April 25, 2024

What was believed to be a coincidence at first turned out to be a sign from a dog owner’s previous canine pet who crossed over the rainbow bridge in 2018.

Claire Stephan grew up with Reilly the golden retriever. The dog was rescued when Stephan was in second grade and, from that moment on, they had a special connection. But when Reilly suddenly passed from hemangiosarcoma, one of the most-common forms of canine cancer, Stephan thought she would never be able to get a dog again. That is until Lily essentially fell into Stephan and her family’s laps.

The stairs aligned for Stephan when someone dropped out of taking home a golden retriever puppy. She wasn’t actively looking for a new dog, Stephan told Newsweek, but the family welcomed home Lily with open arms. Stephan said Lily filled the hole left in her heart by Reilly, a feeling she never thought would be possible again.

“She has been the greatest emotional support for me,” Stephan said. “Reilly saved my life and so did Lily.”

Something magical started happening when Lily was about 5 months old. She would lay in the mulch of a flower bed, but not any specific flower bed, Reilly’s roses. Stephan decided to dedicate part of the backyard to Reilly, scattering some of her ashes in a flower bed. Every year, those flowers would bloom again, a beautiful reminder of her beloved dog.

“At first, I thought it was a coincidence, and then it continued to happen throughout the four seasons,” Stephan said.

The backyard is fenced in with multiple other mulch spots, and yet Lily continues to rest only in that specific spot. Even the dog Tuffy, who follows Lily everywhere, will lie there.

Stephan finds peace in these moments, and Lily looks calm, restful, and happy in the spot. And with how hard the grieving process can be with pet loss, this is a special way that warms her heart.

“Reilly sent Lily to me to continue to take care of me,” Stephan said.

Stephan recommends those who have gone through pet loss to find the courage for another love. It won’t be the same love, but a new one to help fill the hole in your heart. Pet grief is a real emotion, and a difficult process, but finding a way to remember your beloved animal can help.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? Send them to life@newsweek.com with some details about your best friend, and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.

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This story was originally published December 10, 2023, 8:30 AM.

source: star-telegram

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