Note: This is a special post written by my mom Nancy about her memories with my pets Ace and Beamer. We lost our senior mutt Ace and our senior tabby cat Beamer earlier this year.

It’s been four months since Dear Hubby and I got the call – the call giving us the news about Ace. We were trying to process the news about Beamer’s death. And then, wham. We learned Ace had died too. On the very same day. Our hearts broke. Again.

When that call came about Ace, Dear Hubby and I were busy doing some Saturday spring yard clean up. Listening to Lindsay’s voicemail message, we knew something was up. Something important. Lindsay never rarely leaves voicemail messages. Plus, there was just something in her voice when she said she needed to talk to us both.

“I wonder if it’s bad news about Ace,” I said to Dear Hubby. “I wonder if Ace died too.”

Somehow, we both knew.

Beamer, Ace & puppy Remy

This post is not meant to be about sadness and tears, though there have been plenty of both since Ace and Beamer died.

No, this post is about fond memories I have of Ace and Beamer – two special, much loved fur-grandsons.

During the decade+ time that Ace and Beamer were part of this family, a lot happened. There was joy, there was sadness and everything in-between. Beamer and Ace were part of it all.

There are so many memories, it’s hard to choose…

Let’s start with Ace.

I will never forget the day Lindsay and I picked up Ace in a small town in northern Minnesota and then drove back to Fargo, North Dakota. The whole drive back I sat there thinking, what in the world made you pick this dog, Lindsay?

Of course, I never mentioned that to her until later. Years later.

I mean, Ace was big. Especially his head, it seemed to me. And his eyes were kinda small and reddish looking. And he drooled. A lot. And he panted. A lot. And he was strong. And unruly. He knew no basic dog manners. None.

Did I mention drool?

Boy, Ace had no idea what was in store for him!

Plus, Lindsay worked long hours.

How in the world was this big lug-of-a dog ever going to work out, I wondered?

Now, that memory makes a great story, which is really what all memories are – stories we keep in our hearts and minds like precious hidden treasures.

As we all know now, Ace turned out to be the best dog ever!

An early riding in the car pic.

Another early memory I have of Ace is watching him during agility class. Ace was a big boy and also, a bit clumsy. So, watching him perform also meant watching him sometimes knock down a few cones and hurdles.

Oh well. No one seemed to mind. Here’s an old video of Ace doing agility (2009):

Quite vocal! Ace always gave everything his all and did his best to please everyone, especially Lindsay. He loved her so.

I have lots of fond memories of Ace visiting us in Wisconsin. Every summer (until Lindsay and Josh and the animals moved to California) Ace would stay for a week or two. As did Beamer. And Scout, too, of course.

Ace loved to sit on the boathouse and dock, visit with Uncle Peter and Uncle Aaron and other miscellaneous relatives that showed up, hang out with my dogs Elsie and Sophie, go on walks and take boat rides. Such good times.

Ace and Lindsay

And, of course, there was playing fetch. My goodness, Ace did love chasing tennis balls! I’m pretty sure we over did it on more than a few occasions. Sorry, Lindsay.

And then there was my cancer diagnosis in 2010. Watching all the animals during diagnosis spring/summer and beyond was a welcome distraction for everybody. I’ll always remember that.

Ace with my two dogs, Sophie & Elsie

A favorite memory has to be Lindsay and Josh’s wedding. What treasures that memory and those photos are. How wonderful that Ace will forever be part of that special day.

Best wedding photo ever! June 8, 2012

After the big move to California a few years back, we didn’t get to see Ace and the other animals as often (or Lindsay and Josh!). When we made our annual trip to visit them all, Dear Hubby would refer to he and I as the paparazzi when we took our daily walks to the beach with Ace (and later Remy). We looked, sounded and acted like them anyway!

Sorry if we embarrassed you, Lindsay, with all that picture taking. I’m so glad we have all those beach pics with Ace now.

A dad, a daughter and a dear old dog

And then there was my solo pet sitting gig in February 2017 when I took care of all four animals for a week. That was lots of work! I mean, I was taking care of a senior dog with some issues and on lots of meds, an active Weimaraner pup (good boy, Remy) as well as two cats. But gosh, that was fun.

And last September, Dear Hubby and I both spent ten whole days taking care of Ace, Beamer, Remy and Scout when Lindsay and Josh traveled abroad. Thinking about that brings tears to my eyes. It was fun to spoil them all a bit. Okay, a lot!

Yum, bacon.

Our final visit with Ace was this past February. Lindsay, Josh and Ace made the trek to Arizona to visit Dear Hubby and me while we vacationed there. I am so grateful we had that last visit.

Boy, did Ace enjoy that warm Arizona sunshine, lounging poolside and sniffing. Ace was always a very serious, not-to-be hurried, meandering sort of sniffer.

Thanks for so many wonderful memories, Ace. I will remember you always.

And now – some Beamer memories.

I don’t have as many memories or as many photos of Beamer. I didn’t get to spend as much time with him because before he was Lindsay and Josh’s cat, he was Josh’s cat, and well, because he was a cat! Cats aren’t quite as accommodating for photo ops. But the memories and photos I do have of Beamer are pretty darn special.

If there’s one thing that was true about Beamer, it was that he was extremely photogenic when those photo ops did arise. He was one handsome fellow! If you picture a miniature lion cub, that was Beamer. He had the plushest, thickest, softest, prettiest fur coat you can imagine.

And, of course, Beamer liked food. No, he LOVED food; in fact, he was obsessed with food, or more accurately, with eating food! He was always on the lookout for his next meal or snack. And I do mean always.

Those are two stand-out things I will always remember about Beamer – his good looks and his love of food.

When Beamer visited, he loved to sit on a kitchen stool and watch whatever was happening in the kitchen. He was an opportunist and a very patient one. He was always ready for that moment when a crumb might drop, my back might turn, or better yet, when I might forget to put food away. ANY kind of food. He’d be on it.

Like the Christmas we were all sitting around by the tree opening gifts. One minute we were focused on presents and the next, all eyes were on Beamer as he ran by with a bag of buns I had forgotten to put away clenched tightly in his teeth. He made a beeline for cover with no intention of handing over his newly claimed bag of goods.

Beamer was like that. He kept us on our toes. And forced us to keep the counters cleared off!

During that solo pet sitting gig I mentioned above, figuring out who got to eat first was a challenge. Beamer was ALWAYs first in line! I guess you could say he was a bit pushy when it came to food. But that’s okay. I relate.

Taken during my Feb 2017 solo pet sitting gig.

And of course, wherever Beamer was, Lindsay’s other cat Scout was usually close by. They were like brothers. Always together. One looking out for the other. Okay, maybe it was more Beamer looking out for Scout. Quite the pair, those two.

So sorry you lost your best buddy, Scout. Your snuggle partner, your lookout pal, your protector, your wrestling bud, your brother, your friend.

Animals grieve too. I just know it.

The last time I saw Beamer was during the September pet sitting gig Dear Hubby and I enjoyed. I wish I had known it was to be our last visit with him.

But that’s not how life works, is it?

Two old timers napping. it’s the last pic I took of Beamer.

So, there you have a few of my special memories of two dearly loved family pets.

Sometimes I wonder how pets manage to weave their way so deeply into our hearts.

But that doesn’t matter. It only matters that they do.

Thank you for the memories, Ace and Beamer. We miss you. We love you.

You’ll be in our hearts forever, boys.

If any of you have a memory about a dear family pet, please share in the comments.

Why do you think pet loss is so hard?

Are you more of a cat lover, dog lover or both?

Nancy Stordahl writes the blog Nancy’s Point, a blog about breast cancer and loss. And yes, occasionally she features pets! See her post: Old dogs are the best dogs.