Hi Mark,
I bought Rescuing Sprite shortly before you appeared at an Americans for Prosperity event in Trenton in May, 2008. You signed the book for me and asked if I’d read it yet. I had not, and you encouraged me to do so, which I did around September, usually with my dog, Cassie, a stray my mom found and gave to me as a companion and ‘watch-dog’ back in 1999, laying hearby. It was an emotional read and furthered my awareness of the fact that Cassie was getting on in years and beginning to show some signs of her advancing age. I began to treasure our time together that much more, knowing that all good things eventually do come to an end. Sadly, that time came this past week. On Tuesday, I left for work, and Cassie was her usual self. When I came home that afternoon, she’d had an accident (not uncommon) but was also very unsteady walking and her eyes seemed a little unresponsive. The night before, she’d eaten more vigorously than she had in a while, but over the next few hours she would not only not be able to keep that down, but would not be able to keep down the water she’d need to regain some strength, either. The vet confirmed what I’d feared – that she’d likely suffered a stroke event. Faced with slim chances of full recovery, labored breathing, and graying gums, which the vet indicated meant her blood was not circulating properly – and now her four legs could not support her, I made the decision I prayed I’d never have to make, and allowed the vet to euthanize her. I always knew it would be tough when she was gone, but I never imagined it’d be this tough. In less than a day, my ‘best friend’ went from being seemingly healthy to being gone. It all happened so fast. It is amazing how attached you can be to a pet. I always grew up with pets as my mom is a big animal lover – we always had dogs and sometimes cats, too. I’d experienced the loss of pets before and it was always difficult. But, never before had it been ‘my dog’. Cassie was my first – and only – pet I had after moving into my own home just months before my mom found her and brought her to my house almost 10 1/2 years ago. It’s amazing how much love and happiness a dog can bring into a home – especially when you live, otherwise, by yourself. I was able to enjoy that experience with Cassie for almost 10 1/2 years. Now that she’s gone, there is a huge void in the house. Of course, I can’t fathom getting another dog now. It seems like it wouldn’t be right. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t – only time will tell. What I do know is that I’ll always cherish the 10 1/2 years of loyal companionship that Cassie offered, and I can try to take some solace in the fact that – for her – there is no more pain – she’s in a better place, and one day, we will be together again.
Sorry if I went on long, but thanks for hearing my story, thanks for writing this book, and thanks for all you do advancing the ideals our great country was founded on, especially on this 4th of July. Here’s to America and also to ‘Man’s Best Friend’. Thanks, Mark.

-Anthony from NJ