Child Loss

The dog that saved us


Mikes dream dog was a male blue pitbull. He literally talked about it ALL THE TIME. I also literally said “no” ALL THE TIME. We already had 2 dogs and 2 cats. I fed the dogs, took them out, fed the cats, cleaned their litter box, and the LAST thing I wanted was another animal to take care of! He harassed me for years and every time it was a big fat “NO”.  No way in hell.

The summer that Juliet died she won Justice a big stuffed dog at the beach on one of those games where you shoot a water gun at a bulls-eye and race to the top. He hasn’t put the dog down since. He sleeps with it every night, takes it to friends houses, and it sits on the sofa with him when he watches TV.

Around the one year mark of Juliet’s death I was on Facebook scrolling through my news feed when I saw a picture of the CUTEST puppy I have EVER seen. I immediately clicked on the picture to get a closer look. The puppy belonged to one of Juliet’s friends and his name was Mason.

Here’s the first picture I ever saw of him. Seriously, look at that face!

I began obsessing over Mason, checking Kaitlyn’s Facebook daily hoping to catch a glimpse of him. I woke Mike up one night to show him a picture she had just posted. “Isn’t he the cutest puppy!?!” I asked him, to which he responded “Yes, but you said we cant get another dog”. Did I mention that Mason was a blue pitbull puppy? What was wrong with me? Why was I obsessing over this dog? What was it about him that drew me in over and over. I don’t even want another dog.

It was the week of Juliet’s 18th birthday. Mike was out of town on business, and I was bored out of my mind when my phone dinged with a message. I opened the message to find that it was from my friend Rebecca who helps run a group called Help Find Sophie. HFS is a local Facebook group that helps find missing dogs by sharing their picture on Facebook. They also foster and rehome dogs, and Rebecca and her family fostered one of my dogs for us when Juliet died.

Rebecca messaged me and proceeded to tell me about a girl by the name of Kaitlyn’s whose boyfriend had broken up with her and kicked her and her dog out. Kaitlyn couldn’t keep the dog where she was staying and she had to surrender it to HFS. She was very upset, and Rebecca saw that we were mutual Facebook friends so could I please message Kaitlyn to reassure her that Mason was in good hands, and that HSF would find a good home for him. I SERIOUSLY could not believe what I was reading. I immediately called Rebecca.

“I’LL TAKE MASON!” The words were out of my mouth before I could even process what I was saying. “Maybe you should talk it over with Mike first?” Rebecca suggested. At least one of us was thinking straight. “Ok, your right, I’ll talk to Mike.” Rebecca thought it would be a good for us to take Mason because Kaitlyn knew who I was and that he would be in a good home. I just needed to convince Mike. No problem, right? I text Mike a picture of Mason that said “isn’t this puppy so cute?” to which his response was “Awww he’s adorable” to which I replied “Good because I’m adopting him.” As soon as my finger hit send my phone rang. It was Mike. Haha.

I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. I am an optimist, I’m spiritual, I look for answers from the universe, and I look for signs from my daughter.

  1. My son was obsessed with a stuffed dog my daughter won him
  2. Mike had been asking for a male blue pitbull for years
  3. Justice was really struggling with his sisters death
  4. We all were
  5. I for some strange reason was fixated with Mason
  6. It was the week of Juliet’s birthday
  7. Rebecca called me about Mason (she had no idea I was obsessing over him)

Based on all the things that happened the way they did I came to the conclusion that Mason was Juliet’s birthday gift to Justice. This was my argument when Mike called. I’m pretty sure he thought I was crazy, but when I laid it all out for him he agreed to talk about it when he got home from his trip. That was as good as a “yes” to me.


“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”

Orhan Pamuk

The rest as they say was history. He came into our lives and brought nothing but love and snuggles. He licks Justices tears away, makes me laugh when I’m sad, and plays tug-o-war with Mike. He is a gentle giant, wrestling with Justice, playing endlessly with our yorkie, the cat even loves him. Whenever I am sad Mason always cheers me up. He licks, snuggles, smiles, and loves like no dog I have ever known. He has filled places in all of our hearts that were empty from grief. He became a best friend to my son, and a family member to us all. I can’t imagine our lives with out him, and I’m positive that he was sent to us by Juliet. He came into a family that was broken and lost, and he made us whole again. I have never loved an animal as much as i love this dog. None of us have.


Do you have a pet that has changed you life? If so I would love to hear about it!



  1. Heather wenrich

    I have a claire. clarice to be exact. clarice was born december 2nd 2015. my parents are great dane breeders and go through countless checks and balances to make sure their puppies find good forever homes. the families are bound by a contract to get the puppy to the vet within 7 days of purchase, are given breeder guidelines as far as food switchin and potty training tips etc, as well as a promise to return the puppy should any circumstances arrive that they can not keep or no longer want the puppy. clarice was adopted out to a very nice couple who were both well-to-do doctors and they were eager to bring her home. a week later the phone rang and it was the woman of the couple crying saying she could not keep claire. their docort residencies had changed and they were no longer buying a house and were stuck in their apartment and had little to no time at home. they brought her back and cried for hours before they left. they had already gotten her a doggie coat, a leash, new collar, a kennel, and a big fluffy bed. They were heartbroken to bring her back but knew they needed to make the best decision for claire. so the search once again began for a furever home for miss. claire. a widower from new york called about her and instantly fell in love with her. we met with her and she lived on a farm and it was just her so we thought we found a great home for her! well, 4-5 days later the woman calls and says that she hard switched her food, claire has been messing herself and is very sick. she accused us of selling her a defective dog and refused to take poor claire to the vet for treatment. my parents being who they are instantly left to go take claire back. THE LADY WILLINGLY LET HER GO BUT IMMEDIATELY REQUESTED HER MONEY BACK BECAUSE CLAIRE WAS “DEFECTIVE.” MY PARENTS REFUNDED HER MONEY BECAUSE ITS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY ITS ABOUT THE DOG. CLAIRE WAS RUSHED TO THE VET AND THE VET WAS READY TO TESTIFY IN COURT TO ACCUSE THIS WOMAN OF ANIMAL ABUSE AND NEGLECT. WE NURSED HER BACK TO HEALTH AND i MADE THE DECISION THAT SHE WASNT GOING TO ANYONE ELSE, SHE WAS MINE. I CONVINCED MY BOYFRIEND THAT WE NEEDED HER. SHES BEEN IN OUR HOME FOR A YEAR AND A HALF AND SHE IS AN ABSOLUTE JOY. SHES GOOFY AND SWEET BUT DEFINITELY A GUARD DOG WHEN ITS NEEDED. SHES REALLY TAKEN TO MY 4 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER ISABELLE, EVEN SO FAR AS WHEN ISABELLE IS IN TIME OUT IN THE CORNER – CLAIRE SITS WITH HER. SHES THERE WHEN IM SAD, EVEN HELPS MY OTHER HALF WITH HIS DEPRESSION, AND IS THE BEST SNUGGLER WHEN YOURE SICK. I’VE MET YOU BEFORE AT A PAK BREAKFAST SHORTLY AFTER YOUR DAUGHTER PASSED AWAY. YOUR STORY TOUCHED ME BECAUSE I LOST A VERY CLOSE COUSIN THE SAME EXACT WAY. MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU AND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY – FURRY AND NON. BLESSINGS!

    06 . 01 . 2017
    • Rachael B

      Heather your Claire sounds amazing, sweet, and gentle just like my mason. It’s crazy how much a special dog can change your life when you least expect it, but need it the most! Thanks for sharing your story with me!

      06 . 01 . 2017

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