Both of Julianne Hough's Cavalier King Charles spaniels died on the same day in late September

By Benjamin VanHoose
December 26, 2019 11:55 AM

Julianne Hough has shared a heartfelt holiday tribute to her pets, who both died earlier this year.

The former America’s Got Talent judge, 31, lost two dogs, Lexi and Harley, both on the same day in September, and on Christmas, the star took the time to honor her late pups with a sweet shout-out on her Instagram Story.

“Forever ♥️?” she wrote on Wednesday along with a snowy throwback photo of herself embracing the pair of Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Hough announced the tragic news on Instagram in October, thanking her “babies, [her] daughters” for providing her with so much love over the years.

“Pure love is real, it existed through us. My heart expanded and felt the truth of what is possible. I am forever grateful,” Hough captioned a series of photos and videos of her beloved pets, who both died on Sept. 28.

“Thank you for your love. Thank you for being my babies, my daughters. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for teaching me how to be your mother. Thank you for allowing me to give and receive love,” she said. “Thank you for your kisses. Thank you for your blessings every single minute of every single day. Thank you for your souls. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for letting me protect you. Thank you for protecting each other.”

Julianne Hough
Julianne Hough
| Credit: Julianne Hough/ Instagram

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Hough continued, “Thank you for the timeless memories. Thank you for your magic. Thank you for being the most consistent and constant beings in my life. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being my guardians on this earth and even more so now.”

“I’ve never experienced a love like ours. I miss you. I love you forever. Now You Are Free,” she ended the post, closing with the dog’s birth and death dates.

Hough’s brother, Derek, also shared in mourning the pups, sharing his heartbreak on Instagram.

“?I honestly don’t know what to say except that these two creations brought so many beautiful memories into our families lives for the past 11 years,” he captioned a photo of their collars. “Their abrupt end was tragic but their memory will always be remembered with joy love and happiness.”

Hough celebrated the holiday surrounded by family, posting photos with her loved ones on her Instagram Story. One snapshot showed her husband, Brooks Laich, wearing a Santa hat as the couple’s husky, Koda — whom they adopted in November 2018 — sat at his feet, giving Hough the “side eye.”

The singer/dancer’s other holiday festivities included a tilted “last minute” Christmas tree that she shared a video of herself decorating, plus some good old-fashioned snow shoveling in their family driveway.

Last Christmas, Hough and Laich posed in matching pajamas with Lexi and Harley, as the happy husband captioned the post: “Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones from the Laich household! Enjoy your blessings today, peace joy and love to you all! ?? #merrychristmas #bearcheeks.”