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Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish [Hardcover]

Mark R. Levin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 6 2007
Although Mark Levin is known as a constitutional lawyer and a nationally syndicated broadcaster, he is, first and foremost, a dog lover. In 1998, he and his family welcomed a half-Border Collie/half-Cocker Spaniel they named Pepsi into their lives. Six years later, his wife and son persuaded him to adopt a dog from the local shelter, a Spaniel mix. It turned out he was older than originally thought, and he was the most beautiful dog they'd ever seen. They named him Sprite. Their lives would never be the same.

Sprite and Pepsi became fast friends. They did everything together, from rummaging through the trash to loudly greeting the deliveryman. And the Levin family fell in love with him -- with his gentle nature, beautiful face and soft, huggable fur. But on Halloween night, shortly after joining their family, Sprite suddenly collapsed and was rushed to the animal hospital. It was the first of many such visits, and the start of a long journey for the Levin family, filled with much joy and anguish.

During the next two years, Sprite and Pepsi were inseparable. And Sprite's bond with the Levin family deepened. Friends, neighbors, and even Mark's radio audience came to know and love Sprite. As Mark's daughter turned eighteen and graduated from high school and Mark's son turned fifteen, Sprite's health deteriorated -- even as his spirits remained high and his beauty and grace continued to inspire. Comfort came from family, fans, and friends, and between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2006, the Levin family said their emotional final 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.

Rescuing Sprite is a stunningly intimate look at the love between a family and a dog, one that movingly shows, in Mark Levin's words, that "in the end, we humans are the lucky ones."

The author will donate a portion of his proceeds from the sale of this book to animal shelters.

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About the Author

Mark R. Levin is the author of the million-copy-selling #1 New York Times bestseller Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. His nationally syndicated talk-radio show has 8.5 million listeners and is heard nationwide on hundreds of radio stations as well as on satellite radio and Armed Forces Radio. His previous books, Men in Black: How the Supreme Court Is Destroying America and Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover’s Story of Joy and Anguish, were also New York Times and national bestsellers. He also contributed a preface to a book by his father, Jack E. Levin: Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address Illustrated. He was a top adviser to several members of President Reagan’s cabinet. He is president of Landmark Legal Foundation and holds a BA from Temple University and a J.D. from Temple University School of Law. Visit Mark Levin on the web at

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Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For all pet owners Nov. 26 2007
This book tells the heartfelt story of the author's dog Sprite. The story begins for Levin when his family rescues Sprite from a shelter. Then goes on to tell about how he almost gave up his law practice and radio show after the death of Sprite. The loss of a beloved pet is a devastating experience. I'm sure other pet owners will relate to having had similar feelings after the loss of their pet. Levin not only tells about the grief he has suffered, but he also does a great job of connecting the vast joys that a pet can bring into your life. I recommend this for all animal lovers.
I also recommend the great philosophy book Understanding: Train of Thought.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but not great Nov. 16 2010
My opinion may be slanted because I read Marley and Me before reading this book. I found this book to be a good read but it did not stir my emotions the way the other book did. Maybe if I had read this book first, I would have enjoyed it more and not made the comparisons to the blockbuster Marley and Me. That said, I would recommend this book to all lovers of dog stories, but lower your emotional expectations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  594 reviews
241 of 252 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down! Nov. 5 2007
By K. Brennan - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I could not stop reading this great book, and finished it on the day I received it.

It was very therapeutic, and I wish I would have had it a year and a half ago when I lost my beloved companion "Rover." Any animal lover who has been through the anguish of a sick pet would benefit from this book, and you know you are not alone in your anguish.

Although it broke my heart and opened a lot of old wounds, some quite difficult memories of my own pain, it also helped me to realize I am not alone, especially since I felt extremely guilty, such as Mark did, of feeling so distraught over an animal's death.

I thank you Mark, and I know Sprite thanks you for keeping his memory alive, and for bringing awareness to all of the wonderful animals that are out there in the shelters and to the wonderful people who work there.
159 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of Life Nov. 7 2007
By Susanna Hutcheson - Published on
This is a book about love. It's a gift to all of us who love our family members who happen to be furry or hairy. They come to us for such a short time but bring us untold joy and happiness and fun. They love us no matter what. They love us if we're fat or ugly or smelly or in a bad mood. They don't care if we're rich or poor, what color our skin is, what our politics or religion are. They only care about us. And they ask so little in return.

Mark has captured that love in this incredible book. While you may or may not agree with Mark's politics or his rhetoric, he is a kind, decent man. And he absolutely loves his dogs. He considers them part of his family. This book is not about his politics or his take on current affairs. It's about the love and loss of his beloved Sprite.

Those of us who have had pets know the great, deep love we feel for them. And most all of us know the deep, sickening pain of losing them. We know the depth of pain when we are faced with the choice to put them to sleep. We have so many mixed emotions. Sadly, that pain never leaves us.

I watched my wonderful old faithful dog, Sague, die a few years ago. I think of him many times each day and still miss him. I still feel the pain, almost as fresh and raw as it was going through his illness and death. I can remember the look in his old, kind, smart eyes.

If I didn't have my dogs and cats in my house, it would no longer be a home. That's what our pets give us.

So if you've ever loved a pet, especially a dog, but any pet, you need this book. You need it so you will not feel alone and so you will understand that we all share this deep abiding love for our dear companions. We also all share the deep pain when we lose them. The strongest of us are torn apart by their leaving us. It's a terrible loss. And it helps to share it with others. That's the power of this book.

This is a special book. It touches the soul. It touches the raw part of each of us, the part that we all have if we're normal, caring human beings.

This is the book of the year, if not the decade. Buy it and feel the love and warmth and be grateful for every day you have with your wonderful pets.
139 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Read Nov. 2 2007
By Sheepdog - Published on
This book was hard to put down. An emotional and honest story about dealing with the loss of a beloved dog, it will melt the heart of anyone who's had a pet they cared about. Levin reminds us that we need to block out all the distractions of daily life and appreciate what is really important.
110 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Dog Lovers Nov. 5 2007
By K. Jones - Published on
I believe all dog owners should read the book and the small note below.

To Dog Owners Everywhere: A Dog's Plea
Treat me kindly, my beloved friend for no heart in all this world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick for though I should lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail, when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear.

Please take me inside when it is cold and wet for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements.

I ask no greater glory than to have the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.

Keep my pan filled with water for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.

Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, wiliing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

And my friend, when I am old and no longer enjoy good health and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going, I am not having fun.

Please see that my trusting life is taken gently.

I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.

Author Unknown
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and Sensitive Nov. 4 2007
By Pamela G - Published on
"Rescuing Sprite" tells the story of devotion and caring that pet owners can fully understand and non-pet owners will want to grasp hold of. The unbounded loyalty the family dog has for its loving family is told in a way that few before have done. Mark Levin has retold his family's stirring tale of adopting a dog from a humane society's foster parent program and the painful anguish of having to face the inescapable truth that their beloved member of the family was dying and hard decisions had to be made. Mark's book will open the eyes and hearts of his readers to the joy of accepting these lonely animals, as they do so much more than befriend, they foster loving memories that span the lives of all they come in contact with. My family and I have our own `Sprite-like' stories and this book puts it all in perspective. Well done Mark!!
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