I listen to you on a daily basis and was quite touched by your story about your dog Sprite. While story is not about a dog, it is about a pet that was very dear to me. As an 18th birthday present, my parents bought me a rabbit, whose name was Sandy.

From the time I was a small child, I wanted a rabbit, but my parents did not want to be bothered with another animal. At the time we had a Shih Tzu that was the family pet. Around my senior year in high school I began going through a deep depression. My parents learned of my suicidal thoughts from a friend that gave me an ultimatum of either allowing me to inform them or he would. After my parents learned of my self-destructive behavior they became more opened to the thought of a rabbit in the house. On 8/31/1996, thirteen days after my 18th birthday, we went to a pet store where I found Sandy.

She was a fairly large rabbit, even at ten weeks of age. I brought her home where we spend the rest of the summer together. At that time, I had isolated myself from any social activity and only went outside for a cigarette. (I no longer smoke) Since I spent so much of my time in my room, Sandy became my best friend. During that time, I learned something about rabbits. They are quite bright and trainable. She would jump on my bed and just lay there with me while I watched television or a movie. I remember vividly, promising on Sandy’s life that I would not kill myself. Fortunately, I kept that promise.

By the time I reached the age of twenty, I had become stable. In hindsight, I think my issues were nothing more than coping problems. It was a dark part of my life, but it made me a very strong man.

Sandy died on 11/09/04 after suffering kidney failure. At a little over 8 years, she lived a fairly long life for a rabbit. She will always remain close to my heart and even with the other rabbits since her death, she has remained special.

I have since graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree and just obtained a Masters in Computer Forensics. At 29 years old today, I have my own home and a fiance.

My life has been dramatically improved since Sandy came and went. I honestly believe that without Sandy, my struggle as a young man, would have yielded a very different person. Today I feel like there is nothing I cannot accomplish. Although Sandy is gone, I have pictures of her everywhere, and I feel that without her and my close-knit family, I might not be here to send this email.

My current rabbit, Ronald (named after Ronald Reagan) is also a great little pet, but there was something about Sandy that will always make her special.

Thank you for talking about the great benefit of raising animals. They truly make a difference in a person’s life.

Jason from MD