My 15 yo golden retriever, Hugger, passed away this Labor Day weekend while swimming at a lake – not overly exerting himself, but still with mitral valve prolapse disease, I should have known better. I’m sure his heart sputtered a bit and then stopped. I’ve dealt with his death, but not the guilt over that and for pretty much ignoring him the last 2 days of his life, because I was too busy with STUFF. When I think of him, I only remember him how he died, and I needed to get past that. That’s one reason I read your book. I thought it might help me, and it has. Hugger was floudering and a bit on his side. I jumped into the water after him, which was over my head, grabbed his collar and tried to swim back to shore, but he died right after we touched. He sunk like a rock and I could not hold onto him and had to let go. Some kind young men retrieved his body. I cried through your book, as I could relate to it so much. It has helped me to see that we all have decisions with our dogs, some regrets, medical problems, and trips away from them when we don’t want to leave. We just melt with love for them. When I look at Sprite’s sweet face, I see Hugger’s white sweet face. They have the same loving look. I also kissed Hugger’s face all the time, and even the side of his lips. Sprite came into your life for more than one reason, and you’ve not missed the mark. Your tribute to him is a Godsend to the goodness of dogs everywhere. There’s a reason they are called dog. It’s God spelled backwards – they both have unconditional love. Thank you again for the most memorable book I’ve ever read. Sprite is proud of you, and he lives on, now in the hearts of those who read your book. iI’m sorry I don’t have a computer picture of Hugger to send. He looked a lot like Sprite.

Carolyn from CA

2 Responses

  1. Carol Says:

    Carolyn: You KNOW how much Retrievers love the water!! Hugger died doing something he loved to do, and he knew you loved him. You have nothing to feel guilty about!! Carol

  2. mike michel Says:

    Mark,can’t top your other e-mails although we have our own stories of animals we have lost and now have 2 wonderful buddies plus numerous cats,all of gods creatures and friends,but to let you know that I bought 4 of your books/2 by accident and am so glad that I received all 4.From begining to end I was emotionally involved and yes,overwhelmed by the book.I have not read a book thoroughly through till this one.It is truly PERSONAL and thank you for writing it.The 3 books I have left will go to my friends to read and keep,as they are also dog lovers.The only problem I have, as I give the book, is that I can’t keep from welling up with emotion as I explain the context of the book.The copy I keep is beside me as I look at my two best buddies laying at my side,as yours did with you.Life doesn’t get better than this.Mike Michel.Ca.
    PS.Would like to see this book available to schools so children can appreciate the value of life/pets.