Opie, Gus, Reagan

I read your book from cover to cover last night in a few hours. Once I started reading I could not put it down. I cried a lot, but I also smiled a lot, because I knew exactly what the love for a dog feels like. I had a mini schnauzer named Opie (named after Andy Griffith’s Opie). We had him for about 14 years. He had a heart condition for the last 3 years of his life. He took human heart meds and salmon oil every day. We kept him alive even after he had a few heart attacks. We were not going to give up on him. He had been such an important part of our family,that we were going to do all we could for him. After every heart attack, my husband and I would ask the vet if he was suffering and if we were just prolonging his life for our selfish reasons. She told us as long as he is still eating and drinking water, he is okay. She told us he would let us know when the time came to let him go. We would take him for walks twice a day, but they got harder and harder for him.

On a Friday in September of 2003, he let us know that he was ready to go and be with God in doggie heaven. My daughter and I took him to the vet and held him while the vet administered the drugs. We said our goodbyes and cried and cried for days. And on top of that, my daughter left for college on Monday after Opie died. It was the worst week of my life. I still cry when I think about it. I miss Opie every day of my life!!

In November of 2003, my husband and I decided our house was too quiet, no kids here, and no dog so we found a breeder of mini schnauzers near our home and we found a 10 month old dog whom we named GUS. He is “what the doctor ordered” Suddenly our house was a home again.

About 2 years a go I decided that Gus needed a companion. My husband did not warm up to that idea right away, but I kept hounding him. We contacted the same lady we got Gus from and she had a female who was done being a breeding dog, so we got her as soon as we met her. We renamed her REAGAN, (after Ronald Reagan). My husband and I both LOVED Ronald Reagan so we thought it was fitting to name this beautiful dog after him. Gus and her are best friends. They are always sleeping together and watching out the front windows for dogs or rabbits running by. They bring smiles to my face every day. I could not imagine my life without them.

Thank you so much for writing the book, Mark. When I was done with it, last night, my dogs were laying on my bed with me and I gave them both big hugs and lots of kisses to let them know how much I love them and cherish their companionship.

God bless you and your family, as well as Pepsi and Griffen.

Mary from Vancouver