Dear Mark:
My husband and I have always loved your political commentary and your style of tellling it like it is but I have to tell you that your new book, Rescuing Sprite, was a Godsend to us. We have an 11 year old Maltese, Beemer, who is in failing health. She is totally blind, diabetic and requires daily injections as well as congestive heart failure which is being treated sucessfully with oral meds. Other than that, she is still the happy little girls she has always been and our vet assures us she has good years left with us. We began to research a site on the internet “PetFinder.com” in October and found an adorable 5 lb. purebred Maltese who had been bred for years and then apparently turned out into the streets of Dallas, Tx, (while in heat ) to fin for herself when she would no longer breed successfully. (This poor little girl has numerous c-sections scars and discolored and mishapen nipples due to over suckling by too many puppies.) I immediately inquired to the rescue group who had intervened after she had been picked up by aminal control and left at a high kill shelter. She was in pretty bad condition, covered in fleas and having scratched and bitten all the hair from the lower 1/2 of her body. Somehow she managed to survive and was taken to a wonderful resuce facility where she was spayed, had her teeth cleaned and was lovingly fostered for 6 weeks. We had only a small picture of her but were not deterred by her past history, her advancing age (we were told she was at least 10 years old) or her cataracts which we plan to have treated after the first of the year.

She was flown to Birmingham on a plane and when she arrived we knew immediately that she would be a great and loyal addition to our family. I would NEVER buy another dog from a breeder understanding the inhumane treatment a majority of these poor animals endure. This little angel we named Bridget has become an integral part of our family. She barks only when Beemer manages to get “lost” and off track due to her blindness. Bridget will stand at the back door and recognize immediately if Beemer has made a wrong turn on her way back to the door and will bark unceasingly until Beemer follows the sound of the barking and is safely inside. It is miraculous that she instinctively understands Beemer’s handicap. They love each other and wag their tails constantly while in the company of the other. We believe that Beemer has actually perked up and feels better having the stimulation of a “sister” who is so small and docile. We don’t know how long we will have her because we are not sure of her exact age but we do know that while we have this time together with her, she will have the most wonderful life imaginable. We love her so much and she has already forgotten her past life we think. It is as if she knows we rescued her and she is so grateful and loving.

I gave my husband your book, Rescuing Sprite, for Christmas and on the gift tag it read “To Steve, Love Bridget, thanks for taking a chance on me!”. I must admit, I snagged the book and read it that very night before he even got the chance and I could not put it down. What a heartwarming and truly inspirational love story. Thank you for being brave enough to share your vulnerability with the world. We all love you for it. I have enclosed the following prayer which I found a while back and hope it will bring you some comfort. Thank you again for speaking up for us both politically and for the rights of man’s best friend. ROLL TIDE!!!

Jeanie & Steve from AL
Beemer & Bridget
Treat me kindly, my beloved Master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.
Speak to me often for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall on my waiting ears.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for now I am a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements…and I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth… for you are my God, and I am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food that I may stay well to romp and play and do your bidding to walk by your side and protect you with my life should your life be in danger.

And my beloved Master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather, hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful bounty of eternal rest…and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew that my fate was ever safe with you.

Remember me not with tearful eyes but instead with an abounding heart. Should you choose to fill my bed, feel no guilt, you have not betrayed me. Love another as you always loved me and they too will love you as I always have.

One Response

  1. Jeanie Wallace Says:

    Dear Mark,
    I wrote to you a couple of months back to tell you the story of our eleven year old Maltese, Beemer, and the new dog we had rescued in November. Sadly, on Valentine’s night, we lost Beemer. Throughout the day she had been having difficulty breathing, despite oral meds and after a rushed trip to the emergency clinic at 11 pm, we were faced with the impossible decision of having to end her life. In this time of immense emotional struggle and unbearable pain, I held her close in her favorite blanket and thought of your story and how you had to let go of your beloved Sprite. I told Beemer how much I loved her and she seemed to sense what I was saying as she turned her head toward my voice (she was blind) and liked my nose and then my mouth. She then took her last breath and grew heavy in my arms. I stayed with her for several minutes, closed her little eyes for her and said a prayer. I miss her so much and my heart is so heavy with the loss of her. We thank God that Bridget came into our lives when she did to help us cope with this terrible loss. She too is grieving as she stands by the back door and cries for the sister she has only begun to know and love. Thank you for sharinbg your story of love, hope and courage. It inspires us to go forward honoring the memory of our beloved Baby Grand Beemer. She will live on in our hearts forever.

    Jeanie Wallace