About Fairy Dog Heaven
Meet Molly, author Patrese Fischer's beloved pup and the inspiration behind the children's book Fairy Dog Heaven. The Fischer family lost their four-legged best friend last year and found comfort in dreaming of what dog heaven is like. Learn more about the making of Fairy Dog Heaven in the video below. You can order a copy of Fairy Dog Heaven on online here.
From The Author, Patrese Fischer:
A few days before Thanksgiving in 2007, we adopted Molly, a small beagle dachshund mix from the East Bay SPCA. It was right after my husband and I were first married and before we had kids.
Years would pass, and our family grew with the addition of my son and daughter. Throughout it all, Molly was our constant companion and brought so much joy to our entire family.
It is hard to find a family photo or event where you don’t find Molly (or at minimum her furry tail) photobombing it. From the time we brought our kids home from the hospital, Molly was always by their side.
As they grew older, Molly was a constant, particularly in our nighttime and morning rituals.
At night, Molly would crawl up into bed with my son in his room and wait until he had fallen asleep before we’d hear the jingling of her collar first going to check on my daughter in her room, and then finally pushing open the door to our own bedroom to go to bed.
Every morning we were showered with wet kisses and a wagging tail so full of excitement that you would never believe she had just spent the prior eight hours already curled up by our side.
And then one day, all of that was gone.
Right around her 10th birthday and within the course of a couple of weeks, Molly became gravely ill. To this day, I struggle to comprehend why and how quickly things went downhill. After days of testing and extended hospital stays, we were told there was really nothing else they could do, we were out of options.
We said our final goodbye with her cradled in my husband and my arms, loving her as she had loved us to the very end.
For the first few weeks after Molly passed, I would hear my five-year-old daughter instinctively call for her as soon as she woke up in the morning because Molly and her would always start their day with a long snuggle in bed. My daughter would momentarily forget Molly was gone and then burst in to tears with the quick realization that it was a call that would no longer be answered.
My seven-year-old son dealt with the loss in a quieter way. He seemed to want to avoid the topic all together but was often betrayed by his glossy eyes and sniffles at night before bed.
I was struck by how quiet the house seemed (hard to believe with two young kids) but now lacking the familiar jingle of Molly’s collar as she made her rounds, the incessant barking with which she greeted daily deliveries from UPS or FedEx, or the light snoring of her curled up besides us on the couch.
For many kids, losing a pet can be their first brush with loss and grief. As a mom, I struggled with how to help make them feel better when I myself was so very sad. We all felt a little empty, lonely, like we didn’t know what to do with ourselves and often thinking maybe this had just been a bad dream. But mostly, we were all just sad. Really, really, sad.
A few months prior and when Molly was still alive, my daughter, who was five at the time, had asked our babysitter to draw a picture for her of Molly with fairy wings. My daughter lovingly colored the drawing and took extra care with the wings, using a beautiful blend of purples and blues. The day after Molly died, we were looking through old photos of her and I was reminded of that sweet picture of Molly with fairy wings. In that moment, the idea for Fairy Dog Heaven was born.
I sat down the next morning and wrote verse after verse with the kids providing input on their favorite ideas for what Molly might be doing in Fairy Dog Heaven.
From then on, it’s been a true labor of love bringing this book to life. I was fortunate to come across the exceptionally talented Marcus Cutler, whose art helped bring such fun and whimsy to the story.
We also incorporated a lot of personal touches – Molly’s wings are colored the same way my daughter had done them in her original artwork. Molly’s sweet image can also be found somewhere on every page in the book.
Fairy Dog Heaven was a way to honor the memory of our sweet Molly, and bring comfort to my family especially my kids in dealing with the loss of a pet.
I hope it brings a little healing to you as well.
About The Illustrator, Marcus Cutler
Fairy Dog Heaven was illustrated by Marcus Cutler, a freelance children's illustrator based out of Ontario, Canada. Marcus's work has appeared in over 100 projects, including magazines, educational books, mobile apps, and more.