I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your story, “Rescuing Sprite.” It brought back memories of my dog “Sport.” I found Sport in the woods in the fall of 1996. Someone I knew was going to shoot him because he thought he was stealing chickens. He was covered in mud and his right rear leg was broken. I took him to the vet and the vet wanted to amputate his leg. I asked him what the other options were. He told me that he could wrap his leg in tape and hope that it healed alright. I told him to do that. He also told me that Sport was a Walker Hound and his markings were perfect. And that he was about a year old. He also told me that Sport was gun shy and that the other owner probably broke his leg and left him in the woods to die because he was useless to him.

I carried Sport home and cleaned him up. He was beautiful and kind. He limped around for a month or so. The couple I live with have chihuahuas and I think that he thought he was one too. He got to where he would go in and out the dog door which was low to the ground and just big enough for him to go through. It was funny. As his leg got better he would run around the yard like his leg was never broken. I am glad I made the choice to keep his leg. And he got to where he could fly through that doggie door. He was afraid of thunder and fireworks. One day it was raining and there was thunder. Someone came in the front door and out he ran. And he ran and ran and ran. I don’t know if he would have been able to find his way home. But I got in my truck and went after him. I found him and got him in my truck.

He was such a great dog. And he would pamper the chihuahuas. One even used to sleep next to his belly. To make a long story short. In the fall of 2008 he had an incident. I couldn’t find him. I finally found him in the back yard. He was lying on his side and it was cold and raining. I had to pick him up and bring him inside the house. I had a hard time getting him to stand up; but finally did. I dried him off. He was still shaking and his heart was beating real fast. I found out the next day that he had a heart attack. The vet also said that he was going blind. Which explained why he didn’t like to go outside at night. We have hawks and owls and I thought that maybe one had frightened him one night. Some of his favorite snacks were popcorn, peanut butter, and lemon flavored sherbet. I noticed he was having a hard time getting up and that his back legs weren’t steady.

He had another heart attack in late November 2008. I returned to the vet and found out he was almost completely blind and he had arthritis in his back and legs. Got some medicine and took him home. I knew the next time would probably be his last. So I really enjoyed the time we had left together. Then, about two days before Christmas he fell. I rushed him to the vet. His kidneys had failed. And I had to have him put down. It hurt me real bad. I had to sit in the parking lot at the vet office until I was able to drive home. I left him at the vets office. And never saw him again. I regret that I hadn’t planned for his death like you did. I wanted him to live and he still does in my heart. I still have dreams about him every once in a while and think of him all the time. I still haven’t got a new dog yet. Although I have recently been thinking about it. Thanks for writing your book Mark. It was the right thing to do. I haven’t cried so much reading a book in my life.

– Marvin from Jacksonville, FL