My name is Dennis and my wife is Loretta. We’ve been married nearly 43 years and have had a number of dogs as a part of our family. Ten days ago on January 29, we lost our Ruby to Blastomycosis, the most cruel, vicious disease imaginable. She was a beautiful golden retriever with short hair. She was only 2 ½ years old. We had her euthanized after losing all hope. All our past dogs were deeply loved and we grieved for them. Our Ruby was exceptional in this respect. We consider her a “once in a lifetime” companion. There will probably be another dog in our future but none could come close to what our Ruby gave to and meant to us.

Today, February 8th., I brought her ashes home. Today, we also finished reading your book “Rescuing Sprite.” I remember hearing you telling Sprite’s story on Rush’s radio program a few years ago and knew we needed to read it and it would help us in dealing with our loss. I also bought a copy for my daughter who was very close to our Ruby and who has Ruby’s 2 year older sister Abby, and a copy for one of my sisters who still grieves for past beloved dogs.

It’s amazing the similarities between your experiences with your Sprite and ours with our Ruby. Our veterinary and his staff were wonderful with our Ruby. They always referred to her as a very sweet dog. After she passed, they sent us a beautiful plant with hyacinths and a tulip. We will plant them in a special place this spring. The crematorium which handled our Ruby was very professional and compassionate also. When they returned our Ruby to us today, they included a small patch of her fur and a little puppy print of some material that has flower seeds implanted in it. The instructions say to plant it and a rainbow of flowers will grow. We have a very special place to plant both. Last year I began clearing an area on the 8 rural acres we own. There is a path around the main portion of our acreage which we took our Ruby on walks morning and evening and on snowshoes during the winter. The area I am clearing will become “Ruby’s Park” and the special plantings will be the entrance to her park. We intended to have a larger area for her to chase tennis balls and Frisbee’s than our front yard allowed. I have a special piece of red cedar on which “Ruby’s Park” will be inscribed and will be a part of the planting area. Someday, we may have a use for it. Until then I will maintain it.

— Dennis from Merrill, WI