The Love Story Continues…

On Dec. 22 my first husband and Tom’s best friend went to Heaven to be with our girls. Sampson was such a family dog and we adored him, even in his incontinent years. After the girls went to Heaven he was the reason we decided to come back to the house, we needed to check on him and make sure he was doing ok. We had friends watching out for him but he too had suffered a great loss and we wanted to love on him and let him know we weren’t going anywhere, I’m sure he was feeling rather lonely without all of us being around. Being back in the house made us realize how much we loved being in our space, the space we shared with our family.  Being back in the house also allowed us to hug this guy everyday. He was also grieving the loss of his girls.

Photo taken by: Nikki Raichart

The day after Sampson went to be with the girls, to chase balls and swim in chocolate rivers, our theater family decided to do a fundraiser to help us get another dog once we were ready. We are so grateful for those who contributed to this fund and opened up the door for us to someday get another dog.  We feel so blessed by so many.

Photo taken by: Jenn McFarling

During the run of Annie we had fallen in love with Parker, the dog that played Sandy. He was so healing for us during rehearsals at the theater. Being a therapy dog he knew that we needed some extra love and he, along with his little brother Reser, provided just that through the first couple of months of our new journey. After spending so much time with these two we decided that we wanted to get a golden retriever which led us to Sunshine Golden Retrievers and to Linus.

When we woke up yesterday both Tom and I commented on how excited we were to go get Linus but we were also sad. Sad for the mama and brothers that he was leaving and sad because our girls weren’t here to share in this experience with us. Driving to pick him up I was so nervous, it was as though I was bringing home a new baby and had never been a mom before. I just want to give this little guy the best life ever and I want to honor my girls in doing so. It breaks my heart that Linus will never know Anna and Abigail. Oh how they would all love each other to pieces.

When we first saw him my heart melted. I knew the girls were smiling and I knew that we were exactly where we were supposed to be. Our love story was going to continue and Linus was going to be part of that story.  He was going to brighten our days, get us out of the house and bring smiles to so many in our community.

Linus 1

He is a big puppy, he has only two brothers so food was always available without a fight. He is very loving and playful, perfect really.

Little Linus has no idea what he has brought to our home, he has already won us over and has already proven to be a healer for our broken hearts. Most mornings I struggle getting my feet to touch the ground. I can get up, but it just takes some time and I often struggle with the reality that this life of mine is actually real, not a dream. This morning there was no struggling, I had a puppy wanting to go outside and I needed to move quickly so there wasn’t an accident. When we came back inside he wanted to play, lick my face and snuggle.  How do you say no to that?

He truly is a gift and we are so thankful he’s in our lives.

Linus 2 Linus 6 linus 8linus 11

When we got home yesterday after picking Linus up there was a little package on our doorstep along with a note signed with a paw print. This priceless gift will be worn with pride by our little guy in honor of our girls. This gift was so thoughtful and I truly can’t believe that a dog actually picked it out. Thank you to the anonymous pooch and the human that drove him/her to our house for the delivery.

linus 13 linus 12

34 thoughts on “The Love Story Continues…

  1. I have a feeling Linus is going to be a great dog!He not only is going to get much love but he is going to give much love to many people too .He wiil heal people just like he is healing U!.


  2. Jo and Simba are SOOOO….THRILLED that Linus has found his FOREVER HOME 🙂 🙂 We also look forward to following and being part of this journey called “Love-Drenched Life.” ~ WE LUV U, sweet Linus ~ XOXO ~ ❤ ❤


  3. Your story just melted my heart. So sorry for your loss and at the same time so happy this little guy is able to bring you happiness again. Linus is beautiful!


  4. What a sad but beautiful love story…one that brings tears and goose bumps at the same time. Thank you for sharing that…that gives me hope that one day again I will have a dog to make my life complete, just as Linus is doing now. God Bless you all…and You will all meet in Heaven. Thanks Parker for being such an important part in this love story. Wow!


  5. His pictures melt my heart! I can’t imagine his cuteness in person. So glad to hear that your house is full of noise and rambunctiousness again:)


  6. Oh my cuteness! I am so happy for your family. Your newest addition is so cute, fluffy, and happy. I can’t wait to hear more about Linus and his adventures. Love the present Linus received as well. Anna and Abby would approve.


  7. Roianne, Mia’s other mom here:) I met Linus on Friday at Debbie’s house and I was so hoping he would be the one for you. Linus is such a sweet puppy, but a little serious too. Mia, his mom, is always happiest when she has a job. Linus has a special job ahead of him, one that I know will make him happy and he will do very well. He needs to give lots of love and puppy kisses and cuddle whenever necessary. It’s a big job but I think he will do great in his new career 🙂


    1. We were so bummed that we missed seeing Linus’s mom…I’m sure it was better for all of us that he didn’t have to say goodbye in front of us. I would have been a mess. Thank you so much for all the love and attention you give Linus’s mom…I feel so grateful to her for having such a great little guy. He’s busy playing with his toys and doing lots of sleeping. We are all very happy to be together!


      1. Susan, Judy and I are thrilled that you have a new puppy and even more excited that you are now a part of the Sunshine family. Both of our Goldens are from Jim and Debbie. You couldn’t have picked a better person or breeder. Linus will never replace your losses but he will bring new smiles and joy to your life. Can’t wait to meet the little guy.


  8. The dog tag is perfect and I’m sure the girls are so happy to have their smiling faces hugging his neck all the time!!
    I hope I get to meet little Linus soon! And hang out with you too!


  9. Adorable….one lucky dog to have such a caring, fun, lovable mommy ♥ wishing you all a long, memory-filled journey together!


  10. So cute! Buoy, Holly, and I are so happy that such a gift could help you deal with the unspeakable tragedy you’ve been through. Love to you all from the three of us.

    Gene and the Golden Girls


  11. Oh he is the cutest little guy ever! I just want to kiss his furry face!! I can see the love that already flows from him! Love the collar! So sweet!


  12. What a cutie pie. Linus is going to be a very Loved puppy and dog! That’s one lucky pup! :)………to bad there isn’t a church service where we could bring our dogs! 🙂


  13. Linus’ will know what he has been put into your life for. Afterall, he is a Golden Retriever, a very special Golden Retriever, born to give you a life to care for and nourish.

    We are so happy to have you as part of the Sunshine family. We are here for you whenever you need us.


  14. We love you guys so much! It seems like such a wonderful fit. I know he’ll bring you lots of love and happiness, and you to him as well. The photos are gorgeous! Can’t wait to meet Reser’s little brother. ❤


  15. I’m so glad you have Linus! It’s not the same, but having to put down our 6yr old dog, Jingle, a year ago January, and then adopting our rescue dog Lucy three months later (so we’ve now had her for a year), I look back on it and know that Jingle chose her for us. There was NO way I would have chosen her without what happened when we went to “just look,” but it has helped so much to have her and so I am so grateful that you have Linus, that you were led to him, that Sampson and the girls’ll be there (unseen, but felt) to love him, too! He’s adorable!

    And to whomever brought you his new collar…No words to express how happy that makes me for Susan and Tom! 🙂


  16. Had to let my girls read this one and we all wept tears of joy for you!! What a beautiful dog and an even more beautiful story!


    1. Whoops…(hit enter too soon!) just saying I think God loves us so much that he created the most wonderful of all companions, which are dogs. I know Linus was specially created for you at this time and so generously given by so many people who love you. Beyond blessed.


  17. What a great gift! Linus has got to be one of the cutest pups I have ever seen. Obviously he’s in the perfect place. Hugs, Love and Prayers…….Always


  18. I have joy in my heart and tears in my eyes after reading this! He is the most gorgeous golden boy ever, and the collar and special tag are amazing. I know that you and Tom will love every minute with him, and I am certain that he is the luckiest dog in the world to have the 2 of you as his people. I’m sure he knows there are 2 angels and a pooch with wings watching his every move.


  19. What a thoughtful gift! Such a sweet collar with the picture of the girls. He is the most beautiful dog I have ever seen! He fits your family perfect. What a lucky little guy he is. Enjoy Him!


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