March 17th 2008 9:14 pm
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My faithful lab-mix that I rescued back in '98, Shadow. She passed away unexpectedly on Monday, February 18th at 4:33 pm. She was 11-12 years old; I had her for ten wonderful years.
Shadow, my best friend. She never once left my side. She literally was my shadow- always following me to every room of the house. Always greeting me and walking me to the door when I got home from work trips. Always at my heels when we went hiking. No matter what, all she wanted in life was to be by my side. And she did just that.
I'm not sure what happened either- it all seemed surreal. I'll spare the sad details, but her passing was not expected and there was nothing we could do. It was just her time to go. Within 10 minutes after Eric got home, she passed away in my arms. She was smiling as I stroked her and talked her through it- she even rolled on her back to let me scratch her belly one last time. Then she stretched out her legs and took in one long deep breath. She was gone.
We picked up her cremains on Tuesday. I plan on spreading her ashes throughout the state as I'm able to get back to the places we used to visit a lot, after the snow melts. Right now I'm a total mess- the back injury has made things even worse. Not being able to do the things I love, and now a huge gaping hole in my heart because I lost my soul on Monday. Although Eric and I have both been through this before, it doesn't get any easier.
Shadow was an exceptional girl. Incredibly smart and sassy, she had a giant sense of humor. She even knew when she was being made fun of. She had the best smile. My Shadow. Forever the apple of my eye. My peenie wally. Black Bean, licky poo-poo, goo goo la doo, Shadow Wadow, Sweet pea, Dorkball, Applesticks. Found tied to the closure gate on Independence Pass (who the hell ties a dog up like that?) back in '98. Someone else's loss was my gain. We bonded instantly and she has never left my side since, even after she ate the interior of my old Jeep and various other vehicles, including an ex boyfriend’s.
I'm thankful she was able to share her life with me. I wish I could write this great tribute for her she was the best damned doggie. And I will someday. Right now, my sporadic words and some pictures don't do justice for the life that she lived, for the spirit that she posessed. She was always happy. Always bounding with energy. She had this great talent of jumping up on her hind legs without putting her paws on you. My mexican jumping bean, I used to say. I'm missing the jingle of her collar. The way she grunts when she goes to lie on her bed at night. I miss her loud barking at the squirrels. Her little stub of a tail, so cute the way it wiggled. I miss her big brown eyes and facial expressions, of which she had many. The way her ears would sometimes flip inside out. The little patch of white on her chest. The way her chin has really turned white over the years. Her gait as she pranced around when playing. You could just tell that she was happy.
The way she wrinkled her lips and grimaced if a fizzy can of beer or soda was near her face. God, she hated that. But she knew we were just poking fun at her. I miss the morning and evening ritual at feed time. She loved feed time; Shadow had the biggest appetite. Her toys would be spread all over the house most of the time. She knew them all by name. Her vocabulary of toys included carrot, star, monkey, hot dog, bone-bone, fibbee, boom-a-rang, squirrel, lambee, trout, ring, eel, dognut, snowman, santa, and of course, chuck-it, sticky-stick, and ball or ball-ball. She also liked to play hide-and-seek with her toys. And when you would throw the ball and she would catch it, she would always do a victory lap around the yard or park or wherever before bringing it back. And boy how she loved to swim or dive into giant pillows of snow.
The pain our boy Ullr is experiencing is tremendous. He loved her so much. He's even picked up a few of her cute traits, like how she pounces on her toys and draws with them in the sand. He was there during her passing and witnessed everything. He cried as we dropped off her body at the crematorium. He cried and howled the whole way home. It just breaks my heart going through the whole ordeal. He's now laying at my feet where Shadow usually would be. The silver bowl has been passed down to him now. I took him to the dog park a few times this past week and he had a good time though. I hope he adjusts to being the only dog. I am thankful we were all by her side as Shadow died. She knew how much she was loved. And she is continuing to teach me things, like moving on, even after she is gone.
Here are a few pics of my Shadow. I love her more than anything and miss her so much. I am in a daze it hurts so much without her in my life.
I love you forever, my little Black Bean.
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