Dear Mark,

I love dogs. I also love books. Your book was therefore irresistable. Youe book confirmed that my tear glands were properly functioning. We lost our Vixen, a mini schnouzer on December 31, 2007. She was two weeks shy of her 9th birthday. We got her from the breeder when she was seven weeks old. Her breed is notorious for being snippy. She was not. The sweetest dog you can imagine. I could identify with each and every emotion you described about how you feel about our dogs. When we got her, she seemed to be an icon of health full of energy. We learned from our vet that the breed is often suffering from crystals in their urine. Many members of the breed can live a full life before the problem surfaces. Our Vixen was not as fortunate. At the tender age of 6 months, she was forced to go on a restrictive diet the Vet prescribed. In addition her immune system was weak and on a few occassions we had to rush her to the Vet to cure some vicious infection that threatened her life. The first time we rushed Vixen to the Vet as she looked unresponsive, he looked at her and quietly said ” I think I can save her”. These were powerful words with the good news, we were confronted with our Vixen’s mortality. She was saved that time, but in her short life she encountered many setbacks. In the last year she became diabetic. About three years ago she lost all her hair. From a beautfiful dog she turned to a skinny bald dog. We loved her so much that this did not matter. In a cruel twist of irony, Vixen recovered her hair. As my wife was coming back from a college tour with our son, she commented that Vixen started to grow her hair back We saw that as a sign of hope. However, our Vet had informed us that we should not expect her to live a full life with all her ailments. Unfortunately he was right. When we put Vixen to sleep I felt my heart was breaking. As I was reading about your Sprite I was sobbing. They say that w\hen you bring a dog into the family, you should be willing to make a commitment for the very short life span of 15 years. Unfortunately we did not get that long. Like you , we put our dog to sleep to stop her suffering. She always was trying so hard to please us that we had to be kind to het and let her go. My wife, Yasmin was like a mother to Vixen. When she came back from work, Vixen would follow her around like a shadow. She is sorely missed as I know your Sprite is missed. I got your book from our local library and I will return it today. However, this is the kind of book I want in my library. I will therefore buy the book. Knowing that part of the proceeds goes toward helping other dogs helps.

I will end with a quote from your book: Goldfish and hamsters are pets. Dogs are family!

Thanks for sharing with us the life of Sprite.

I am a secular Jew and a Rabbi once told me that the Hebrew word for DOG (KELEV) stands for two words:

“KULO LEV”. This translates to “All Heart”. I think many will agree.

Ron from NY