I was introduced to you by a friend, he downloaded the ebook Rescuing Sprite for me. I enjoyed the book, it made me laugh and cry. I also really enjoyed “Liberty and Tyranny”. But that’s not why I’m writing. It’s Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend, I’m sitting on my front porch and my puppy Pepper is lying by my side. She isn’t quite 4 yrs. old yet, so I say puppy. I adopted her from North Shore Animal League a little over three years ago as a puppy. She is a beautiful black dog with a full fluffy tale. Some people say she looks like a border collie. She has been my best friend for almost four years. I have had cats before but never felt toward them as I feel toward Pep. My heart is breaking because we found out yesterday she has stage V lymphoma. The vet oncologist says she probably only has a few days. I guess I’m writing because I think you can understand how I’m feeling, having read your story about Sprite. I just don’t understand how this could happen to a dog so young and happen so fast. I spend some time today researching and I get the impression that this is not supposed to happen to dogs so young. My husband retired from Verizon after Sept. 11th, he worked on Thomas St., downtown and was involved in what the phone company called “the recovery effort“. Which was basically getting the downtown communications back up and running after 9/11. My husband has been healthy for the 30 years we’ve been married, but two years ago October he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. It was found because we went to the hospital, with him in severe pain. It was a kidney stone, which he also had never had before. But the kidney stone was a blessing because they found the cancer. It was early enough to just remove the kidney, no lymph nodes were involved. But almost a year to the day, Oct 08 we found out he had prostate cancer. The good news is he had the prostate removed and he is on the mend. In fact, he was well enough for me to go visit my Mom in Alabama. I have been a bit stressed lately so I went there to try to relax. My Mom was going to return with me on June 11th. She was coming to visit and to attend a wedding with us, a close friend of ours. I was in Silverhill, Alabama (south of Mobile, West of Pensacola) yesterday morning when my husband went to the vet oncologist. I new the regular vet had done the needle biopsy and they were 95% sure about the lymphoma. I thought she would be OK until I got back on June 11th, but I found out , when my husband met with the oncologist, that she might have only a few days. I was able to get a flight back right away. The crazy thing is, Pepper was a little sick, with stomach problems, when I left to go to Alabama. My husband took her to the vet on Tuesday, the day I went south, and she had a high fever, so they kept her. I never would have thought she was so sick the way she was acting. She seemed fine. I’m rambling I guess I feel guilty because I wasn’t here for my husband and Pepper and now I feel guilty because I didn’t know how sick she was. Chemotherapy for Pepper is not an option for us, I am just giving her prednisone. The vet oncologist said this will help with some of the symptoms. She explained the chemotherapy options to my husband but we cannot afford any of that. The doctor said we will know when it’s time to put her to sleep. So I ask, “how do you know when it’s time to let a dog go?”
The other question I have for you is, how do I tell my kids? My daughter (23) went camping this weekend and my son (21) went to see his girlfriend in Mass. They will both be home tomorrow, they knew when they left Friday that she was sick, but they also had no idea how sick.
I have never written to someone I don’t know before, but you seem like a very compassionate man with a love for animals, so any advice you could give would be appreciated.

Kathy from NY