Letter to Amnesty, Chapter in book, "Tails of Devotion, A Look at the Bond Between People and Their Pets", Pottruck, Emily Pottruck, Emily Scott, Palace Press International, 2005, pp. 28-29.

Dear Amnesty,

Amnesty as a pupIt feels odd to write you; we talk so often and openly, there's little left unsaid. You already know how much you mean to me. Your constant love, loyalty, generous, forgiving, and brave spirit keep me going. Even more, are the Delancey Street values you embody.

You hold no grudges. You take responsibility for your mistakes (always bringing me the empty containers of my cookies you've eaten). You herd us together daily to remind us how much we need each other. And despite early abuse, cancer, and numerous illnesses, you're never grumpy, self pitying or self-absorbed: you're always GIVING. Mostly, you know that HOPE WILL TRIUMPH OVER DESPAIR. Why else would you believe each day that you'll get a taste of my daily Hot Fudge Sundae, when for 7 years, I haven't shared even a drop?!

I guess there is one thing I've never told you. And it's important because it's the way you "keep me in my place" and remind me what really matters.

A while back, we went to talk to a resident who had screwed up badly. I talked for several hours, explaining what he needed to do to break his repeated self destructive cycle. He listened , he cried, I felt he understood, we hugged. The next day I received a large thank you card from him. "Oh," I thought (getting a little full of myself), "He's thanking me for helping him make this breakthrough. How wonderful!"

I opened the card and found this note:

"Dear Mimi,

For the rest of my life, I'll never forget Amnesty licking away my tears. She believed in me when I didn't believe in myself."

How silly we humans can sometimes be. What more can I say after that — Except, OK — one little taste of my hot fudge is in order....

Mimi & Amnesty