Shebah, Emily


How do I say thank you for writing such a heart wrenching book. To know that we were not alone in our love of a pet and our devastating hurt in losing her, meant so much to us.

I have had and loved dogs all my life, but losing our precious Shebah, was almost more than we could handle. We, like you, suffered along with our dear beautiful dog, for a long time. We tried everything, and like Sprite, she never complained about anything. She was a loving, lovable, lady until the end. I, like you, questioned whether wasn’t somehing else we could have done. Like you, there WASN’T. For six years, everytime we saw a beautiful Shepherd, we would tear up. “Rescuing Sprite” brought back so many painful memories, but it was good to know that we were not alone in our feelings. Finally, partly because we never wanted to go through that kind of pain again, we searched the Internet for information on raising a guide dog. We decided on The Seeing Eye, and signed up to raise a puppy. A German Shepherd of course. Eleven months later we were holding the most, maybe the second most, adorable little puppy in the world, named Emily.

When you raise a Seeing Eye puppy, you love, socialize, and train the puppy for about 18 months. You know from the day you first hold the puppy, that she will be going back, she is only visiting for a season. Yes, your head knows, but your heart refuses to except the inevitable. For 18 to 21 months that puppy is with you 24 hours a day. What a wonderful experience!!! You accustom the puppy to sounds; smells; floor surfaces; being chained to your bed at night; going outside to “park” (empty), by going around you, in a circle; crowds; trains; planes; buses; cars; elevators; shopping; sitting quietly in meetings; traffic; and everything that people deal with on a daily basis.

I tell you all this to let you know that there are different kinds of hurt and devastating pain of loss. It hurt so bad we thought we would die, almost hoped that we would, to lose our Shebah. It also hurt desperately for Emily to go back to The Seeing Eye. But we held on to the goal that our losing Emily was going to bless someone else. She wasn’t dying, she would go on to have an exciting life, being her best friend’s eyes. But it still hurt to give her back. Today, she is working somewhere in Northern New Jersey. We, as puppy raisers, never know exactly where or with whom she is. We wonder and miss her almost daily.

Unfortunately or fortunately, our next two Seeing Eye pups were rejected by The Seeing Eye. Marcy, a Golden Retriever, because during the very rigid examination they give all returning pups, she was found to have Hip Dysplasia. The puppy raiser is offered the dog back if they are rejected for any reason. Of course we were there the next day to pick her up. Believe it or not, it was a bitter sweet reunion. You work so hard to achieve the goal, that it hurts not to achieve it. Marcy has gone on to be a Therapy Dog/Service Dog, and bless countless people. Our next puppy, Dede, another Golden Retriever, after being at The Seeing Eye for eight months, was rejected because she gave indications that she wanted to chase squirrels. Not a safe situation for a blind person. She is now a perfectly trained Seeing Eye dog, and allowed to chase all of the squirrels that she wants out of “our” back yard.

We gave your book, about your wonderful Sprite, to many friends at Christmas time. I know they cried, as we did, through most of the book. But crying is healty and it is healing. Thank you for so candidly sharing a part of your life and heart. For sharing your pain, but also your love and joy. I loved getting to know another side of you. We love both sides! May the Lord bless you and your family for so unselfishly sharing your hearts, and may it continue to be used to bless countless readers, and twice wanted four footed family members. The Lord must have loved Sprite very much to place him in your home, and you, to trust you with such a wonderful dog.

Thank you,


Marian from PA