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The family dog would always be with them. After all, pets become our heavenly angels when they're gone.
Every Christmas we hung a stocking for our yellow Labrador. Hudson was part of the family. But last year there was no stocking, because Hudson had died. It wasn't hard to keep myself busy with shopping, wrapping gifts, family gatherings, Christmas cards. But whenever I stopped for a minute I thought of Hudson and felt sad. I missed him so much.
One day a simple white envelope appeared in the mail. It was from the vet. "Dear friend," I read. "We would like to honor those four-legged angels who are no longer with us." Included was a cardboard ornament, a paw print adorned with wings. The ornament could be personalized and hung on the tree in the vet's office. I attached the perfect picture of Hudson in a Santa hat and wrote "1994-2006" underneath. The kids added, "Hudson, we love you."
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I drove them over to the vet's office, and we hung the ornament on the tree by a paw print for someone's German shepherd. Next to it was a picture of a pug. So many animal angels!
Christmas would be hard without Hudson, but he would always be part of our family. And the angel paw ornament would always be part of our holidays.
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