I am going off topic today because I had to say goodbye to a dear friend last night. My dog, Shadow, passed away due to cancer. She had been a loving part of our family for more than ten years and will be missed greatly by me, my husband, and especially, my son and daughter.
I have always been a cat person, but this dog stole a piece of my heart when we found her. Or should I say, she found us. You see, we got Shadow when she was a year or two old. We were leaving a Tony Roma’s restaurant and heading out to our car when my daughter (who was seven at the time) noticed something in the bushes. A black, furry canine was sitting there, looking up at my daughter with eyes that said, “Please take me home!”
Naturally, my daughter looked at me and said, “Mom, can we keep her? She doesn’t have a collar.” Now, my family had been bugging me for a while to get a dog (especially my husband who had grown up with dogs) and I had been resisting. But there was something about this dog that was different. She wasn’t too small (to please my husband) and she wasn’t too big (which pleased me!). So, after circling the parking lot for a while, I finally gave in.
I always thought Shadow had been abandoned by a previous owner because when we brought her home she knew enough to go to the door when she needed to go out. We put up fliers advertising “found dog” around the neighborhood, but no one called. It seemed we had a new dog.
The name Shadow was appropriate because she started following me around the house soon after she moved in, and since she was 95% black and the kids couldn’t come up with a better name, the name stuck.
Six months after we got Shadow, we added a kitten to the family, and the two of them used to “wrestle” around on the floor. The dog never hurt the kitten, and the kitten would just playfully paw at Shadow. It was quite the sight to behold. Of course, once the kitten, Jester, grew up, she lost interest in the dog. But Shadow still loved to chase her from time to time just to show her who was boss. (Too bad, Shadow was wrong. As anyone who’s had a cat knows, the feline is the boss!)
I’ll always remember how she loved to go for walks or rides in the car and especially loved to play “wild dog” with my husband where he’d get her all riled up and she’d run around the house. Mostly, I’ll remember how she loved us all unconditionally.
Farewell, old friend. I’ll always love you!