A Labrador Legacy
By Maria Schubert
June 15, 2022
What do you get when you collect thousands of pet photos every year? If you’re lucky like us, you get a calendar full of happy, healthy pets and a touching story of how much those pets mean to us. That’s the message of our 2019 cover dog, Missy, who is the second member of her family to be in the Revival Animal Health calendar. To Missy’s owner Clare, this calendar is more than a way to keep track of the days; it’s a way to remember a very special dog and heal the heartbreak that comes from losing a pet we love.
The Dog That Started It All
Clare grew up with Labradors and raised them as her own family was growing. After her children had grown up and moved away, she moved to a new area. Since her new home had little yard space, she decided to take a break from raising Labradors. In 2013, Clare decided it was time to get another Labrador. That’s when she met Cocoa. Clare recalls, “As she grew, I knew she had the classic wonderful “Lab-loving” ways. It was her temperament and love for
everyone around her that made me get back into breeding on a very small scale.”
It was through a breeder and friend that Clare learned about Revival Animal Health’s annual pet calendar. “She gave me an extra Revival calendar (and) told me to use your company for all my vet needs because Revival was a great company with good customer service. That was all proven true in all regards.”
Cocoa would soon go on to have her first litter of ten beautiful and healthy puppies and be the first of Clare’s Labradors to grace the pages of Revival’s annual calendar. In 2016, Clare submitted Cocoa’s photo to the 2017 calendar contest and Cocoa was selected as a finalist. Her picture was chosen as the featured image for August, unknowingly starting what would be a family tradition.
The Next Generation of Love
From Cocoa’s first litter, Clare kept a young pup she named Missy. Like Cocoa, Missy enjoys running and playing on their 15 acres of fields and woods and in the creeks and nearby lake. Clare refers to their home as “a Labrador’s paradise.” Missy, like her mother, would also bring more healthy puppies to the Labrador’s paradise. “When she had her first litter we had her on the Oxy products and Oral Cal Plus and she had a super easy delivery. Then we used Doc Roy’s Healthy Bones during the lactation period. She and the pups did great!”
Hardship and Loss
With her puppy days behind her, Cocoa was headed towards a therapy dog training certification. Clare knew she would be a good candidate, due to her caring nature. In June, Clare made the decision to spay Cocoa. Sadly, she developed a blood clot following the routine surgery and passed away in her sleep on June 15th. When talking about the passing of Cocoa, Clare shared “Just the day before I’d had a friend whose dog was dying, and I had sent him prayers and thoughts for his “last day” with his “heart” dog—never to realize I would be calling him to tell him about Cocoa’s unexpected death the next day. We cried together though separated by miles.”
Healing with Help from Friends and Dogs
Just over a month after Cocoa’s passing, Clare received an email letting her know Missy had been chosen as a finalist for Revival’s 2019 Pet Calendar. Clare was determined to get help from her Facebook friends for the voting process this go-around. “Everyone on my personal page, as well as my Cross Ridge Labs page, had followed our Lab puppies’ births and growth and enjoyed seeing Cocoa’s and Missy’s litters (19 puppies born a week apart!), and they were as shocked and saddened at Cocoa’s death as we were. They were very happy for me when Missy’s photo was chosen, and many shared the Revival voting page to their Facebook pages.”
So as you watch the days pass on your Revival calendar next year, remember that each of those happy, healthy pet photos has a story behind it – a story of an amazing animal and a human who loved them.
If you have a story like Clare’s, reach out to us. Whether it’s a Pet Care Victory or a legacy story, we want to hear from you. Your story could be featured on our blog and on social media.
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