Spike, Tutt

Hello Mark,

I have just finished reading your book \’Rescuing Sprite\’ and feel compelled to write to you.  (I have never done this before).

I think right at the start I was taken by the beauty of your Sprite on the cover of the book, what a smile!  Then as I read on I was drawn in by many similarities.  Your wife\’s name Kendall is one of my best friends name (Kendyll).  And Sprites\’ name is so similar to my Spike.  He was the most loving boxer boy.  I feel myself fighting a lump in my throat just writing his name.  He was only 8 when we had to put him down and had suffered for 4 years with the strangest problem… he was unable to pee when it got cold outside (and living in Calgary, Alberta Canada it is cold a lot of the time).  I took him to 5 different vets and they just could not figure it out so for 4 long, cold winters he would struggle and freeze his paws trying to relieve himself.  The last winter I actually would hold a bucket under him at the back landing to help him.  He was embarrassed and humble about this, my friends all thought I was crazy to do this but you do what you have to do when you love them so much.
When the day came that my 4 children and I made the decision that he had suffered enough we had our favorite vet come to our home and put him down.  Four days later my Mom passed away and I ached for the hugs, kisses and quiet support Spike would have given me.  I felt that no one could understand that I was grieving as much for my dog as I was for my Mom, in fact more for Spike as my Mom had Alzhelmers and I felt I had lost her a few years before.  
Our siamese cat Tutt cried for months and called for him and looked for him in every corner of the house.  We had originally thought that we would spread his ashes on Nose Hill (a huge off leash park that he just loved) but once I received his ashes I could not stand the thought of him being in the cold and have since kept him in a beautiful box that I keep by the front door.  When ever I leave the house I ask him to \’guard the house\’ just like he did while alive.  I bought the box large enough so that when Tutt\’s time comes, they can be together as the loved each other so much.
I laughed when I read that you didn\’t have a wheel barrow when you were digging the hole for your Sprite tree as I too (until this birthday in June) did not have one and I needed it for the blooming apple tree I planted in memory of my Mom. (I used a garbage can on wheels.) I do hope your health has improved.

After almost two years we are awaiting the birth of our new boxer puppy and she will join us this fall and fill a huge hole in our home.  I never thought I would put myself through the pain of owning another dog again, but the rewards of having a loving companion far out weigh the pain of losing one.

Thank you for writing this book, thank you for helping me shed more tears over my beloved Spike.  Thank you and your family for being such a good, kind and loving human beings.

Bless you and your family.

Donna-Lou from Alberta