As many people know, our daughter, Amber, and son, Ryan, grew up in a home filled with about every imaginable pet.

Not just a few here and there but always lots of cats and dogs. The question “Can I keep him?” was never mentioned; they just found their way to our door and stayed for as long as God willed.

Amber came home for my mother’s funeral in September of 2011. She saw Luna at York Adopt A Pet and immediately knew they formed a bond. Our family members don’t only form a bond with our pets -- they become such an intricate part of our lives.

Luna Girl was loved and pampered in the nine years that she and Amber were together. Yes, sometimes Amber took it over the top, buying her a stroller and taking her simply everywhere she went. They had long conversations after being apart for a few hours. Those types of talks consisted of Amber talking to Luna and Luna starting to howl, whine and cry until one or both were exhausted. Luna would settle down and Amber would say, “Now what did you do this afternoon?” which immediately started the howling, whining and crying until Amber would say “It’s okay little Luna, Momma loves you.” She would look up at her with those big sad looking eyes -- and if she could have talked, she would have said, “ I know you do and I have you right where I want you at my beck and call.”

Luna never met a stranger, she was always very well behaved and loved the attention she would get while strolling in the stores of Fayetteville, Arkansas. We met Amber and her husband Keith in Kansas City several years ago, when it came time to eat, Bob said it was too hot to leave Luna in the car. Amber got the stroller out, put Luna in it and threw a light pink blanket over the top. We strolled into Red Lobster and the hostess asked if we needed a booster seat for the baby. Amber said no, she was fine and sleeping. The waitress came to our table, saw the stroller and said, “Oh you have a baby, what’s her name?” Amber said Luna and the waitress said that is a beautiful name.

She then asked, “May I take a peek at her,” and lifted a corner of the blanket -- a small growl came from the folds of the blanket.

“Oh honey child, that is a dog, not a baby,” the waitress responded. And without missing a beat, Amber said, “To you she is a dog, to me she is my baby.”

The waitress winked and said, “I never saw a thing.”

Amber and Keith built a home in the woods outside of Fayetteville. It is a beautiful home and very secluded. It is peaceful and they designed it to enjoy the beautiful hills and their sloping yard looking down to a small pond. Amber designed it as a country farmhouse design with floor to ceiling windows, beautiful porches with fireplaces to take the fall and winter chill away.

Last week, Amber (who has been working from home) was sitting on the porch at night, catching up on some work on the computer with Luna sleeping beside her. Her slider doors were open behind her as it was a cool summer evening.

The world can tilt in the flash of an eye.

Luna jumped, spotted something and ran down the steps into the blackness of night. Amber was running behind her, yelling for her to come back. She heard a thud and a small cry. She was screaming for Keith to come with flashlights. They searched all night. No sound, no signs of struggle . . . Luna was gone. It is apparent that a mountain lion was in the area. It happened in seconds. It was swift and it was fatal.

Several days later Amber sent a video clip to Ryan, Bob and I. She was sitting on her porch when suddenly the leaves on a lone tree beside her started to shake and for about five seconds, right where Amber was sitting, raindrops fell. She said it started as suddenly as it stopped. She pointed her phone to the floor and sure enough there were spots of rain. She said, “Now tell me there isn’t a God.” She felt it was a sign that her Luna was in a safe place.

Never take love for granted whether it be a child, a parent, spouse or a beloved pet.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed.

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