My friend gave me a copy of your book for Christmas. I just finished it tonight. What a wonderful and heartfelt story.

I am so sorry for you and your family for your loss of your beloved Sprite. I too have a story about a wonderful dog, who touched my life in ways I can never truly explain. In December 1991 my mother and I found ourselves at a Petsmart store in Lewisville, Texas. I was 15 years old and we had gone to the store because the Lewisville Pound had scheduled an adoption day. My mom and I went to the store that day to adopt a little dog for my grandfather who was going to be visiting us for Christmas from Joplin, Missouri. So we went that day to the Petsmart….and that was a day that forever changed my life. For on that day, I met my dear friend Willie. He was a 5 year old Miniature Dachshund, brown with the cutest little smile and wagging tail you could ever see. So we adopted him and took him home with us. I was tasked to care for Willie in the weeks leading up to my grandpa coming. Willie and I spent every moment together for those two weeks. He slept in my bed with me…we went for walks…we bonded. So the time came and my grandpa came into town for Christmas. To my surprise, my mom had decided that if I wanted, I could keep Willie and we could get my grandpa another dog (which we did). So from December 1991 until July 2006 I had my beloved friend Willie the Weenie Dog. He went off to college with me. When I married, he came into my new home with me. He was the best dog in the world.

In June 2005 Willie was diagnosed with Lymphoma. He had refused to eat his food one morning (which he never did), and so I took him to my vet to run some tests. It was on this day I would learn about Willie’s illness. I was heartbroken. I just knew that my little fellow would not last much longer. To my surprise, with Prednisone therapy, my Willie dog had a good 13 months left with me. Up until the last two days he did not have a bad day.

On July 5, 2006 I woke up to find Willie in the floor, and he could not get up. I rushed him to the vet and had to leave him there. For the next 2 days I had to go visit my beloved baby in the pet hospital. My vet finally called me on Friday, July 7, 2006 to tell me that Willie’s liver counts were just continuing to rise (he was going into liver failure). That day I spent my lunch hour at the vet’s office cuddling and kissing my little guy. After work, I returned to the vet’s office. After a series of heart wrenching seizures (which my vet told me were not painful to Willie; that he did not know what was happening, my vet told me there was nothing else we could do. It was then that I had to make to worst decision of my life….to have my Willie put to sleep. I bawled. I gasped for air. I was so upset. I felt I had betrayed my baby. I had to end his life of 20 years on that day….and I have never been the same since. I do have two other dogs, Gabriel and Cookie (I got Cookie 2 months after Will died). They are wonderful and have a special place in my heart….but Willie will forever be my favorite…for he was my first doggie love.

I had Willie cremated. His ashes reside in a cedar box in my hutch with a poem called “Rainbows Bridge” next to it. I think of Willie every single day of my life. I will never forget him.

A bittersweet ending to my story of my beloved Willie. My husband and I are expecting our first child this July. July 7th is my due date. I guess it’s a sign that his soul still lives on….in me.

Stephanie from TX