A Bittersweet Christmas and an Early Present from Santa

It has been a poignant Christmas season for us. A year ago, Mosby was recovering from his amputation and we were still reeling from his osteo diagnosis and his prognosis. It was a Christmas I’ll always remember as the beginning of the end. We lost him a scant 6.5 months later. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of him, but the holiday season has been especially difficult. In some ways I suppose it always will be.

But we have a bright spot this year, one that was several months and two trips out of state in the making. Maybe it started even longer ago, with my first canine love, my grandad’s black lab, Thor.

Santa came early for us this year and delivered the sweetest, perfect black lab puppy, who we have named Aspen (after my favorite tree and our love for the Rockies), but who has a much fancier name with the UK Kennel Club.  He’s brought so much light into our lives and has proven to be a great addition to our family. He has big paws to fill, but he’s smart, attentive and so sweet, so he’s got a great start. There will never be another Mosby, but there is now an Aspen, who has squirmed his way into our hearts.

I’m  posting this from my phone so let’s see if I’m savvy enough to add pictures, which are the most important part.

Hi, Mom. I’m listening.
So hard to stay still.
Helping dad open a present.
He’s the sweetest.

18 thoughts on “A Bittersweet Christmas and an Early Present from Santa”

  1. Welcome to your new home Aspen! Such a gorgeous name for a gorgeous puppy!
    Mosby is watching you all from the Rainbow 🌈 Bridge and I’ll bet he is right chuffed that you have found a new mate!
    Hoppy Holidays to you all!
    Ruv from Stewie, his pride of kittens and Petra & Paul.

  2. Ooooooh Aspen, you lucky, lucky dawg! I can’t think of a better Christmas present than sweet puppy breath and an Angel Mosby watching over the celebration. Welcome to the pack sweetie! You are going to LOVE your new family!

    1. Yes, I think he’s figuring out he’s definitely landed on his feet. He has made this Christmas a lot more joyful than it would otherwise have been. 🙂

  3. Aspen is just a gorgeous little guy. Scrumptious, really. And I can see how clever and smart he is by how attentive his gaze is in the pictures!

    Congrats on this addition to your family and I am so glad he is making the holidays, which are a trying time in the grief journey, brighter.


    1. Thank you – yes, he’s very smart and attentive, as well as sweet. It’s a great combination. He still has puppy energy, for sure, but even so he’s got very good manners. And is growing like a weed. He has definitely made the holidays brighter!

  4. Aspen is adorable. He is a very smart baby. Congrats on the addition. Sometimes a new one helps heal the heart. It doesn’t take away all the pain but can bring laughter back into your life

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

    1. Thank you, and you are so right about a new dog bringing laughter back into your life, even if you still feel the loss. It’s been a real pleasure and joy to have him around.

  5. Oh Aspen is just adorableness! Welcome sweetie to the bestest loving home! I’m glad the colonel sent you someone to share your love with. Our dogs always seem to know what and when we need them to work their magic! Mosby knows love is meant to be shared…being the Colonel and all. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you! And while St. Mosby wasn’t the best at sharing love when he was with us (he was … er … a bit of a love hog), he seems fine with it now. 🙂

  6. Looks like Mosby picked out a winner for you guys! So happy for you; after losing Nitro in July, we too have added a new addition to the family. It was just too quiet, too sad, and a tiny bundle of Westie puppy was sent our way by our Warrior Nitro. We will never forget our heart dog, but are grateful to have someone to love and heal.

    Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

    1. Congrats on your new addition, and especially the combination of terrier ‘tude and cute that a Westie is – love them! And a Westie puppy must be an especially cute bundle of joy. Boy it does help with the healing, doesn’t it?

  7. I am so choked up with happy tears Mosby knows there’s inly one Mosby!! I can hardly write!!!! AM SOOOOO HAPPY FOR YOU….AND FOR ASPEN TOO!!! I KNOW the joy and laughter this sweet boy is bringing into you home

    Mosby knows there’s inly ine Mosby! He knows he’s- a- one -of- a -kind dog!! And he sent you Aspen (love the name) because he kniws your capacity ro love is limitless! He knew you NEEDED to be avle to continue to love and have joy and laughter in your home…and in your heart!

    I @ooooove that mig of Aspen’s! He has such a strong bone structure for such a little fat tummy puppy! Well, I can’t see his tummy, but all puppies have smoochable fat puppy tummies!

    Thanks so much for sharing this great news with us! I KNOW Mosby is very pleased with his sweet self!!

    Love and hugs
    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    1. Aww, thanks, Sally. We are pretty chuffed with Aspen ourselves. He’s brought so much joy to our hearts, and it’s helped with the healing. There will never be another Mosby, and St. Mosby will always be looking over his little bro.

  8. Kerry! Congrats on Aspen, he looks really really sweet and (at least in the pictures) doesn’t look like too much of a handful.!? A puppy behaving this well amidst tons of presents is amazing!
    I hope you find tons of joy in him and I am sure he will enter your heart quickly. Has he met Arlo yet??
    This is a new chapter but it really doesn’t mean you’ve closed the book on Mosby. I will definitely always remember him but I do hope for Aspen updates!
    Biggest hugs

    1. Thank you, Tina. You’re very perceptive – while he definitely has puppy energy, he’s very well behaved and seems to know what he’s supposed to chew or not chew (and he listens to a gentle reminder). We’ve spent the last 2.5 weeks integrating him into our “pack,” and I think this weekend will be the “meeting” with Arlo – we will see how it goes! I want him to like Arlo, but not so much that he wants to dart under his legs – you know what I mean. Plus the barn will be a great place for him to run and practice his retrieving, which he’s so good at. I will try to keep everyone updated. At the rate he’s growing he won’t be a puppy for long! Thinking of you and Angel Manni. <3

  9. oh my gosh! Aspen is just so adorable! It looks like Mosby picked out the most perfect baby for you! We didn’t have such luck at getting the perfect Christmas picture lol, Cooper was all over the place! There is something special about having a puppy in the house when your heart is broken, isn’t there?

    1. Thank you! And that picture was like 1 out of 100 I took, as I’m sure you can understand. I have way more pictures of a black blur than I do of a puppy sitting still! 🙂

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