Mark, I just received my Amazon order for 3 copies of your book. Ultimately, they will be gifts to the real dog lovers in my family, my son, my daughter, and a sister. But first, I really look forward to reading one myself. Here’s my story. We had a couple dogs before I was old enough to remember, but the first dog I remember was Liz. A cocker spaniel/poodle (a desgner dog before they were fashionable).

Liz was my best buddy as a youngster and I remember her living a long life until she was at least 13/14 and I was 16 or 17. Mostly blind and deaf at the end, I remember the day she just did not want to get up anymore. With instruction from my mother, I carried here to the car, and rode with her to the vet. I carried her in, layed her on the table, and we said goodbye. I can still see her eyes today. Not long before Liz passed, my family got Heidi, the puppy St. Bernard. She grew very large, had bad hips in the older years, and lasted until she was at least 14 or 15. To this day I remember getting the call from my Mom that Heidi just didn’t want to get up anymore, I came home, lifted her into the car, and took her to the vet. I carried her into the office, laid her on the table, and said goodbye.

With her muzzle on the table top, I still remember looking at her loving eyes as she said ‘thanks’, and not to worry. A couple years before that, I got married and began my family. We got Kalani, a Golden Retreiver, when my oldest was about 3. Kalani lived with us for about 15 years. During and after a divorce, Kalani lived with me, and she was one of the real reasons I was able to make it through those hard times. I always came home to unconditional love. And she would do anything for me. Shortly after the divorce episode, Kalani (who also had bads hips) just laid down one day in the back yard and decided not to get up. I found her that evening, made her as comfortable as I could, and carried her to the car the next morning. We drove to the vet, and I carried her into the office and onto the table. I layed with her for a while and we stared into each others eyes.

We said our goodbyes and I left. I remember her eyes every day. I asked the vet how come dogs just lay down and decide when it is time not to get up? She said that dogs will endure much greater pain and discomfort than people. I was told that all of my dogs probably were suffering tremendously, but loved me and us so much that they made it work just as long as they could. There does come a time though that even they decide enough is enough. I was lucky enough to meet another woman soon thereafter. We married, and I inherited her dog. Tia was a large Alaska Malemute that Patty had rescued from the animal shelter some years before. The backyard was Tia’s castle. I made it my job to make sure she was clean and comfortable back there. She didn’t like to come inside in that she had that heavy coat, and it was just too hot inside. Well, Tia also had bad hips in her older years.

We guess that she was at least 12 or 13 years old when she decided one day to lay down on the deck, in the rain, and not get up. We covered her to keep her dry in the hopes that she would rally. I knew that look in her eyes. I had seen it before. She was ready to go. I carried her to the car, drove her to the vet, and carried her to the office. We laid down on the floor nose to nose. She stared into my eyes, and I could not stop crying. I didn’t think much of all this until you started telling us about your experience and your book. You are on the radio when I drive home each day. For the last two weeks, I have cried like baby everyday on the way home. I am 48 years old. I am hoping that after reading your book, I might be able to recall my dogs and smile instead of crying. Until you began talking about the book and Sprite, I guess I never really thought about the 4 dogs that let me carry them to heaven. We will get another dog soon. I just hope I get to spend many years with it as well.

John from OR