“All dogs go to heaven.”
That was the sentiment that designer and HGTV star Erin Napier had for her 12-year-old dog, Baker, who recently passed away.
The family, including Napier’s husband, Ben, and their two daughters, Helen and Mae, are now mourning the loss of the beloved four-legged family member.
Napier shared the news on Instagram last weekend with a sweet photo of 3-year-old Helen hugging Baker.
“We (and especially she) will miss Baker,” Napier said on her Instagram post. “Thankful for the 12 years he lived.”
Words of condolences and well wishes flooded the mother of two’s Instagram page from dog lovers and stars all across the globe.
“I’m so sorry,” Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond wrote on the post with a crying emoji, while Jenny Marrs wrote “Oh Erin. I’m so very sorry.”
Hundreds of fans also shared their regret for the loss of the Napiers’ pup, sharing stories about their own dogs in the comment section.
“Just lost my 14-year-old lab that helped me raise my children. Certainly in heaven. Prayers,” said one fan as one other added, “I know the feeling all too well. Had to put my baby girl of 18 years down last month! It just really sucks!”
One fan even wrote a sweet passage about the “Rainbow Bridge,” where pets are said to go after they pass away:
“Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge,” they said. “When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to the Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster…
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in a joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together…”
Hopefully, the kind words and passage about the Rainbow Bridge helped bring Napier some solace during this difficult time. While the empty hole will always be there in the family, the two children will absolutely help bring joy to Napier during her time of need.