This year, focusing on the holidays seems a welcome reprieve after the death of Sandra Bullock’s father and her dogs, which Bullock reflected on during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Thursday. She and her kids are leaning hard into that happier side of the holidays, Bullock made clear during her chat with DeGeneres, speaking about the heartbreaking losses while also discussing how she intends to celebrate the holidays with her loved ones.
As reported by Entertainment Tonight, Bullock lost her father, John W. Bullock, in September of this year. Additionally, she also had to say goodbye to her two dogs, Poppy and Ruby — news her nanny broke to her first— right around the same time that her father’s health was failing; it seems that all things grim were happening to her at once.
“Life, I realized, happens whether you schedule it or not,” Sandra told DeGeneres on Thursday. “That just blew my mind this year. My dad died, and then while my dad was failing, we get a call from the nanny that our dog, Ruby, the two-legger, had a stroke. And I’m like, ‘What, what?’ I was like, ‘Just put her on life support. Do something.’ And they go, ‘We can’t. She’s suffering.’ So I was like, ‘OK, there’s a reason for this.’ Dad’s settled. We fly home.”
Days later, when her dad still wasn’t doing well, Bullock said, “The nanny comes into the room. She’s got a look on her face. I’m like, ‘What did the kids do?’ She’s like, ‘I need to speak to you in the bedroom.’ And I was like, ‘OK,’ and she goes, ‘Your other dog has a heart tumor, and she’s going to die in three days.’ I was like, ‘I’m going to be fine.’ And then a week later, I’m in the bathtub crying and the kids were like, ‘Is mommy OK?'”
Bullock reiterated, “So, you know what, it’s life. But, you know, when you lose your little rides-or-die, it makes things different.”
DeGeneres connected with that, noting Bullock’s affection for animals, which has pushed her to make significant contributions to bettering animal welfare. In addition to adopting dogs with disabilities, she also donated $100,000 to the Humane Society following the rampant California wildfires as well as $400,000 to the Red Cross.
“You do [good things] a thousand times more than I do,” Bullock demurred. She added, jokingly, “You have a great bank account,” when DeGeneres credited the size of her platform as the reason she’s able to do so much.
DeGeneres quipped back, “You would too if you didn’t make so many donations.”
Although much of their conversation was deeply serious, Bullock was clearly enjoying herself in her time on DeGeneres’ show. The two exchanged lots of laughs, especially when Bullock purposefully rubbed her hair against her microphone to mess with the sound on the show. Like DeGeneres, we’re glad to see she’s in such good spirits in spite of everything.