Listener Stories


I am the lucky owner of an unusually large German Shepherd. On December 31st, 1999, I adopted him from a local animal shelter and named him Millennium. The volunteers at the shelter said he had been tested by the County Fire Chief but he failed a “smoke” test. Millennium weighed 65lbs at 6 months old and was very tall and long the day I signed my name to the adoption papers.

Today, he is at a sustained 118lbs., but with a few health problems. He has been the unfortunate genetic recipient of Lupoid Onychodystrophy and Nodular Dermatofibrosis. Lupoid is a condition that has affected his nail growth. After 5 years old, he began to grow brittle and deformed nails that would cause discomfort. Sadly, there is no cure. I keep the nails trim and take him for daily morning walks. HIs other condition is more serious and has been very costly. Dermatofibrisis is mass tissue tumors that emerge from under the skin and need to be surgically removed. I had three recently removed. One was the size of a softball on his chest, a second was between his toes and the third was on his right elbow. The growths on his foot and elbow were about the size of a golf ball but they were noticebly causing discomfort. My vet has said that eventually these tumors may cause renal failure. Despite these possibilties, I will continue to pay the vet bills on time and pay the mortgage late! Enclosed is a photo of my Shepherd after his recent surgery. If anyone has had any success with treatment for these conditions, please post your dog’s story.



– Eric from FL


I have to tell my story about my 3 year old dachshund named Callie.

She was our fith dachshund and she was the happiest and sweetest dog we have ever had. She never got upset when we had to go off and she was a dog that wanted to sleep in every morning. She was always under her covers and when she decided to get up, she would get up. During the day she would love to go outside and chase the squirrels who liked to tease her. At night, she would have to get out all of her toys and play tug for almost a half an hour.

On the night of Aug. 13th of this year, she wanted to go outside, so I let her out. A few minutes later I heard her barking ferociously, so I went to check on her. I saw her lunging at something and then I heard her yelp. She went out in the yard and just stood there. I opened the screen door and could make out the back of a snake with copperhead markings. Needless to say I knew Callie was in trouble. I went out and brought her in the house. I yelled for my husband and we took a quick look in the yard for the snake so we could kill it, but it was gone. We then rushed Callie to our emergency clinic. After they had examined her, they told us that she had been bitten on the tongue. Knowing what venomous snakes can do to a human, I knew Callie would have a hard time coming through this. The doctor that took care of her tried his best to help her but she had to be put to sleep on Thursday, Aug. 16. I have grieved over Callie more than any other dog that I have had. She was our special dog and we miss her very much. She made us laugh all of the time at the things she used to do. A week later we got another Miniature Dachshund and we have named her Lacy. I still miss Callie very much but Lacy is making me laugh again. Lacy is the most cuddly dog we have ever had and she is filling the paws of Callie very well. I already love Lacy very much, but one thing is for sure, I will never forget Callie.

Thank you Mark, for the opportunity to share my story.


Hello Mark,

I work for Barnes and Noble at the Palisades Mall and jumped at the chance to help setup your book signing (I’m in the minority at the store, but I wore my home-made “Win with Levin” button with pride. I could tell by your warm personality in having my picture taken with you, that you had to be a dog person. We are after all, “compassionate Conservatives.”

I am on my 7th dog and lost my German Shepherd “Benny” over a year ago. He was 8 and I could tell something was up because of his slight moaning at night when he moved. Turns out he had some sort of leasion on his spine and one day at work I got a call from my mother that he was dragging his back legs in great pain. After some tough decisions about the cost and tough post operation (he would need to be held up with a sling while going out. My elderly mom would never have been able to do it and his quality of life wiould have been bad. So we went through the “decision.”

It took about 7 months to decied on another and I decided to go to The North Shore Animal League where I found a wonderful little brindle colored 2 month old with purple splotches on his tongue. He is my best friend and perfect for my mother and I at 32 pounds. Today is his first birthday.

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
— Will Rogers

Jeff  from NY


Hello to all the Levinites out there.

Mark’s stories about his relationship with his dogs really hit home at our household as we also have adopted or rescued our dogs. We had gone about 15 years without a pet when one day my wife said “I want to get a dog”. This surprised me as she hadn’t expressed any desire for a dog for years. She said she wanted one to keep her company while walking in the local parks.

So… we went to the local Pet Smart where a local rescue group meets each Saturday to match people that had pets they couldn’t keep with people that were looking to adopt. My wife had been on their website a few days before and had picked out a dog she liked. When we got to Pet Smart I saw several beautiful dogs that caught me eye, my wife was sitting next to the mixed breed dog that she had picked out and told me “this is the one”. I said, but look at that one, and that one, said reiterated “this is the one” I said OK, let’s fill out the paperwork and take her home. I had no idea what we were getting, on the outside was a Lab + Dingo mix, BUT on the inside was the dog of a lifetime, you only get one of those.

As we got to know “Allie” we found out how blessed we had become. This dog was everything we had hoped for and more. She wasn’t the biggest dog around, but she had a way with other animals, though and could hold her own in any situation. It wasn’t but a few months later while my wife was walking in a nearby park that a derelict looking person started walking towards her, Allie read the situation immediately and got in between my wife and the bum and wouldn’t let him come a step closer. Allie had a sense of humor, too. One time I saw her stare down a junk yard German Shepard that was almost twice her size, she walked towards it slowly until they were nearly eye to eye, then the Shepard flinched, Allie smiled and walked away, tail waging with her “I’m bad” swagger.

Allie would never start a fight nor cause trouble, but if there was someone or other dog around that needed an attitude adjustment, she was there, like a Marine, ready for action. Allie was with us for the last 8 years of her life. On the day she passed, I was like Mark and came unwound and had to take a day off work, I hadn’t missed a day in 4 years. I wasn’t going to get another dog for awhile, I felt it would take sometime for my heart to heal. A few days later when I came home I saw my wife on my computer, she rarely used it. I asked “what are you doing”, then I noticed that she was on the animal rescue website page again. She said “look at this one”, she pointed to a German Shepard that was beautiful, in the picture.

She talked me into going back to Pet Smart “just to look”. The Shepard was there… looking like a refugee, skinny and scared. The couple that had her was going through a divorce and the dog was way down on their list of priorities, she hadn’t bonded with anyone and looked sick. I told my wife “this dog NEEDS rescuing” We brought her home, she shook for 3 days, then settled down. I walk her in the morning before work, again after work and then after dark before going to bed. The exercise brought her appetite back, she started putting on weight on now when people see her in the parks they remark that she’s one of the most beautiful Shepards that they’ve seen. Now… she really looks like a show dog, a real athlete. But… she seemed a bit lost, she was taken from her mother a too early and didn’t learn much about how to be a dog, so we decided to get her a buddy.

About a week later, the local Humane Society set up an exhibit in the building that I work at in downtown Colorado Springs, they brought a couple of dogs with them, one a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. I knew nothing about small dogs, nothing about Corgis. We brought our Shepard over the the Humane Society and had her meet the Corgi, they got along just fine, so we adopted the Corgi, named her “Maggie” and soon both my wife and I were blown away at how smart and perceptive this little girl was. She soon began teaching the Shepard “how to be a dog”. I’m fortunate to live 5 minutes from a rugged park full of trails that is about 800 acres. I take them there every Saturday and Sunday mornings for long walks. To the dogs it’s like the ultimate doggy gym, they can run off their leashes, chase rabbits and have a ball!

I found out how brave the Corgi is when a Coyote tried attacking her, she reversed the situation and ran after the Coyote! Mr. Coyote’s eyes got real big and he split pronto. I could go on for hours talking about my two 4 legged girls… Special thanks to Mark for putting up the space for all of us dog lovers to tell our stories. They touch our hearts like few things in life can, they enrich us and help put things into perspective when our lives get discombobbled.

Thanks again Mark, you are truely “The Great One”.

– Thomas from CO


Our three and 1/2 year old Corgi “Penny” is undergoing chemotherapy for Lymphoma. So far is doing very well but the prognosis is not good. The expense of the chemo is terrible on my retirement pay but each day we can look in those big brown eyes make it more than worth it. We love her. Case closed.


– Walden from CT


We had a small terrier named Toto for approximately 9 years. As she got older she started losing her hearing and eyesight. She also had a hard time walking and it was becoming very sad. She had stumbled into the pool a few times, but we were always there to rescue her. We even had a small fence that I had put aroung the pool to protect her. One morning I couldn’t find her. I looked everywhere and finally found her floating in the pool. It was devistating for me, my wife and my daughter who was in college. About 6 months later we went to Pet’s Mart and adopted Six Pack. He is half Australian German Shepherd and half Lab, so is quite a handful. We love him dearly and I can’t imagine not having my pal around. Dogs are truly a blessing from God.

Listen to you almost every day and you’re the best.


– Wayne, Linda, and Lindsay from AZ