updated 12/26/2013 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 12/26/2013 AT 12:30 PM ET
It was a Christmas to remember for Caroline Manzo, but for one very sad reason.
The former Real Housewives of New Jersey star and her family said goodbye to their beloved dog, Austin, who fell ill over the holidays.
Later, on Christmas day, Manzo, 52, Tweeted a sweet shot of the pup sitting on Santa’s lap and wrote: “RIP my beautiful little puppy, you were so loved. Santa has a new sidekick.”
The dog’s passing appears to have affected the entire family, who are set to star in their own Bravo spin-off, Manzo’d With Children. Manzo’s son Albie, 27, posted a shot of the dog’s very own Christmas ornament on Instagram, writing, “Lost our little guy today, been with us every step of the way for the last 17+ years. Gonna miss you buddy.”