Dear Mr. Levin,

Thank you for writing you book about Sprite. I received the book for Christmas.
First of all it is ridiculous that anyone would think political conservatives do not love animals. My husband and I have cried for several days while reading your book.
Secondly, thanks for the attention this book gives to rescued animals. We are involved in two rescue groups, one group for Golden Retrievers and one group for any dog or cat that needs a home. Sprite looked a lot like a golden retriever. Besides the golden color, and soft fur he had that sweet face and ears that my Missy had.

We got involved in memory of a dear rescued Golden we lost to cancer five years ago.
We do fostering, home visits and intake. Fostering is difficult the foster parents get very attached but the goal is to train and prepare the dog for its forever home. We cry each time we place one of our foster dogs with a new home, but we know it is best for them. A home visit is when a member of our group visits the prospective new owner to see if they are worthy. This is done after a phone interview and a reference check with the people’s vet. Intake is when the member goes to check on a dog to see if we can take it into the program.

A foster failure is when the foster parent adopts the dog. We had two foster failures. They both died this year. Samson was an owner release because after ten years the owner’s had a child and the child was allergic to dogs. We were supposed to foster him just until he was treated for heart worms. Then he was expected to go to a group that deals with older hard to place dogs called ‘Old Gold’. We fell in love with him when we saw him dragging a young vet technician across the parking lot. He was big and fuzzy and loved to play and swim. We called him ”Baa” because he looked like a big red sheep. He died June 9, 2007. We did not have to play God, but we were not with him either. He died at our vet’s office from a tumor in his lungs we will always miss him. We had him with us for 28 months.

Missy was fourteen when we rescued her. She had been a drug and search dog for two years. Then she was given to an old lady that could not take care of her. She spent the next twelve years tied up in the basement sleeping in her own waste with only a filthy blanket to lie on. Occasionally she would be tied out in the back yard.
We did an intake visit. My husband decided that she was not staying there another minute. We got the owner to sign the release papers and took her home with us. She smelled so bad we had to drive with the windows open. We stopped at the groomers. They had to wash her twice and shave off all her fur due to mats and filth. She smelled bad for several more weeks. She was small (< 40lbs.) for a golden, probably because of her previous life. Missy developed a disease called megaesophagus.She had to eat standing up and had to be feed small amounts six or more times a day. Because of her age and illness she would have been killed at most humane centers. We adopted her. We had her for 29 months.
She died December 24, 2007. She was sixteen years old. We had to play God. She collapsed and could not walk, she had multiple tumors, and the emergency vet said she was bleeding inside. She was dying and we chose to have the vet speed the process. I could not stand to think of her having to lie in waste again. She was such a prissy little lady. We petted and held her until she died. She was a special little dog. We would have done anything to save her.
My son asked me why I adopt animals that I know are not going to live long. I told him because we make a difference in their lives. They have been thru so much. Also because the pain of parting is worth the joy they bring us. Our pain and grief is a small thing compared to their suffering if there are not enough foster and adoptive homes. That is not easy to think about while the grief is fresh. We are involved iin resuce in memory and honor of all the animals we have loved
and all the animals who are still suffering.

We have two rescued dogs left. Billie Holiday is a very old and sick Dalmatian. She has been with us since she was a year old. Simmons is seven. He was a puppy mill dog we adopted him five years ago. They miss their friends too.
We are involved is rescue because of all the animals that are abandoned, abused, neglected, lost stolen and unloved.

Your story of Sprite touched us deeply. I hope many more people will realize what joy a rescued older dog can give. Even if it is only for a short time.

Most people don’t know docile animals are used to teach fighting dogs how to kill.
Dogs are stolen for their fur.
Dog are stolen and sold for research.
Pets must be protected from these horrible people.

Our local shelter kills thirty plus animals a day.
Rescue groups need help. I think your book will help save others like Sprite. It is a great memorial to him.

One group says” don’t breed; don’t buy as long as animals die”.

Thank you again for sharing Sprite with us.

Linda from NC


One Response

  1. melissa Says:

    Linda, Kudoos to you. It makes me so happy to read stories like yours. My husband and I are also foster, rescue people. Read Cleopatra. And we are also foster failures and cannot fail anymore as our town only allows 2 dogs, but we moved in with 3 so we can have all. We still foster and usually have a household of 5 dogs total. We also have an old man at our house that was horribly beaten. He is going blind due to severe head trauma. We love him and although we cannot officially adopt him we can “foster” him for the rest of his life. we are so happy that we can do this. I cry at each one of my many forever home placements, but as you say when you know that it is the best home they could have it makes it worth it. So again I say KUDOOS to you and your husband. Keep up the great work

    Melissa from MN