Reta and Paul McKinlay weren't quite sure how to break the news to their grandchildren. Their 8-month-old Yorkshire Terrier-Shih Tzu mix, Scamp, had escaped from their yard in Yelm, Wash. and was hit by a car.
Assuming Scamp was dead and waiting until morning to bury the furry friend, McKinlay wrapped him in a blanket and put him under a wheelbarrow to keep animals away from his body overnight, KOMO news reports. The pair told their tearful grandchildren, Kaiden and Chevelle, that Scamp had gone to heaven.
"It was real sad to watch them crying over their dog and drawing pictures. We were trying not to cry," Reta told KOMO news.
But when Paul went to retrieve the dog the next morning for his burial, there was a surprise waiting for him.
The dog was sitting up, breathing, and very much alive.
After $3,000 of veterinarian bills from Olympia Pet Emergency, Rita McKinlay told The Olympian she felt confident enough of the dog's good health to tell her grandchildren that their puppy would live.
For Reta, the experience spoke to the meaning of Christmas:
"Christmas is about the kids. It's about miracles, it's about hope, it's about family being together. Scamp is part of our family," she told KOMO news.