When my husband gave me your book, Rescuing Sprite, as a Christmas present, I really did not want to read it because I knew what the end was going to be and I have always avoided reading, listening, or seeing anything that involves the animals dying. I read it anyway. The book expressed my feelings about dogs exactly, and yes, I cried when you described Sprite’s end.

Our own ‘dog of dogs’, Buddy died two years ago at the age of 16. When I think of how we came to adopt him and all of the wonderful years we had with him, I miss him all over again. He was part border collie and something else. We adopted him from the RSPCA in York, England. I still remember the lady saying to Buddy as we left, “I will see you back here.” I replied, “No you won’t.”

The next hurdle was getting him past my husband because after the death of our last wonderful dog, Inu, he did not want to get attached again. However, after four years of bereavement, our two sons and I decided that it was time to get another dog. The problem was, how can we convince their father? The answer was simple – get Dad out of the house long enough for the dog to get settled in. At the time, we lived in England and we were always going off on trips to other countries to sight see and, in the winter time, to ski. Since Christmas was coming up, we decided to give Dad a week by himself on the slopes. When he came back and discovered Buddy (not without our trying to hide him until we could explain (wheedle, cajole)to him our feelings, The rest of the story you can guess and I am in the process of writing up.
I don’t know if any have read Rudyard Kipling’s poem, but I think that, although there are many expressions of what it is to love a pet, I think this poem best best describes what a dog lover goes through. The last stanza is particularly poignant. It is entitled, “The Power of The Dog.” Here it is:

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find—it’s your own affair—
But . . . you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!).
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone—wherever it goes—for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve.For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long—
So why in—Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Mary from PA