Goldie, Rex

Dear Mark

A friend of mine bought me a copy of your book Rescuing Sprite. I finished reading it on December 7th. Getting to know Sprite and Pepsi brought me a mixture joy and sorrow and it also brought me back to a time 8 years ago when we had to put down our beautiful golden retriever named Goldie. He was so gentle from the time he was a puppy and left us at the age of 15.

He came into our lives shortly after we had to put down our very first dog, a beautiful & crazy Irish Setter named Rex who was 13 years old. My husband took him to the Vet had to put him down all alone because I just couldn’t bring myself to do this with him and to this day I’m sorry I wasn’t with Rex the day he left us. My family now lives in Orlando, Florida but we used to live in New Jersey where Goldie lived all his life. On December 29, 2000 we had a snowstorm which kept my husband, my son and me at home. In the weeks before he left us Goldie was becoming more active, even chasing balls, but on the morning of December 29th he had a seizure and died, we were all so distraught at seeing this that my husband (a NJ Policeman) began to give Goldie CPR and brought him back to us, we immediately realized this would mean that soon after, if he didn’t die again, we would have the very painful task of putting him down..

We drove in the terrible snowstorm to get Goldie to the Vet. The Vet kept him over the weekend and gave him medication. He then told us to take him home to see if the medication helped, but we all knew it was the Vet’s way of helping us prepare to say good-bye to our beautiful boy. For a week we had family, friends and Goldie’s four legged pals come to say good-bye. Every night we would pray that Goldie would die in his sleep, but every morning, although he could no longer move, he would look at us with his beautiful brown eyes and wag his tail. I would sit with him and sing “You Are So Beautiful” (Joe Cocker) and “Loving You” (Minnie Ripperton). We prayed, cried and told him how much we all loved him and what joy he brought to our lives. On January 5, 2001, my husband Dave, my son David and I took Goldie to the Vet’s office, (this time I would find the courage) and there we all held him one last time as he gently slipped away.

In the weeks following we received Goldie’s ashes and we contacted the family who sold us Goldie, they are wonderful people with a farm in N.J. where they breed pure bred goldens. They don’t do it as a business, just every so often (they have 5 goldens of their own). We told them about Goldie and they were surprised to hear that he lived to be 15. We then asked if there was any chance there might be puppies again and they said there might be. Shortly after our conversation we received a phone call that their dogs Molly & Reggie were going to have puppies and on June 17, 2001 (Father’s Day) 14 puppies were born, 7 boys & 7 girls all alive. We got first pick of the males and were blessed with the most beautiful fluff ball! We named him Reggie after his dad! He has so many of his predecessor Goldie’s traits, but he’s more the working dog. He brings in the newspapers and gets the mail and will also bring laundry to the laundry room…this is all done, not only because he loves us and wants to please but we suspect the real reason is because he knows there’s always a treat involved. After 9/11 Dave & I would bring Reggie, only 3 months old, down to Ground Zero where the Police, Firefighters and civilians would hold him and play with him. We know he brought some joy during such a terribly sad time. Reggie is now 7 years old and the most popular dog in our neighborhood with our two and four legged friends. My husband and I recently chaired a committee and had a dog park built within our community…it’s a wonderful thing to see Reggie and all his friends run around and play. I recently accompanied my neighbor who had to put down her very first dog a King Cavalier named Bo who was 15 years old. We kissed Bo good-bye and cried together. She held Bo and told him she so was sorry to have to do this, I understood exactly how she felt but I told her that what she was showing Bo the ultimate act of love and that if he could, Bo would thank her for it. Mark that is what you and your family showed Sprite the day you had to let him go and I know that everyday in Heaven he thanks you for your ultimate act of love.

Thank you for sharing Sprite and Pepsi with us. We know how difficult it was for you and your family to say good-bye to Sprite. It will never be an easy thing to do and yet we keep bringing these wonderful creatures into our lives knowing they won’t be with us long enough. I heard once that God keeps us on earth longer because we, as humans, need more time to get it right and love one another, but our pets love unconditionally and are so special
that they get to go with God sooner. We wish you, Kendall, Lauren, Chase, Pepsi & Griffen a very blessed holiday.


JoAnn from FL