updated 11/09/2011 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/10/2011 AT 12:10 PM ET
It’s been more than two months since their beloved 13-year-old dog Darla passed away from cancer, but Brooke Shields and her family are still reeling from the loss.
“It’s very sad, actually,” she tells PEOPLE. “We’re all in that sort of trauma where we have her ashes and the girls [Rowan, 8, and Grier, 5] carry these little footprints of hers around. She was the only dog we’ve really ever had.”
The American bulldog was given to Shields as a puppy, and was a member of the family, taking a central role in many memories over the years.
“She knew I was pregnant before I even knew I was pregnant,” Shields says. “She would circle me and not let me walk anywhere, I was going, ‘God, what are you doing, get out from under my feet!’ And that afternoon I found out.”