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Heartbreaking Photo Captures A Boy’s Tender Final Moments With His Dog

Children often learn about death through the loss of their first pet. Professional photographer, Marvi Lacar captured this stunning image of her son, Mateo saying his final goodbyes to the dog he’s known since birth.

The photo shows Mateo clutching a tissue and tenderly pressing his head against the dog’s face in a private moment of grief and loss – the first the 7-year-old has ever had to endure.

Mateo and Wheat’s Final Goodbye | 10/26/2016

It has been a month since our family lost Wheat but the pain is still so…

Posted by Marvi Lacar on Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Wheat – an 11-year-old Miniature Dachshund – had been suffering from complications of an intestinal infection for weeks when Lacar realized that he was not going to recover. She gathered her husband and their two sons to bring him to the veterinarian one last time. The vet confirmed what Lacar had suspected, Wheat was tired of fighting and ready to let go.

Lacar told

“He looked so tired. I wasn’t ready for that decision, now that I think about it. I wish I’d had one more day. But he didn’t seem like he wanted one more day. Whoever that dog was that we had as a puppy wasn’t there.”

Despite her grief, Lacar was grateful to Wheat for providing them the chance as parents to teach their children about the circle of life. She wrote a beautiful Facebook post to accompany the haunting image of Wheat and Mateo. It reads, in part:

“…He taught us how to parent through grief. He taught my children that Ben and I can be vulnerable. That sadness isn’t something to shy away from. That recovery is a process and can look as graceful and as wretched at any given time. And that in the most painful moments, we are always each other’s comfort. Our family left that room with one heartbeat less that day but somehow, more resilient.”

A photo posted by Mateo and Kaleb’s Mom (@bonetiredmama) on

Lacar shared the photo with her Facebook and Instagram followers with a promise to provide a larger tribute to Wheat when she is emotionally ready. For now the image stands as a reminder that none of us are safe from the reaches of death and grief. We must appreciate those we love each day, as we never know when our time together will run out.

She included the famous quote from writer, Agnes Sligh Turnbull:

“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.”

So true.


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Written by Dina Fantegrossi
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