I wasn’t planning on getting a dog. We already had a sheltie at home. But, in helping my sister find a female black cocker, I ended up getting a litter mate to my sister’s new puppy. This poor little baby puppy had something wrong with one eye, it drooped terribly, and no one seemed to want her. I fell in love immediately.

Star had surgery to fix her eye, and, later, she seemed to have constant cystitis. But, I loved her more than I have ever loved another dog. Whenever I hear others talk about a certain dog in their life that they “bond” with. Star was my “soul dog.” We cuddled; she listened to me, and was the best behaved dog that I have ever known. She knew my every thought.

However, in August of 2006, I noticed that she had extreme difficulty walking in her hind legs. After having x-rays taken, the vet found that she had severe hip dysplasia at only 4 years of age! She was put on Rimadyl and a strict diet to lose a few extra pounds. She seemed fine until a Thursday in September of 2006.

She began vomiting and would not eat. I could get her to eat a few treats, but, she would soon throw those up also. Her liver just seemed to be shutting down and her eyes and gums were bright yellow in color. By the following Monday, we were racing across the state of Iowa to the Iowa State University Veterinary Hospital, one of the best in the country. There, she went through a battery of tests, and, tearfully, I had to leave her in their care with a kiss and a promise to be back. Well, by Wednesday, Star passed away during a liver biopsy. She was found to have had cocker hepatitis to which there is no known cure. I would not fulfill my promise to her to be back to get her.

This caused me to go into a depression much the same as you speak about in your book. It was horrible!!

About a month later, a vet in another town told my husband, a UPS delivery driver, that he had someone leave a dog in his entranceway the night before. She was a small, pregnant cocker. They were planning to give her puppies away, but, didn’t know what to do with the mother dog. This vet remembered hearing my husband tell him about losing Star, and, he wondered if we would want her.

I said no. Then I found out that another person had expressed an interest in her. This person ran a local puppy mill and wanted to use her to breed. I was horrified.

Long story short. Abbi is now a well-loved member of our family. She has large brown eyes and reminds me a little of the picture you have of Sprite. She is cuddly, sweet, and easy going. Our other animals love her and she loves them. She even tries to mother them.

However, I will always remember my Star…and I keep one of her toys above the vanity in the bathroom. I talk to her every morning…and I miss her every day.

Terri from IA