Listener Stories



Our beloved Gucci, who just celebrated his 10th birthday, died unexpectedly on 12-13-2015 from stress induced cardiomyopathy (layman’s term – “a broken heart.”). After my son married 2 months ago and moved out of our home, Gucci was unable to cope. Initially, I attributed Gucci’s weight loss and malaise to diabetes. However, just 6 days before his death, Gucci was diagnosed with a broken heart. Last week, my son was in CO. Our plan was that upon his return, Andy & his wife planned to stay/ at our home, nuture Gucci back, and transition him to their home, Gucci’s condition unexpectedly deteriorated. Saturday afternoon, we kept re-assuring Gucci that Andy was on his way home. Finally, Sunday night, Gucci heard our garage door open, I told Gucci that Andy is home. Gucci got up, looked up, collapsed, and instantly died as Andy ran through the door. Gucci was our family member. Our sadness and sorrow is raw and painful. I know Gucci had 10 years of incredible love, affection, and attention, which made his separatin from Andy very difficult. We are so sad and guilt ridden that none of us recognized Gucci’s emotional distress. Andy & I each purchased “Rescuing Sprite.” Mark, tt helps to read your stories from someone who also lost their beloved family member. Thank You!

  • Barb from WI



Almost two years ago we rescued a little Lab/hound mix who we named Ginger. I have had dogs as pets in the past but I have never seen one this intelligent. She knows words and phrases and she sometimes knows when we spell them out. Unlike other dogs I have known, when I point my finger in a certain direction, she never looks at my finger. She looks in the direction in which I am pointing. Always.

One night she was laying on the bed and we were playing. In this particular game, she lays on her side and I slowly warn her that she is about to receive a kiss on her cheek. She continues to lay down, remaining calm, and looks at me askance, the whites of her eyes showing, patiently and tolerantly awaiting her kiss. This evening was different. When I gave her a kiss, I raised my head to look at her and right before my eyes, she smiled! I saw her lips move in the same way that the Grinch did in that movie, except this smile was not computer generated. Her lips were a flat line across her muzzle and in one smooth action, curved into a smile. Now, I did not believe for a minute this was a smile the same way a human smiles, but it was interesting nonetheless. I told my wife, my kids, everybody I know, but I was met with a little skepticism and just shrugged the whole thing off. A few weeks later I looked at her while she was sleeping, and she smiled again! I quickly grabbed my cell phone and took a couple of photos, which I have attached to this email. I swear, I did not manipulate these photos in any way.I showed my wife and kids and they laughed out loud. I will never know if it was a smile or not, but it doesn’t matter. I know she smiles, whether it is with her lips or her eyes.

– Nicholas from FL



Two years ago, I moved to my family’s farm in southwest Oklahoma. I’m single, and have no children. I recently lost my Boston Terrier, Rosemary. After a couple of months, my uncle Kevin must have noticed that I was becoming a hermit, losing connection with humanity, and may well have voted Democrat at some point, as insanity drives most to do.

Thank God, he gave me an address, a vague set of instructions, and when I returned hoe I had Axl, a blue-heeler-I-don’t-know-what mix. His owner was a nice gal who was being deployed out of Ft. Sill to Afghanistan, and she made sure through her screening process that he would be happy. He loves the farm, the attention, and is a great companion for me. I may even follow what I imagine his advice would be regarding my social life (go to town more and meet a girl).

Great show, and great Dog site. Keep it up!

— Bobby from OK



Hello Mr. Levin. I’m Paul, an 8-year listener. I highly recommend that you see the Tim Hawkins video ‘The Government Can’. Anyways, Monday, October 19th, 2015 my wife and I cried at the vet while he advised us to put down our dog. Duke is a 10-year-old Doberman that we had since he was 3 months old. Duke had cancer in his shoulder and an infected lump on his stomach. We talked it over and finally agreed to it. I feel so empty and guilty. They fed him as we left, because I wanted that image to be my last memory of him. We still cry over him…3 days later. But we are going to have an artist paint a picture of him to hang on our wall. We want to honor our boy Duke. I know you can relate. Thank you.

— Paul from MN



My Dog was a black Poodle. His name was Louie. Louie was my very special friend. He was also rescued from the Humane Society, in Colorado Springs, where I live.

Louie live a happy and healthy life. He favorite thing was a ride in the car, he just loved it as he did going for a walk.

His last year was 2008. He had gone blind, to what degree, I don’t know, it didn’t seem to bother him. He couldn’t hear well either. Still he was comfortable and always gave me his special smile. Louie developed diabetes, I took him to the Veterinarian, and I was given a script for insulin and syringes. I also had to feed him a special diet, not unlike us humans.

I was diligent in giving Louie his insulin and he seemed rather normal for his old age. Until one day I realized that he was sleeping a lot and would not drink any water. All he wanted to do was sleep. I panicked, I really did, scooped him up bed and all and drove to the Veterinarians office.

When I saw the doctor she told me that he was suffering from the effects of his diabetes and that his Pancreas and kidneys  were most likely were shutting down. She advised that we put him to sleep. Mark, my head felt like it was floating around the room. She couldn’t mean it.

We discussed it and I was convinced that Louie was going to pass away. I was so sad. You know how I felt. I lived alone and he was my friend and he loved me as much as I loved him.

I was beside myself for weeks. My apartment was empty and cold without Louie. It took me a year to grieve and four more years before I considered adopting a dog.

— Wayne from Colorado Springs, CO




I had to put down my six-teen year old Border Collie/Labrador Mix, Nellie, in April due to severe arthritis and having no quality of life, and I miss her more than words can describe. Though she was our family’s dog, she mostly belonged to my eldest brother, Andrew, who committed suicide shortly after we adopted her. On the day of his suicide, my eight week old puppy, Nellie, started vomiting profusely and went limp in my father’s arms at around 5:15 P.M. She was completely fine moments before, but at this particular moment of the day, it’s like she was overcome with illness for only a few minutes. We rushed her to the vet, but as soon as we got there, she was back to her happy-go-lucky state with her tail wagging and giving kisses like usual.  When we got back home, my other brother found Andrew’s suicide letter and the police and coroner estimated my brother’s suicide at 5:15 P.M. — the exact time Nellie went limp.  I am thoroughly convinced Nellie knew, and that there is a greater explanation regarding this coincidence that this was something beyond human comprehension.

Essentially, we lost the last part of my brother when we put her down and still struggle with wanting answers to this day.  My father and I are looking in to adopting a special needs Labrador, and are trying to come up with enough funds to provide a warm, loving home to an animal in need.  We have a lot of love to give, and are doing everything we can to make this happen.

— Wendi from Reston, VA