Dear Mark…

Thank you for writing and sharing your story with the public about Sprite. Your book has helped more that you would ever know.

My story is a heartbreaking story about a dog who i loved and who entered my life when i needed her the most.

As I write these words my eyes are already blurred with tears but you have taught me that my dog’s story needs to be shared because she is an inspiration, an angel in disguise.

June 2006, two days before my Lupus flared up in my spine causing me to become paraplegic my family welcomed a puppy, a toy poodle in our life. I named her Ginny, pronounced “Genie” as in my mom’s favorite television show, “I Dream of Genie” and after a character in Harry Potter, Ginny, Ron’s little sister who had red hair because my Ginny had a hint of red in her color.

I was rushed into the hospital after spending only two days with my Ginny because one night i woke up and realize my legs were no longer moving in my command.

I was delusional for a few days. not comprehending anything. I has to stay in the confines of the hospital, I had no choice. All I wanted those days was to see my Ginny. I wouldn’t because of strict rules that the hospital had but my family always kept me up to date on her well-being, brought me pictures and showed me a clip of her that they videotaped.

Ginny was my strength to get me well enough so I may go home. It took me a little over 2 months of medication and physical therapy to be well enough to go home to my Ginny.

Losing your legs mobility and being confined to a wheelchair is difficult. But my transition was easier because of the support of my family, friends, and a dog named Ginny. She was there for me every single day no questions asked. She was nonjudgmental and loved me unconditionally.

I’m a college student and before I became paralyzed. I had a very fast-pace life. I was used to being more independent, going out with my friends, driving my car. I no longer had those luxuries.

These days I probably only get to see my friends once a month and those are my really close friends. Everyone else I kinda just lost touch. But I was okay, I was accepting of my new reality because I was never alone. Ginny was always by my side. I dubbed her “My Oh So Wonderful Ginny.” She was always on my lap as I raced around the house or was on the computer. She slept with me in bed. She kept me safe and was always protective of me.

I personally like to fall asleep in front of the television. My dad or mom would always turn it off after a few hours. Ginny liked to sleep curled up on top of my chest feeling me breathe as I inhaled and exhaled. Whenever she felt movement in the dark coming towards me, likely to turn off the tv, she would growl at them.

I have bad days, depressing days where I just hate to be me because life is very difficult especially in my situation. Those days, a simple lick, a kiss from Ginny would make it all better.

It happened last month, I go to school twice a week. I no longer drive so I have to wait for my mom to get off of work to pick me up. Usually when I get home, I find Ginny with my other dog Mac (Mac who we got a year later to stop my brother and I from fighting for Ginny’s affection consistently) waiting for me as they peeked out the window. My brother would let them out of the house to run around and then to greet me as my mom helped me out of the car. That day, I knew something was wrong because Ginny was not there.

As soon as I got in the house I hysterically looked for her, yelling for her to come out. I found her in my room laying on the floor barely breathing. I cried, I felt helpless. I called for my mom and told he to bring her to the vet. “Leave me behind, just please save her” I begged in my head.

My mom and my brother reached the vet in time but they couldn’t save my Ginny. She died there and it breaks me every time I think about how I couldn’t be there for her or how I couldn’t have saved her. Just think, if I still had use of my legs, I would be driving and I could have been home sooner and maybe she would still be here today.

My Ginny was gone. I took it really hard. I wanted to crawl into a dark hole and die. I wanted to be where she was. My mom tried comforting me, she says: “In our culture, when a family dog dies suddenly, they pass on instead of their owner and family members who is unknowingly sick.”

It is a nice thought that maybe she did pass for a purpose or for a heroic reason. To this day, I believe I did not need saving. I would give anything to have her returned to me.

To “My Oh So Wonderful Ginny” I hope this story is an inspiration to all. To love your dogs, spend as much time with them, cherish them because you never really know how long you have with them. I only had a year and 5 months with my Ginny and I wouldn’t trade those days for anything. That short time I had with Ginny is irreplaceable and the good and joy it brought me outweighs the grief that I will have over losing her for years to come.

To my Ginny… you were more than just a dog… a best friend… you were there when i needed someone the most… you made me smile when life seemed all wrong… you were and always will be my angel and i know you are watching me from afar…. with me till the end. You luved me as I luv you…
I luv you, my Ginny. Forever and always, I promise, I do.


Ciara from CA