It’s been a bittersweet couple of weeks. The sweet part is that my book is finally published and available on Amazon as an ebook and paperback. I’ve been working on it for seven long years, and it’s out there for everyone to read. All of my hard work has paid off, which fills me with great joy and satisfaction.
However, it’s with a heavy heart that I had to say goodbye to my dog and good buddy, Shadow. He was the best dog I could have ever asked for, and he will be missed terribly. I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s blog to Shadow’s memory.
I got him as a graduation present. A couple of friends and I went and got him one Summer day soon after we walked the stage to get our diplomas. I chose Shadow out of the litter because of his beautiful eyes and his funny demeanor.
He was only about 5 or 6 pounds when I got him, such a tiny little thing. But, he quickly grew into the skinny, awkwardly-shaped dog I grew to love and adore. He never got out of his “leggy” stage, and he always looked like a deer whenever he would prance outside to play in the snow (which he had some weird obsession with……I hate the cold and the snow and everything else winter weather related, but he’d spend all day outside in -30 degree weather if you let him).
He was a friendly dog, but wasn’t necessarily affectionate. He’d have to be in the same room as me, and he’d always sit on the couch right next to me or in my bed. But, he HATED to cuddle. Most German shepherds and huskies loved to cuddle with their parents, but of course I got the only one on God’s green earth that was like “um no…you can love me from right over there, thank you.” He still loved to give kisses and get his butt scratches, but he definitely was not a lap dog.
He also wasn’t a huge fan of other dogs. He wasn’t aggressive or nervous around them, but he was extraordinarily indifferent. Whenever my friends and I would take our dogs to the dog park, Shadow would just sit on the bench right next to me and refuse to go play with the others. Whenever a dog walked up to him to play, he would give them a look that said “I don’t have time for you and your joy, you’re making me nauseous. Go take your foolishness somewhere else.”
Apparently, he also hated when other people were affectionate with their dogs. We were at the vet one time, and there was a sweet lady in the lobby who was talking to her daughter’s dog. She was saying “who loves their grandma? You love your grandma!” and the cute little dog was giving her grandma kisses. Shadow, being the delightful, sweet dog he was, crossed his legs where he was laying and honest-to-goodness gagged. Like…apparently he was sickened by such displays of affection.
My good friend’s Pitty/boxer mix LOVED Shadow. He thought Shadow was the best thing since Beggin’ strips. He’d always want to cuddle up to him and play and such, but Shadow would have none of it. Every time Rosco would sit next to him, Shadow would grunt and walk away. One time, Shadow was sleeping, and Rosco curled up next to him. It was so cute, and I had to take a picture of such a rare event. But, of course, he woke up before I could snap the pic. He looked over and saw how close Rosco was…so he pushed the poor dog away from him with his awkwardly long legs.
My other good friend has a Chaweeny named Bruce (affectionately called “Brucifer” when he’s being rotten). He would bully Rosco sometimes and steal his toys right from under him. But, Shadow wouldn’t have that. Bruce tried to take his toy. Shadow didn’t growl or bite or run away. Nope, he slapped Bruce into the closet. Seriously, what was wrong with my dog? XD
He actually got along with cats more than he did other dogs. Rosco’s mom also had a cat named Signor Cisco (roll the “r” like a cat purring). Anyway, Signor was the apotheosis of cats. Independent. Sassy. Peed on the most expensive article of clothing that he could find when he was upset. And, oh my word was that cat judgmental! That’s probably the biggest reason Shadow got along with Signor so well. The both of them were just about the judgiest things on the face of this planet! The two of them would sit on the bottom step while Rosco zoomed around the house like a psycho, trying to get attention. They’d look at him, then at each other. You pretty much knew they were having a conversation about how dumb this dog was because all he wanted was attention.
I also had an outdoor kitten that I found in the neighborhood for a little while, and kitten and Shadow were best buds. When Shadow was out on his run, they’d chase each other and play around, and Shadow actually let the kitten sleep next to him. The kitten was a weird one, too. He would sit there and purr while Shadow continued to chew on his face. Very…different relationship, but that was Shadow. He wasn’t your typical dog. He was socially awkward, just like his daddy.
Going back to just how judgmental my dog was. If there was an award for the world’s judgiest doggo, Shadow would be the undisputed champion of the universe. He’d mastered the side-eye before he was even potty trained. People didn’t believe me when I told them my dog’s judgmental. “No, dogs can’t be judgmental!” They quickly changed their minds when they met Shadow…who always greeted them with a “you’re gross, why are you touching me?” look.
When he was feeling extra, he would lay back and cross his front legs and seriously glared at you. If he had a human’s voice, it would have sounded just like Simon Cowell. He also hated it when people baby talked him. So, naturally, I did it all the time. He’d just lay there and stare at me like “do I look like a child to you?” Great times…great memories.
Despite the fact that he was judgey and apparently allergic to affection, he was still the best dog I could ever ask for. He has been there for me for a vast majority of my adult life. He would lay at the foot of my bed and want belly rubs when I had a stressful day. He loved to play with his Kong. He was truly a blessing, and I will never forget him.
There is a saying that says “some angels come on four legs”, and it’s a saying that I am partial to. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my buddy all these years. He will always be in my heart.
Never take your pets for granted. They truly are a gift from God, and every moment you have with them is precious. This blog post is dedicated to all the four-legged family members out there. Thank you for being there!