Leo the Lion Hearted

We had to say goodbye to our family dog, Leo, today. He was drowned in tears, homemade cards, crayon pictures, pencil sketches, and hugs by all. We tried to comfort the kids with pastime stories of our childhood pet memories. I shared a story about my little sister at the age of 3 trying to give mass over our Dotson dog, Smurf, that died from being run over by our priest. She used a buttercup yellow candy heart and stuck it between his teeth in replace of a host for communion. The Valentine heart read, “Be mine”. I can remember her sprinkling him with holy water. Sometimes a sweet and silly story can bring a smile to a tear filled face. My mom really tells this story best.

When we made the move to the Netherlands, we thought about options of letting him live in Texas and not bringing him for the long haul. Thoughts of, “He is 14 years old, the flight would be too long, the back yard is not big enough, Holland is too cold” were swaying us. Lance begged and pleaded for Leo to make the move with us and I am glad he did. After all, Leo had been in the family before we started having a family of our own. He was our family pet and a part of us. Having him with us helped us all adjust to our new world here in Holland. He was a very good and faithful dog with a heart of gold and taught us a thing or two about love…especially, when it comes to putting other’s needs first before our own. 

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