Tonight has been a very enlightening one for me. I’m sitting in my room, cuddled up on the bed and reading “Rescuing Sprite” for the second time. I’ve just gotten past chapter eleven, and my eyes are running like a pair of leaky faucets. My heart is breaking for you Mr. Levin and for your family. My heart also breaks for my own dog, Bailey Ann, my Golden Retriever who has recently just turned eleven. As I finish this chapter, I look over at her while she sleeps peacefully on the floor, all sprawled out and looking happy and content. And then I tried to imagine my life without her and having to make a tough decision like you and your family had to Mr. Levin. I promptly burst into tears. Bailey is my baby. I am only twenty, so I have no children. My dog is my child. She has multiple nicknames, among them Puppy, Puppy-Boo, Baby, and my Golden Girl. I take her for rides in the car everytime I leave the house because she loves to stick her head out the car window. I share my icecream cones with her and dont care when people give me strange looks. I take her to the river where she can swim and splash in the water. Wherever I go, Bailey is right there with me. I cry every time I leave for college because I have to leave her at home. She is my shining star.
Bailey Ann has recently been diagnosed with cancer, which is common among Goldens or so I’ve been told. At first, we were told they were fatty tumors, nothing to be concerned about. We took her to the vet a few more times after this as more and more of them began popping up, and each time we were told they were fatty tumors. This changed however, when one of these tumors burst open and began oozing and bleeding, as well as giving off a very foul odor. We took her back to the vet and were told that it was a cyst and would clear right up with some anti biotics. Several months later, the anti bitotics hadnt changed anything. We decided to take Bailey to a different vet, who told us we should have the oozing lump surgically removed. Just a few weeks ago, Bailey had her surgery and I was very thankful that it went smoothly (I was at college at the time of the surgery and I was a wreck the entire day until my Mother called and told me she was ok). However, the diagnosis was not good, and it broke my heart. As of now, Bailey is not in any pain and she still thinks she is a puppy, jumping around, chasing my other dog Latte in the front yard and occasionally getting into the garbage. However, I know that this can make Bailey’s time here with my family and I quite a bit shorter than we expect, and just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. Bailey’s age is also beginning to show. Her personality is the same, but her body has begun to shrink and the fur on her paws, around her eyes and on her muzzle has begun to turn white.
When I realized Bailey’s time with us could be alot shorter than we were hoping, I decided to start a scrap book with all the photos of my pooch. I was distraught and horrified to find that I only had a small stack of photographs to put in the album. When we got Bailey, I had just turned eight and it rarely crossed my mind to take pictures of my pup. I am now regretting it.
However, I decided that rather than just settle with the few photos I had, that now was just as good a time as any to record the memory of my pooch. And I began to photograph Bailey every chance I got. I then decided to take it one step further. I started a Pet Photography Business in honor of my pup, called Brooklynn Photography Pawtraits. I created the business for people who love their pets as much as I do, and so they wouldn’t have to feel that anguish and sorrow I had felt when realizing I had almost no pictures of my beloved Bailey Ann. She is now the mascot of Brooklynn Photography Pawtraits, and my most patient and beautiful camera model. I am happy to say that I have many more photos that I can put into my scrap book that I have dedicated entirely to her.
As I read on from chapter eleven to chapter twelve, a certain sentence caught my attention. It said “I have thought about writing a book about him, but nobody will care.” This struck me because I too have been thinking about writing a book about my Bailey. And I too thought the same thing. But people do care. I care very much about your Spritey, Mr. Levin. He left a very strong and touching legacy with you, your family and friends, and with everyone who has read your book and anyone who is a dog lover.
I mentioned to my Mother that I wanted to write a book about Bailey, and she asked me “What is so special about her?” She didnt ask in a mocking way, but a generally curious and interested manner. She wanted to know what I saw in my Bailey. I answered without hesitation “everything.” The same goes for your Sprite and Pepsi and Griffen, Mr. Levin. Every dog is special in their own way, but they all bring the same love, joy, and eventually, heart break, that makes every pup very special.
I am so very sorry for the loss you and your family had to suffer. I am dreading the day when my Bailey Ann moves on too. But I will take comfort in the thought that she will have a companion when she gets to Doggy Heaven, your Spritey.
Bailey is now snoring next me and twitching her paws. She is dreaming about chasing something, perhaps a squirrel, or she is running in a wide open field, or maybe she is even swimming. She brings a smile to my face, even as tears pour from my eyes while I write this.
Nothing brings joy like the love and companionship of a dog. Something you and I, as well as every dog lover out there, knows and will forever hold in our hearts.
I send the best of wishes to you and your Family, Mr.Levin, including Pepsi and Griffen, as well as all the dog lovers out there and to everyone who is a part of this amazing and wonderful Pet Corner. Bailey Ann sends her regards too! :)

— Brooke from Malone, NY