My Maltese Missy past away about a month ago. I had her for 14 years. She was the first dog I had in my adult life. My husband and I were having difficulty conceiving and I sought alot of comfort in her and my other fur babies and they were ever so willing to reciprocate. Missy used to always offer me comfort when I was down and crying, she used to sit on my lap and cuddle me letting me know she was there for me. After 8 years of being married, my son was born on 15th March 2010, and as first time parents most of my time was dedicated to my son. It was tiring and I was failing to spend time with my fur babies. I did not neglect them but I was not giving them much attention like I used too. They didn’t seem to mind. Missy’s old age came as a huge shock to me. I didn’t realize she was getting old, I was oblivious to the fact that she would get old. Her eyesight was the first to go then came the head tilt then she just stopped eating. It all happened within a 2 week period. She just slept and we knew it was time. I cried every afternoon on our way home from work, not knowing if she would be dead or alive. I also prayed she would go peacefully in her sleep in her home but she was also a fighter and pulled through everyday.

Here in South Africa none of the vets (that I know off) are compassionate enough to come to your home to put your pet down or take our beloved to be cremated or even make house calls when they are very sick. So you are very lucky to have such passionate professionals in your midst. On Monday morning 28th May 2012 we could see Missy’s breathing became erratic. We groomed her, got the dogs around to say their good-byes, I wrapped her in her blanket and we made the trip to the vet. The vet sympathized with us and told us it was the right thing to do as her quality of life is depleted. While the vet got the sedative ready I rubbed her head and held her close. I told her that she was a great friend to me, I love her and I will miss her very her much. It was over within seconds. We took her home and buried her in the yard near a Tulasi Tree which is a sacred tree to us Hindus. A week passed and I could not get to grips with myself so I turned to the internet to read other stories and maybe find some comfort.

A couple people on different websites suggested that “Rescuing Sprite” was a good book which helped them and so I ordered it. Last night I read Sprite’s passing in tears and it suddenly dawned on me, I got 3 more fur babies, how am I to handle when their time comes calling? It’s too much for my heart to bare. After Missy’s passing I have made it my duty to give my 3 all my love and attention and I let them know how I feel everyday. Now that my son is bigger I dedicate plenty time to them that I failed to do during the past 2 years. I monitor them constantly and I will not let old age creep up and take me by surprise again. I promised to do more and try harder. I do carry guilt on my shoulders of having to have done that to Missy, but I know in my heart she is better off than suffering.

This morning I read Mitch Dolan’s email in the book which completely broke me, I sobbed all the way to work. I hope in someway all our furry babies are together in heaven watching over us and will meet all of them once again. And I hope people learn to care, respect and cherish animals. I just wanted to write in to say “Mr. Levin your book has touched my heart in many ways and has helped me through this grieving process (although I have not completed it as yet)”.

— Arashika from Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa