We bought Pete in hopes of raising and selling his puppies, but it became too difficult to part with the furry little bundles, so he is in retirement now. He is 12 years old, mostly deaf, mostly, blind, racked with arthritis, won’t let anybody near him but me, but he has been a soul mate to me. My husband was in the military for years and Pete was there with me. The defining moment for me was about ten years ago when we had brought in a stray to try and give him a good home. We had two other female dogs in the house at the time and Pete looked at this outsider as a threat to his harem. He attacked the other dog and they rolled down the hallway in a ball of teeth and fur. I kicked at the dogs trying to get them to separate. Not to hurt them, but trying to get them to separate. I accidently caught Pete right in the ribs and he went rolling down the hall on his own. The other dog scampered off under the bed and to safety. He was yelping and yapping his head off. Pete just stood up, looked at me, and didn’t make a sound. He looked almost proud of his work and regal. I knew I had a dog of high caliber. He is especially sensitive to people’s feelings and will nuzzle up to anyone who is crying or upset. He is old now, and not quite what he used to be, but once in a while, if I look really close, I see that regal look, that pride in his face. He never complains about the pain that must be his constant companion. I wrestle with the thought of ending his life everyday. My husband says it would be the humane thing to do. My kids don’t answer when I ask them. They don’t want to be the ones to tell me. Pete still goes on walks, albeit slowly, he will still play and loves to bark at the doorbell, though he doesn’t know when to stop barking, because he can’t hear when our other three quit. I feel he still has a quality of life. Or maybe it is just my selfishness. Every night I hope he will pass in his sleep so I don’t have to deal with it. So I don’t have to make that decision. Your book about Sprite really touched me. My daughter has volunteered in many animal shelters and hopes to open her own someday. My husband loves animals and spoils the stuffing out of a poodle mix. It’s so funny to see him with her! Pete considers him a threat and growls whenever he is around. He is a stubborn old coot. But when he goes, I know I will be devastated, no matter how I try to steel myself for it. We have a rescue dog named Sugar that I brought home from work. the other workeers were not taking care of her so I brought her home. She is a firecracker. I thought I was bringing her home to live out her last few days, but here it is almost two years later! She helped ;my son through some tough times and I will never be able to repay her for that. Well, I am sending a picture of my Petey and wanted you to know you have inspired me to write about my friend of eleven years. That’s seventy-seven in people years! It has been a long friendship and one that will live in my heart long after he is gone. I have a plot picked out for him at a pet cemetery, one I can go visit from time to time. I want to get a 10 by 13 picture of him to hang on the wall. He has been all things to this family, and he deserves it. Thanks for your inspiration.

Donna from TX