Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Spirit Of "Sprite."

A few days after Sprite passed away........He's a joy - our little joy. We'd never forget him. And I think about him many times every day. And in the end, we humans are the lucky ones. .......

This post is dedicated to all canine-friends worldwide and hope you feel the feelings and knowing that others understand what it's like to mourn over the loss of a beloved companion, be it an animal pet or human-like creature, was comforting to me then, as it is today. These heart-felt sharing may be comforting to you , as well.

From Hammer: I've lived a lot of years and had many a canine friend. My heart has broken with every loss, for they are family in every way.
Upon my return from Vietnam, where I witnessed German Shepherds give their lives to save their human comrades, I found my first German Shepherd, Duke.
Duke was courageous, loyal, and protective. He was a true part of me. We were inseparable. We ran together. We rode together in the car. We were young together. We could communicate without words. We fought for each other. When he was failing and I was rushing him to the vet, he seemed gone. With that last energy in his being, he rose up and gave me a nuzzle. The eleven years we shared, the best eleven years of my life, were over all too fast, and a part of me died with my beloved friend Duke.
My sympathy goes out to the Levin family. Cherish Pepsi and don't be afraid to add another puppy to your warm family. We are all richer for their love.
With the two Shepherds I now have, there have been seven of these loyal companions in my life. With each loss there has been sorrow, with each new pup there was joy. The joy is much greater than the sorrow. That joy enriches my soul.
The Sprite's memory, let us all honour our companions and reap the joy they can bring.

From Flipper:
So I hear that you lost your dog. I'm so sorry. I became so incredibly attached to all my past dogs. To lose a pet, especially a dog, is horrible. More people should respect their dogs and realize how human-like they really are. We just had to put down my Golden Retriever a year ago. She was fourteen. I had her since she was a puppy. It never gets easier, but she had so much fun and love while she was here. I let her sleep on the bed from day one!
Just wanted to send you my condolences. I hope your dog is in doggy heaven with my dogs. We plan on getting one from the pound or North Shore Animal League soon. Your dog is watching over you. I know mine is watching over me. I still dream about her.

From Rlusk 1 :
Mark, my condolence for your loss. I, too, lost both my beloved dogs. Oprah died in 2001 and Whitney in 2004. I could never replace them with any other dogs. I was on a road trip when Oprah died. I was three days away at the time. I regret to this day that I was not there. It happened suddenly without warning. But I know that God sent me a sign that it was okay. I was staying at a cabin with some friends, sitting around a campfire mourning the loss of Oprah. I felt something rub up against my leg and looked down to see a little Retriever puppy the same colour as my Oprah.
The dog looked at me and kinda smiled and then ran off. No one else saw the dog but me. That was God's way of telling me that Oprah was okay with me not being there.

From Paul :
Mark, I was saddened to hear you lost your best friend Sprite. I had a little black & white dog my mother adopted which I took after she passed away at only fifty-eight. Sam lived for another fifteen years until I had to have him put to sleep when he fell prey to brain cancer. I also was the third owner of a sweet German Shepherd who hated everyone but me. He was an incredible dog. And his name was Sampson, Sam for short. I had two dogs at the same time named Sam. Not long ago he began having ministrokes, which caused this wonderful dog to collapse to the floor yipping like a baby, unable to stand for minutes at a time. i eventually had him put to sleep to stop his suffering. I promised him I would bury him in the backyard he loved so, where he loved to chase rabbits (never catching any).
One night, Thanksgiving eve, I drove my Jeep to a nice corner of my yard, using the headlights to see, and in the pouring chilly rain I tearfully laid my friend to rest along with his blanket and toys. Sam was about nine years old. When i sold my house, I was again saddened when I had to say good-bye [a second time]. This was about six years ago and as I write this, my eyes are filled with tears.

With great loving furry friends dogs are. To this day, I just can't bring myself to get another dog. I was a police officer when i lived in New York and was hurt on the job before I retired on disability, so I was with my guys all the time.
I miss them so much and I know you, too, will miss your best friend forever.

From Museum Curator :
Way back on Dec.7th,1988, we lost our family dog that I grew up with. To this day, December 7 not only means the day of infamy, it also means the day I lost a good loyal friend. I'm sure for our buddy Mark it will be the same.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Levin family, Pepsi, and our good buddy Sprite.

From Marion : When you signed off, "Good night, Sprite . . . "

I have dogs. I LOVE my dogs. They're my family. I've enjoyed when you talked about Pepsi and Sprite. Then, the night you told us Sprite's problem . . . and the night you came back in December after being off for about a week . . . I knew then that Sprite was gone even though you never said a thing until weeks later.

I lost three of my dogs between 11 March 2000 and 11 March 2005 (yes, two I lost on the exact same date five years apart, not by design) : two (Shadow and Odin) I'd had since they were puppies, and they had good, relatively long lives; the third (Lady Bug)was a rescue, an older, overweight girl. She wasn't with me even three years when she developed an "overnight" tumor and was gone within four days of its discovery. THAT loss was like being hit in the back of the head by a two-by-four wood. I still miss the three terribly, still cry at times, still laugh when I think of some of their actions. They've all been cremated. And when I go, I'll be, too, and have our ashes combined and scattered over trails we loved to hike. Oh, and I keep their ashes in decorative gift bags, and set them under the tree (where they always enjoyed being) at Christmas time.

I just wanted you to know that there are others who share your love and your grief. My thoughts are with you, your pets - both here and gone - and your family.


'Few things in life have given me the kind of joy and, frankly, sorrow, as my relationships with my dogs. And this is especially so with an older dog we rescued from a local shelter. We called him Sprite . . .'
-- from Mark Levin, lawyer, author and US talk-radio host, is first and foremost a dog lover.

In 1998, he and his family welcomed Pepsi, a half-Border Collie/half-Cocker Spaniel into their lives. Six years later, Mark's wife and son persuaded him to adopt another dog from the local shelter. Sprite was found wandering the streets of Maryland, lost or abandoned by his previous family. A Spaniel mix, he was the most beautiful dog they had ever seen.

Sprite and Pepsi became fast friends and with his gentle nature the Levin family too, fell in love with him. But on Halloween night, only weeks after joining their family, Sprite suddenly collapsed and was rushed to the vet. It was the first of many such visits, and the start of a long journey for the Levins.

During the next two years, Sprite's bond with the Levin family deepened. Friends, neighbours, and even Mark's radio audience came to know and love Sprite, but gradually his health deteriorated. Eventually the time came for them to say goodbye. Crushed and consumed with grief, Mark turned to family, friends and fans for help.

But new hope came when the Levins least expected it.

Read and share Rescuing Sprite by Mark R. Levin, A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish.

Visit Mark Levin on the web at

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