I have not had the chance to read your book yet, but I can imagine the strife that you are going through.

When I was younger, still in high school, we had the opportunity to rescue a Rottweiler from a ranch in Oklahoma. I named him Chakotay, but we ended up calling him Koti for short. He instantly became part of our family and our other pets took to him quite well, especially the American Eskimo Husky named Angel who had been a member of our family for years. To see this huge black mass and this small white puff of a dog rolling and playing together was a humerous event.

We soon came to realize that Koti had been previously mistreated. He would run the instant you picked up a garden hose and got very nervous when someone was right in his face. I decided to trian him myself and he learned amazingly fast. Within weeks he would respond vocal or signal commands instantly.

Now some will tell you that this bree is violent and dangerous. Yet, this huge mass of a puppy was one of the most loveable companions that I have ever had. We would wrestle in the yard, rolling in the grass and chasing each other. He would bark at me in a tone that was very different from the one he use when he was guarding our home. You could tell the difference in the way he looked at us and at strangers.

He was however fiercely protective. All of my firends knew better that to try to enter our property without us there. The bared teeth and fierce bark left no doubt that he was serious. He acted several times to protect a family member by imposing himself between us and whatever he thought was threatening us. Be it a snake, a person or some other animal, he let them know that to get to us meant going through him.

I loved Koti. He went every where with me, riding on the back of my truck and even posing in my Senior pictures with me, but as I aged, so did he. When I was in my early twenties, Koti began limping. We assumed that it was a form of the hip diplacia that the breed is vulnerable to. It is an uncomfortable, but not serious condition that older Rotties often get. We were wrong. As it got worse, we decided to take him to the vet and see if there was not more we could do. I was heartborked seeing this once active and playful friend, barely wanting to move. What we discoverd was that Chakotay had lyphatic cancer. He was dying. Our vet told us that he could remove one of his back legs and probably give him a few more months to live, but he could do nothing more for him.

Our family decided that we could not bear to cripple him and make him suffer through months of imobility just so that we did not have to part with our firend. No one wanted to let him go, but to think of him suffering to easy our anguish was not something we could bear. We decided to let him go. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made and all these years later still brings tears to my eyes.

I believe that we lost the ability to speak to God directly and hear him as we should many years ago. If it exists at all today, it does so only in the very young. As adults, we no longer feel the warmth of God and hear his soft words in our live. However, he brings to our lives these wonderful companions who love completely without judging, to remind us of him and his love for us.

I am a cat and dog person. Today I have both. Almsot all rescued from a shelter or adopted from firends. Even my children have pets that sleeps with them. My son told me one day that he love the way our cats know when someone is not feeling well and seemingly try to comfort them and stay by them. My little one is sure they and the dogs protect him from monsters at night. I am trying to raise them to enjoy the firendship of animals as much as I have.

I hope to get your book and read your experience with Sprite. Though I am sure it will be a hard read for me, I am as sure that it will be worth it.

A long time fan.

Dax from Texas