My Buddy Pepsi

Pepsi passed away at 3:30 pm eastern time Sunday

Pepsi passed away at 3:30 pm eastern time today. He was the most precious and joyful dog a family could have. He now joins Sprite and Griffen. The world is a less joyful place today. He was with us nearly 13 years. They were the best years. Until about 3 weeks ago, he had the energy of a puppy.

Pepsi welcomed Sprite and later Griffen into the family. If you read Rescuing Sprite, you know all about him. His tail was always wagging and he always had a smile on his face. He loved everyone and was so darn smart. Pepsi never left my side. Now he’s gone.
Thank you all. As I build the strength to pick up all his toys and his bowls, I wonder if these tears will ever go away.

I need to tend to my family now. Won’t be back for a while. Thank you all again.

Pepsi waiting for Mark to come home…

Pepsi begging Mark to take a little fetch break.

Pepsi excited for a trip in the car.

Doing what Pepsi does best…

Pepsi laying around the house…

Paling around with Sprite…


Several years ago we had a Blood Hound named Casey. He was an abnormal pet to say the least. His presence bewildered our family for nearly a decade. From the nob on his tail to his cowardly ferociousness, there was rarely a dull moment. Too keep him from wondering into the street we tied him to a cinder-block. He chewed the cinder-block and had to have multiple teeth pulled to prevent his mouth from rotting. He didn’t like having his nails trimmed so the vet had to use anesthesia. One Thanksgiving he ate the entire turkey within 10 minutes, but he did leave the timer. He would growl at our guests at the dinner table, but if we lifted our hand up he would blink his eyes, look down, wait a second, look around, then growl again. When he would get mad at me for not letting him out within 2-5 minutes of his desired time frame he would go in my room instead. When he whined he sounded exactly like a bird tweeting. Kid you not! What a dog?!

— David from Sterling Heights, MI


My Mom and I were having a discussion about how much I truly love my dog…a 9 year old Doberman…..and how devastated she believes I will be when he leaves this good earth.
Her concern was that I have opened my heart too wide and the pain will be almost unbearable in an emotional sense.

I explained to my Mom that……she should be proud of herself for raising a son who has the ability to love unconditionally and in a deep meaningful way, even if it means facing some pain at times.

I would always prefer to risk immeasurable pain…rather than put up a wall that shields you from the bad……..and unfortunately the really good.

How much of a wall do you leave up in a relationship or……do you throw caution to the wind……allow your heart the opportunity to breathe unfettered… and then accept life as it greets you.

I had written this 2 years ago and last Sunday…my best friend of 11 ½ years passed into a quieter place.

The heartache is indeed sometimes too painful to bear, but I have no regrets, we had an amazing life together.

Prince…be a good boy up there.

— Manny from Toronto, Ontario


Early December of 2008 I met my best friend Skippy. My husband and I were helping our Amish friends move to their family farm. I walked over to the kennels to see the dogs. They bread several breeds for sale. In an outdoor cage was a lone Boston Terrier. His mate had died a few months earlier and he was basically taking up space. He was a disagreeable fellow, barking and growling when people approached his cage. I saw something in him that melted my heart. The owner agreed to give him to me for our helping them…I was willing to pay, but he said no. I held him on my lap on the way home. He smelled so bad and his gas was the worst I ever smelled.

The moment we brought him in the house he became an indoor dog. He loved it! I gave him a bath and he loved it. He tried out every piece of furniture in the house and liked them all. He is my constant companion, shadowing me everywhere I go. I must be within eye-shot at all times. I think he thinks he’s a person. He loves when we sit with company at the kitchen table. He sits on my lap with his front paws on the table, head turning toward each person who is talking. Sometimes he even joins in the conversation trying to make words. He cocks his head when we ask him what he thinks. I won’t have many years with him; he will be seven soon, but he has brought me such joy and laughter. As he lies snoring on my lap and gas as bad as ever, I thank God he brought Skippy into my life.



My family had bought a dog in 1996. At that time i was just about 16 years old. This was our family’s first pet. My mom had just been diagnosed with fourth stage colon cancer,and my dad thought this would be a great gift for her,and would keep my mom company as the rest of us were at work and school. Rowdy was his name,and he was the cutest beagle i have ever seen, white and brown, drop dead beautiful:). Rowdy and my mom grew very close in that time. They loved each other. I was Rowdy’s second mom. I was very busy with work,and being well the typical teenager at the time. As years past and Mom’s health was getting worse, I grew extremely close to Rowdy. He helped me through so much of her disease. When I was hurt and unwilling to talk to anyone else about how angry I was with my mom’s sickness, I would take Rowdy for the longest walks, and cry for hours to him. He always listened. I knew he understood, and was saddened also. After all, Rowdy was her son, her baby. In March of 2006, my mom died. I was crushed. Once again Rowdy was there for me, without a doubt. We took the same walks faithfully every day. To make an even longer story shorter, Rowdy was diagnosed with anal cancer. The vet could not perform surgery,as it had spread too far in his glands. So for the next two weeks that the DR .had given with me, I cried and I cried to him and for him. How was i gonna let my best friend go? I enjoyed my last Christmas with him,and spoiled him rotten, even more then i have ever done before. December 30th came (2009). I knew it was time. I took him over to the animal hospital. It was over in the matter of minutes. Here i am today (not even two months without him,and feels like forever), memories of him still surround my home. Not a day goes by and I don’t think of him. Pictures of him surround my rooms. I am lonely. I have not felt the same since he’s been gone. My body aches, my heart is hurting. Could this be a case of depression? Sounds crazy,but I feel so empty without him. I haven’t been or felt the same since his passing (and my moms of course). I came across your book, and it’s helping me along the way. For this book I am very thankful. Thank you Mark, and if you have any other suggested related books, please let me know. I could keep writing forever about my Rowdy, but I know there is no need to because you understand the pain I am feeling. Thank you again for letting me share my story.

– Janine from Quincy, MA


I have a dog, Sammy…that’s my story. I think he plays with my mom during the day, while I’m gone. Thing is, she’s dead. She died three years ago. When I mention “grandma” his eyes brighten up and he looks over at the sofa. So now when I come home from work, I ask him what he and grandma did today.
Randi from FL