My family had bought a dog in 1996. At that time i was just about 16 years old. This was our family’s first pet. My mom had just been diagnosed with fourth stage colon cancer,and my dad thought this would be a great gift for her,and would keep my mom company as the rest of us were at work and school. Rowdy was his name,and he was the cutest beagle i have ever seen, white and brown, drop dead beautiful:). Rowdy and my mom grew very close in that time. They loved each other. I was Rowdy’s second mom. I was very busy with work,and being well the typical teenager at the time. As years past and Mom’s health was getting worse, I grew extremely close to Rowdy. He helped me through so much of her disease. When I was hurt and unwilling to talk to anyone else about how angry I was with my mom’s sickness, I would take Rowdy for the longest walks, and cry for hours to him. He always listened. I knew he understood, and was saddened also. After all, Rowdy was her son, her baby. In March of 2006, my mom died. I was crushed. Once again Rowdy was there for me, without a doubt. We took the same walks faithfully every day. To make an even longer story shorter, Rowdy was diagnosed with anal cancer. The vet could not perform surgery,as it had spread too far in his glands. So for the next two weeks that the DR .had given with me, I cried and I cried to him and for him. How was i gonna let my best friend go? I enjoyed my last Christmas with him,and spoiled him rotten, even more then i have ever done before. December 30th came (2009). I knew it was time. I took him over to the animal hospital. It was over in the matter of minutes. Here i am today (not even two months without him,and feels like forever), memories of him still surround my home. Not a day goes by and I don’t think of him. Pictures of him surround my rooms. I am lonely. I have not felt the same since he’s been gone. My body aches, my heart is hurting. Could this be a case of depression? Sounds crazy,but I feel so empty without him. I haven’t been or felt the same since his passing (and my moms of course). I came across your book, and it’s helping me along the way. For this book I am very thankful. Thank you Mark, and if you have any other suggested related books, please let me know. I could keep writing forever about my Rowdy, but I know there is no need to because you understand the pain I am feeling. Thank you again for letting me share my story.

– Janine from Quincy, MA