Mark, I received ‘Rescuing Sprite’ as a gift last Christmas. I picked it up last week and finished it last night. Needless to say, I cried each night I read it before bed. Your description of the dread you felt leading up to and after Sprite’s demise really hit home. I had a Papillon/Pomoranian mix who was only 10 years old when we put here to sleep three years ago. My wife rescued her from the streets of Columbus Ohio by putting an article of her clothing at the entrance of our apartment. When we returned, there was this cute little creature laying on our porch. It was obvious she had experienced some trauma early in her life, as she never liked children, would chase loud cars and motorcycles and cower when we would raise our hand without malice.

Anyway, as she was a small breed, she had to have her teeth cleaned every couple of years. Two weeks after her last cleaning it was apparent that she had gone blind. Her condition deteriorated quickly, as she was messing the house frequentlly, was very disoriented and a shell of her former self. We decided to euthanize her as her quality of life was nill. After her death and subsequent burial in the back yard, the tremendous guilt I felt was unbearable and relentless. Why did I decide to forego the test for her tolerance to anesthesia prior to her procedure? Why did the Vet allow that? Why did I let her gain weight to the point of being very unhealthy? Like you, I was looking for validation of my guilt by researching cases of stroke under anesthesia but never really found it. I miss her tremendously and look at her picture on the wall every day.

To this day, I am still on the fence about getting another canine friend because the memory of heartbreak is still fairly prevalent. The old cliche about time heals all wounds is so true. I really admire you and your family’s commitment to sharing your love for dogs in the shelters. Thanks again for the book and for making me feel like somebody else cares about dogs in a way that I could never share with friends and family.

Mark from PA