Dear Mark and family;

I ordered 3 signed copies of your book to give my husband and two boys (26 and 33) for Christmas. I just finished readingRescuing Sprite, and grabbed a flashlight and waded through the snow out to the spot in the backyard where our beloved Spooky is buried.

We rescued Spooky from the most horrible trash filled house I’ve ever seen in my life, when he was only 8 weeks ago. He had worms, ear mites and all sorts of things wrong with him, but a kind vet treated him and I took him to live in a group home for mentally challenged people and gae him to Robert, who needed a special friend. [ Keeping him in our family was not an option for us, as our older son had displayed severe allergic reactions to chickens, turkeys and guinea pigs, and our pediatrician had advised us never to get a dog.] Well, the situation with Robert didn’t work out, so we retrieved Spooky 4 days later intending to find him another home. However, our family had fallen in love with this little black ball of fur, and he became a Mooradian. The pediatrician advised that if Spook didn’t sleep in Stephen’s bedroom that perhaps the allergies wouldn’t bother him, but from day 1, Spook slept on his bed. Thank God, the allergies never developed. Spook was a mixture of cocker, poodle and chihuahua and only weighed 18 pounds, but it was 18 pounds of unconditional love. My husband and I had it all figured out — Spook’s life expectency was 12 – 14 years. That would mean that when our younger son, Greg, went to college, Spook’s life would be over, and his father and I would be free to travel, etc, not tied down by feedings and walks, etc. Well, the boys were both out of college and Greg was an ensign in the US Navy and assigned to an atomic submarine, so Spook adopted me and became my dog. Not willing just to sleep in my bed, he wanted to sleep with his head beside mine on the pillow, or better yet, right on my head. Cancer reared its ugly head, and Spook went through 3 tumor removals,
but it never got him down. How he loved to play in the snow, and his greatest joy was when his boys came home. He would tear through the house like a hellion, absolutely ecstatic that his boys were home. As Spook approached 16 he developed a tumor that the doctor didn’t want to remove because of his advanced age, so it continued to grow. It didn’t seem to bother him, but we anxiously watched it continue to grow, until it finally became life threatening and had to be removed. Spook lasted only 6 weeks after that, and we kept praying that he would hold on until his boys would be able to come home for Christmas. His last night, we took him for a long ride in the car, one of his favorite things to do in all the world, and let him look at all the Christmas lights while I held him in my arms. I held him in my lap for a long time before I went to bed talking to him and asking him to hold on for just one more day, but we woke up on December 21, 2003 to find him dead on the family room floor finally at peace. Steve and I wrapped him tenderly in a blanket and with sobbing and tears, dug a place in our landscaping in the back yard and laid him to rest — then we showered and headed for church where we prayed for our Spooky and for our boys who would be heartbroken when they arrived that day. The next day I took Greg to a monument place to order a marker for Spook. When I asked Greg what to put on the marker, he unhesitatingly replied “Heaven needed a good dog.” That’s been 4 years, and not a day has gone by when I didn’t think of how miraculously God had brought Spooky into our lives –and how blessed we were to have him 17 1/2 years.

Thank you, Mark, for your book. May I suggest a wonderful poem by Jean W. Sawtell that I included in the 14 pages of my 2003 scrapbook devoted to Spooky, entitled “It’s Tough on a Dog”. I found it in a book by Dr. James Dobson on growing boys.

There’s so much more I could share with you about Spook that was so much like Sprite — how he liked to show off his new haircut and bandana after he came from the groomers, how he hung around during a party to retrieve every morsel that fell from a plate, etc. I once asked Greg what kind of day he would buy when he got out of the Navy and he informed me that as part of his community service for the Navy while he was at RPI, he had volunteered at an animal shelterand had fallen in love with one of the dogs there, but couldn’t adopt him, but that he would never buy a puppy, He would rescue a dog, as you did Sprite. I was so proud of him. He’ll be out of the Navy in June “09 and I’m looking forward to being a grandma to his very own Sprite.

Best wishes to you and your family for a blessed New Year. Sincerely,

Eunice from NY
P.S. Love your show, but wish it were on at different hours. Never miss Rush and Sean.