I spent a lot of time living at home while I was in college. It was mostly because I was always sick, but I also struggled with social anxiety. Being at home gave me more time to hang out with our family dog, Rascal.
Rascal was a Samoyed, and the start of my love for white, fluffy dogs. He was getting older and then suddenly took a turn for the worse. I was making him homemade meals to try and convince him to eat, and we’d have to carry him outside to go to the bathroom.
He wasn’t living a quality life.
My parents made the difficult decision to help him to the rainbow bridge, and our hearts were all shattered. We all thought it was going to be awhile before we could open our hearts to another dog.
I worked at Gold’s Gym at the time and was working a shift one Saturday morning. After a long morning, I came home to relax. My mom asked me to go to the porch to grab her drink, and I couldn’t believe what I saw.
Two Bernese Mountain Dog puppies.
“DO WE GET TO KEEP THEM?!” I shrieked.
Not only did we get to keep them, but my brother and I got to name them. I named the girl Mallie, and he named the boy Kai. My brother, sister, and I were so excited to have these new babies in our lives.
They became our world. I was on summer break, so I was able to be home to care for them while my parents worked. I can vividly remember sitting outside watching them frolic and play.
And get into trouble.
They continued to grow, and I got married and moved across the country. The best part about taking trips back home was seeing Mallie and Kai. Mallie was a goofy, bouncy girl, and Kai was a goof—and a true mama’s boy.
With all the kids leaving the house, Kai and Mallie became my parents’ world. Everything was for them, and they were spoiled in the best ways possible.
One day, I got a call from my mom. “Kai has cancer.” My heart dropped.
I’d be lying if I said we were completely shocked. We were well aware of the occurrence of cancer in Berners. But we always hoped that day would never come.
My mom immediately set out to do everything she possibly could for him. He met with some of the best vets and went through very promising clinical trials.
He received all of the best care possible, which included hours upon hours of travel every week (and thousands of dollars) for treatments and therapy.
He was doing really well with treatment, and we were all very optimistic. Even though I was across the country, I loved getting the video updates of his progress.
One morning, I got a call from my mom—who never calls early in the morning. A part of me just knew what she was going to say.
I didn’t answer.
She called again.
I didn’t answer.
Eventually, Nick texted me saying she was trying to get ahold of me, and I was even more certain what she was going to say. I finally got the courage to call back.
He was gone. Kai passed just days before his 9th birthday.
I wanted to do something special for my parents. They had invested so much in him and losing him was extremely difficult. I remembered an email I had received a while back about pet memorial jewelry, and I reached out to the company.
Flowers Forever & Bellabeads
Cristina specializes in creating one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces using mementos like wedding flowers, honeymoon sand, pet fur, and ashes. She is truly a creative artist with an eye for unique detail.
I wanted to get a necklace for my mom and a tie tack for my dad. That way they could always have a piece of him when they wanted. Kai was cremated, but unfortunately we didn’t have any fur to include in the jewelry.
Cristina was able to work her magic anyway.
I wanted the base color to be red because red was Kai’s color. His collar, leash, and his harness were red.
We sent her some of his ashes, and in just a few days, I got the notification that the jewelry was shipped.
The jewelry arrived beautifully packaged. She even sent back the ashes/fur she didn’t need to make the jewelry, so you never lose a piece of your loved one.
I’m blown away by her work and attention to detail, and I’m so happy she could give my parents this priceless gift.
*We received the product mentioned above in exchange for our honest feedback.