Dexter Dogs


I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading “Rescuing Sprite”. It brought out so many emotions in me. I laughed and I cried.

I wanted to tell you the story of the Dexter dogs. My husband and I are long time dog rescuers who, over the years, have been responsible for placing many dogs into wonderful homes. My dogs were my life and my children. As the type of pet owner we all hope to be, we took considerable care in making sure our pets never were a bother to anyone or to our neighbors.

On September 12, 2006, while my husband, Jim, was on a business trip, I woke up to find one of our 7 dogs dead in bed and one in a coma. I rushed the two dogs, Fred and Ginger (Yorkshire Terriers) to Red Bank veterinarian at 6:00am. Ginger was already dead and Fred was very ill. A few of our dogs had been vomiting on and off for several days but our vet had no idea what was causing it. Until now.

Fred died at the clinic and Jim took an early flight home from his business trip in time to be with our other dogs at the clinic. Blue, a Dachshund/Jack Russell mix also died that day. Just a few weeks earlier we lost our senior border collie mix, Smudgy, but Smudgy had cancer and it was assumed he died as a result of his disease. This would turn out not to be the case. The cause of death for Fred, Ginger and Blue was antifreeze poisoning that someone had mixed with hamburger meat and placed in our yard, while Smudgy died from rat poison that someone intentionally placed in our yard.
Our remaining three dogs were taken in to the clinic where they were all tested and our two Dachshunds, Schatzel and Norman, both tested positive for ethylene glycol in their systems as did Sassafras, our Newfoundland mix. Although they appeared to be “ok” Norman was showing signs of kidney failure and Schatzel’s blood work was guarded. Sassy, a Newfoundland mix suffereds some kidney and neurological damage. All three dogs were given the antidote they use to try to counteract the effect of the ethylene glycol and remained at the clinic until they were well enough to come home.
We faced going home to an empty house and it was extremely emotional and painful. Not see the happy faces of our beloved dogs and knowing we’d never see four of them again was heart wrenching and a blow to our heart that was all consuming.

The police and media arrived and information was taken and interviews with the media were given by my husband. I could not get out of bed for 3 days; I was so devastated. Our story appeared in many papers and on the news and it was hoped that the person who did this would be found.
The devastation I feel from losing my precious babies has been inconsolable. These innocent dogs died because of a cruel, sick person who had no soul.

Then again on December 23, 2006 tragedy struck again. Schatzel, our elderly Dachshund was poisoned (again) and died from anti-freeze. Norman suffered severe kidney damage and we had to give him sub-cutaneous fluids every day until, unfortunately, on April 11 of this year we had to have him euthanized because his kidneys just gave out.
Our one remaining dog, Sassafras, the Newfoundland mix has kidney and neurological damage. We adopted a rescue Newfoundland named Digger to keep her company.

Mark, I lost my faith in God and human nature and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever get it back. I’m definitely not the same person I was and never will be again. I know how busy you are but if you find the time check out our website to see the pictures of our beautiful babies. www.dexterdogs.net

I wanted to thank you for writing “Rescuing Sprite”. It was a real inspiration for me to read and I have to say it has helped revive my spirit somewhat. You are a wonderful man and a great American. I only wish there were more people like you around. I listen to your show every night and now my parents, who live in Toronto, listen to you on the internet. They loved your book, too.

Thanks, Mark, for taking the time to read the story of my dogs. It really helped to write this down and send it to you.

Cheryl from NJ

One Response

  1. Marianne Says:


    I am so sorry that you dealt with such tragic loss. I will never understand how people can do such cruel things to animals. Do they not know that pets are family to us all? Heartless. Wishing you well.