I finished reading Rescuing Sprite a week ago. It helped me to deal with the
grief I have been living with since December 18th.

“Dreamer’s” story is both bitter and sweet. I hope you do not mind it’s brief telling.
My sister mated her female Scottish Terrier and promised my son, then nine years
old, with the “pick of the litter” when they were to be born in January of 2001. Of the six puppies we picked out the “runt”. She was tinier than the others and mewed the loudest for food and attention. We waited earnestly for the moment we could take her home.
She became the third dog member of our household. Wilbur, the Cocker Spaniel,
looked at her with the “oh my gosh, what did they do” glare. Penny, a rescued Beagle/Shepherd mix, who was a sweet and mild dog, took to Dreamer right away.

Three weeks later tragedy struck. Dreamer stopped eating and struggled to even walk. She had seizures that made her legs on the same side go forward at the same time. Obviously, she would topple over. The first vet thought it was a
blockage in her intestines. The Ultrasound showed something even more dangerous.
She had a liver shunt. The main veins that connected to the liver were
unconnected and dumping her blood into the abdomen. Her liver was the size of a pea. We were devastated but, endured two operations that had our little puppy at
the veterinarian hospital for a longer period than she was in our home. On the second trip to surgery I held her in my arms and told her that I would rather
her die against my chest than in the arms of a stranger.

We were lucky. Thirty-five days and “enough money” later we had a puppy that
was on the way to mend. The surgeon told us her life would be shorter because of the operations but, we could expect a good ten years. Not bad considering Scotties can live twelve to fifteen. For the first year we had to make her food and feed her measured portions. Later she developed a food allergy and needed special “store bought” foods that were hypo-allergenic. Despite all her setbacks we watched her grow and play. She became the best dog that we ever had. With Scotties you become their pets … and we did.

During her time with us Dreamer, like Sprite and Pepsi, would accept all people and animals as friends. She would often approach other Scottish Terriers with a snarl that is known as the Scotty “smile”. She surely made us smile and laugh everyday.

We did not want her to live without other dog company so we rescued a dog, named Snickers, from an abusive situation and a dog named Max, who was a “Katrina dog” that needed special help.

Around Thanksgiving last year we noticed that Dreamer was becoming lethargic. We thought that she was just growing ‘mature’. The vet thought she was developing another
food allergy. Later they suspected ‘Cushing’s disease’, which had taken our “Penny-girl” two years earlier. Cushing’s requires an ultrasound and some follow up procedures. So, we scheduled her ultrasound and drove 45 minutes through a
snow/ice storm to get to the medical center.
We waited for another 45 minutes and she was taken in for her exam. Fifteen minutes after
that the doctor called us into an examination room. “She does not have cushings”, the doctor said, and my wife Gail looked at me with a huge smile that matched my own. “I’m so
sorry” were his next words “Dreamer has cancer”. Smiles fell to the floor and were soon joined by our tears.

I felt that I was punched in my heart. She was only six years old. She was my little girl.
Cancer in the spleen, liver, and muscle tissues of the abdomen. Earlier in her short life she had suffered as a puppy. We were not going to let any thing like that happen to her again. No, we were not going to remove the spleen and begin chemo therapy.
So, we did steriods, watched, and waited. Gail and I both prayed during this time that we would give up years of our life for another year with our little Dreamer girl.

When Dreamer stopped eating and seemed particularly “tender” in her stomach area we called our vet. True to my promise almost six years previous, a week before Christmas, I held her in my arms, telling her that she was the best dog and we all loved her, until she relaxed one last time into the crook of my elbow. My senses told me she smelled the same as she did when she was a puppy. There is nothing like the smell of a puppy? She was resting and later to be playing with Penny, Wilbur, and Sprite.

She would have been seven years old on the 23rd of January ’08. I have cried everyday since she was laid her head against me to rest. I’m crying now. Her ashes are the centerpiece of our livingroom’s fireplace mantel. I placed a pink rose that I will maintain everyday, in a pretty vase, next to her cherry box. Her pink collar and her favorite chew bone (that we would load with peanut butter) are on top of her box. On either side is a box for Wilbur, who passed from old age years before, and another for Penny who was taken by cushings.

I wanted to thank you for writing your book. I cannot get your radio show unless I stream it. Yet you have expressed in your book all of my feelings that have been felt by me over these past weeks. Your words and sharing have helped me and I am sure it will help others. I won’t stop crying but, it really helped. Some tears are for Sprite’s passing and others are for Pepsi who lost a good friend. Some will be for you and your family.


Warm Regards,

Ed from PA
(A 54 year old salesman from Pennsylvania. A dog lover.)