When my family’s thirteen-year-old retriever mix Sadie died this September, I was struck by the dual nature of my own grief. On the one hand, I mourned my loving, neurotic girl who had been with my husband and me since before we had children. On the other hand, I was also quite worried about my children’s reactions to her death. Sadie had simply always been around. As we looked back at family pictures, there was Sadie snuggled up next to my newborns, trotted out alongside the kids on their first day of school photos and dressed up as a Halloween pumpkin along with the kids in their costumes. My children had never known a life without our family dog.