animals! April 2021 is #NationalPetMonth, and as we post images from the Helen Keller Archive of some of the 16 pet dogs that Helen treasured during her long life, we invite you to submit images of your pets! Tell us how your animal friends have enriched your lives!
In November of 1967, fifth grader Robin Gates wrote to Helen Keller to ask of Helen's dog Lioness and shares how she enjoys reading of Helen's life:
3126 Cold Springs Rd.
Nov. 19, 1967
Dear Miss Keller,
I am in the 5th grade. I am 10 years old. I live in a dark blue Cape Cod in Baldwinsville New York.
I have read many storys [sic] about you; one of which was in my reading book. I enjoy the story of your life.
What kind of dog was Lioness. We have a Cairn Terrior [sic] named Heather. We bought it at Sta Rita Kennels. She is about 4 months old.
I must be leaving you now.
Sadly, due to declining health, Helen was unable to respond directly to Robin. A secretary for her affairs, Rochelle Koopmann did, however, send this reply:
November 27, 1967
Miss Robin Gates
3126 Cold Springs Road
Baldwinsville, New York
Dear Robin: Thank you for your letter to Miss Helen Keller, I am sorry that Miss Keller is unable to personally reply to your letter, but I hasten to explain that she is eighty-seven years of age, and although in relatively good-health, she has been advised by her doctors to rest most of the time these days. It is not possible, therefore, for her to personally answer the many, many letters she receives and enjoys from her young friends throughout the world. I am enclosing a very nice photograph of Miss Keller and an informational pamphlet which should answer any questions you have. I hope you will enjoy these. Thank you for your interest and please accept, through me, Miss Keller's warm greetings.
Very sincerely yours,
(Mrs.) Rochelle Koopmann Secretary for Helen Keller Affairs
Follow #HelenKellerArchive on social media to find out more on Helen Keller's fascinating life. And stay tuned for "Helen Keller and The Case of the Missing Dogs!"