Magazine article The New American

Love Letters from Dogs

Magazine article The New American

Love Letters from Dogs

Article excerpt

Seven-year-old Emma Mertens of Hartland, Wisconsin, Emma received a devastating diagnosis, and so people all over the country are doing their best to cheer her up.

Little Emma is an avid dog lover, so when a family friend posted on social media that Emma was diagnosed on January 23 with an aggressive and very rare type of tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), she asked social-media users to send Emma letters and dog photos. The response has been incredible.

Initially, about a dozen friends sent pictures of their dogs to Emma, but the social-media post was shared over and over, and before long, Emma received 100,000 dog love letters, her father Geoff told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In fact, the response was so overwhelming that the family had to set up a new post office box and an e-mail address. "I've stopped counting, but we were at 20 different countries at one point and every state," Geoff told the news outlet. "We've gotten pictures from Australia, Venezuela, Japan, Italy, Russia--and actually a lot from Scotland and the Netherlands for some reason."

One letter features a dog wearing a bow tie with a note that reads, "Hi Emma, my name is Parker. We live in Woodland, California. It's raining buckets here right now! Our Mom told us what a brave and feisty girl you are ... and we appreciate those amazing qualities!! We are sending you oodles of kisses and hugs. Children are one of our favorite things and we think you are one in a million! …

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