You had many names: Shadow, ShadowBaby, ShadowShark, BabyShark, ScoobySnacks, Girlfriend, Little Black, BabyBlue, and GrandmaPuppy. It’s has been two days since you left us. Sometimes I don’t believe it’s true. You must be upstairs sleeping on the bed or under the desk in the office. But it is real. We have put away your collar, dinner bowl and food container. Your winter coat had already been put away for the season. You never had many toys. You thought that dog toys were beneath you since you were really a person. I look at the spot in our bed where you slept and your favorite spot on the couch and chair and feel sad. There is still a dent in the couch where you sat for the last time. I can’t stand to have anyone sit there now and ruin that dent. We will be finding black fur occasionally in a dusty corner or when we vacuum. But there will come a time when even that is gone. But we will always have our memories of you and the love you gave to our family.
Over the last year you started to walk up to us and lay your head in our lap or nudge our hand to ask to be petted. I wonder if you knew that you didn’t have much time left with us. I’m happy that I never ignored you or turned you away and always took the time to give you some love. Anytime I passed you sitting on the couch or at the top of the stairs I never failed to stop to talk to you or pet you and let you know how beautiful you were and how much you were loved. I feel better knowing that I didn’t take our time together for granted and you always knew how much your family adored you.
We are fortunate that you were not sick until the very last hours of your life. You enjoyed eating, playing, and just hanging out with your people. The night before you passed away you were chasing the boys around the yard. It is one of their last memories of you and it is a wonderful gift that you gave them. I wonder if you were waiting for the right time to leave us? The last few months have been crazy with the boys applying and auditioning for college. Were you waiting for them to have their plans settled? Were you waiting for us to come back from Hawaii?
We will always remember you for:
I always felt that when we “talked” you could see straight into my heart and know what I was feeling. Whether I was happy or sad, you completely understood what was going on. You could just about talk with your eyes. They held so much expression that reflected your big heart.
You had the most beautiful, black, shiny, satiny fur. Everyone that petted you would comment on your amazing fur. I think you were a little vain over it too.
How much you loved to play ball. We had to be careful how much we threw for you because you would chase a ball until you fell over. You would always bring it back and drop it right at our feet. If it was too far away we would say “can’t reach” and you would pick it up and drop it closer. I hope you find lots of kids in Dog Heaven to throw the ball for you. You will not be slowed down by arthritis or old age anymore.
Your crazy addiction to ice cubes. Whenever someone got ice cubes from the refrigerator, you would come running from anywhere in the house. You passed this love on to your brother Kevin too.
How you looked in your little red winter coat. It was a beautiful contrast to your black fur. You loved wearing it. I think it made you feel like a person.
You loved playing board games with the boys. If they were on the floor playing games you would always be found down on the floor with them. They always let you “play” whether it was Monopoly, Chess or Sorry. They would roll the dice for you and move your men and handle your Monopoly money. Somehow you always lost and never cared. You were happy to be included in whatever they were doing.
How you loved to lie on the floor in front of the fireplace when it was cold.
How you would swing your paw up and around when you “gave five” to people.
How you loved to sit in a shady spot in the yard on nice days and watch the world go by. You also loved rolling in the grass.
How you would lie on the couch on your back with your legs in the air.
Wherever you are now Shadow, know that we miss you dearly. We’ll be looking for signs that you are with us and look forward to seeing you again someday at the Rainbow Bridge.
Mom, Dad, the boys and Kevin Sweetman.