Dear Mark,

I have wanted to write a heart-felt “thank you” to you for unknowingly giving me tremendous assistance in helping me live with the huge loss of our canine family member who was in almost every sense a child to me and my wife.

I fully realize you have received multiple scores of similar testimony and thanks and I realize this one additional missive may not be able to fit into your busy schedule to see. Nevertheless, I felt I wanted to add to the chorus of thanks since this was the earliest time after incredibly deep mourning that I was able to get through the writing successfully.

I had to allow our vet to help Rusty pass out of his state of suffering on October 12th, around the exact time the rest of us learned about your own canine child, Sprite. The expression that misery loves company in this case was only accurate to the point that the depth of your public grief gave me the intellectual and emotional support to know that it was reasonable and understandable for a human being of reasonable mental capacity to be so lost in the despair of intense grief. You channeled that grief into something positive and, in dealing with our own loss, we followed your example and created the websites www.CalloftheDog.com and www.CalloftheDogShop.com They are dedicated to our Rusty and those important influences surrounding the life of this wonderful dog and the people connected in whatever way. Neither my wife nor I were website- creator savvy and, truth be told, mostly computer-challenged but these websites were important for us to do well and we think we have succeeded.

On the “About Us” page for all to see we wished to honor you in your unselfish public sharing of your grief that was so vital in helping us live with the passing of our incredibly important family member that we nursed almost around-the-clock for over two years of infirmity. You allowed me to know I was not a mental case despite all the evidentiary appearances. As long as our Rusty never gave up his personal fight and wished to stay with us we supported each other in the effort until he let us know it was time to release him from the struggle. We will live with the loss as we must but will never be fully over it, but we owe you a debt of gratitude for showing us a way to emotionally survive it, even though for months on end dignity had to take a holiday. I hope you will see this note of thanks.

Jay from CT