• Emma Loves Dogs

Emma's Beautiful Service

Emma Claere Mertens (age 8) passed away at her Hartland, WI home in the arms of her mother and father on Sunday, November 17th. She fought hard against a DIPG Brain Tumor but it was time to go home and leave the pain behind. In her final hours, she was told how much she was loved and that it was ok to go to God. She will be dearly missed.

Emma's service was live streamed on Facebook so all who have shown her love over the last 10 months could participate regardless of where they live in the world. Below is the live streamed video and other parts of the service that made the day so beautiful and memorable.

Emma’s Service was absolutely beautiful and exactly what she would have wanted. We felt the love from everyone who attended and everyone who watched the live stream on her page.

One of many beautiful gestures of love for Emma from Saturday was The Thumbprint Heart! We asked everyone in attendance to select a shade of blue and leave their thumbprint on a canvas. It turned out amazing!

Unexpectedly, and exactly how Emma would want, a paw print was placed. We didn’t realize it until we got home and saw the picture of one of her all time favorite K9s Drago, placing his paw next to the heart.

There were also many tables at Emma’s Service in the church lobby. These tables were all themed and based on Emma’s favorite things:

  • Her Police/Service Table: Emma loved and respected the K9 Police and service dogs. She was gifted so many meaningful items that we needed two tables!

  • Her Art Table: Emma loved painting and drawing. We shared some of her favorite creations.

  • Her Skittles Table: we asked everyone to take some skittles and enjoy “Skittle Sunday” in honor of Emma.

  • Her Sports Table: Emma loved Soccer, Tennis, Lacrosse and Football. We displayed some of her treasured sports equipment.

  • Her Girl Scouts Table: Emma loved the Girl Scouts and going to camp! She made some amazing friends through scouting.

  • Her HAWS and Vet Table: Emma loved going to “work” at the Sussex Animal Hospital as well as donating to HAWS in Waukesha. Both were some of her favorite places to be when not at home.

We miss her so much, and looking at all of her belongings helps us feel like she is still with us.

At the end of Emma’s service, at least 20 different Police K-9 units from all over the state escorted our family home.

We were nervous to accept such an honor since we are technically not a police family and did not want to offend anyone who was, but these officers insisted. They made Emma an honorary member of their K9 Association back in August.

These men and women gave up most of their day off (Saturday) to be there for us and ensure that we got home safely. It was an overwhelming honor. A very touching, quiet ride home that Emma would have loved.

To all the Police K9 Handlers and their K9s, Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

We want to thank everyone for helping us create this beautiful memory of the day.

In lieu of gifts and flowers, the family is asking that you keep Emma’s memory alive by supporting her foundation (click here). Through all of this battle, all Emma wanted to do was spread kindness and help animals.

Emma Loves Dogs

If you are looking for other ways to get involved or know an individual or organization in need of funding, we would love to hear from you!


Address: PO Box 230 | Hartland, WI 53029

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