Dear Mark,

“Rescuing Sprite” was a Christmas gift from our daughter, who had to bury her face in it to hide her tears as she perused it in the bookstore. I knew then that it would be a painful, yet important book to read, and I was correct on both points.

On November 29, 2007 we had to make the agonizing decision to end the life of our little Lhasa Apso, Tasha, who shared her life with us for 14 1/2 years. She is the only pet we ever owned, having joined our family just one year after our marriage. She was diagnosed in February 2007 with a bladder tumor known as transitional cell carcinoma. Although the initial diagnosis was both shocking and upsetting, it was nothing compared to the grief we would experience at the end of her life. We agreed that due to her age and other health conditions (severe hearing and visual loss, arthritis, heart arrythmmia and murmur), that we would treat the tumor conservatively with oral medication offered by the vet rather than traumatize the rest of her life with painful, protracted procedures. We chose instead to love her and pamper her more than ever until her dying day.

The agony of having to decide when another living being’s life will end seems somehow to be an inappropriate, cruel task to hand anyone. We feared making the wrong decision–before it was absolutely necessary, thus ending a good life too soon, or worse–not recognizing the signs early enough to prevent unnecessary suffering. In the end, it was obvious when the day came what we had to do.

Our lives have not been the same since she left us one month ago. Having had both our daughters marry during 2007, our “house is not a home” without Tasha. As they say, “the silence is deafening”. There isn’t a day that we don’t think about her and miss her terribly. Many times I have held her blanket to my face and deeply inhaled, trying to find a trace of her scent still there.

We believe the best way to honor her is to “rescue” a Lhasa from a shelter at some point, but it’s hard to know when is the right time. I hope that just as we knew when her life was about to end, we will know when we are ready to invest in that kind of love again.

Thank you for the hard work it must have been to write this book.

Jan from IN