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Memories of Shadow
Memories of Shadow:Christmas morning 1993, my youngest daughter Danielle had placed a big wrapped box in the middle of the living room. My girls all told me to open the lid. I did and looking up at me was this little 16 pound blonde fur ball with sad eyes. I got tears in my eyes and instantly said "Shadow". Everyone told me to pick him up. I reached down and lifted the beautiful puppy. Oh how I hugged him. He was my first Christmas puppy ever. Danielle and I had seen the movie 'Homeward Bound' a few months earlier. I fell in love with the Golden Retriever "Shadow". Danielle 16 at the time,started asking me what I would want for Christmas if I could have anything. I found myself saying "a Shadow dog". Little did I know that she started her search for a 'Shadow dog'. She had friends from church taking her to look at puppies. I had no idea. I had bought her the movie "Homeward Bound" with Shadow the Golden Retriever and she had bought me the Puppy! He had just been taken from his mommy that morning and was scared but he did not whine while he was in the box.. I instantly became his mommy. I took him in my room later and put him on my bed and he piddled. It was just a little spot but I knew I would have to work with him. It wasn't his fault. That night I put him in a box next to my bed and put my hand in there to comfort him when he whined. Our bonding had started.I saw that by the size of his paws he was going to be a very big boy so I thought I better have him obedience trained. The next week when he was 9 weeks old I hired a trainer named Tim Welch to train us all. Shadow was so scared but was quick at learning. He learned voice and hand commands. He learned sit, down, heal, come, and stay. He was 13 weeks old when he graduated. The trainer wanted to take him to his other classes to show people that it was possible  to train such a young pup. I was instructed to put a kennel in my room next to my bed so he could see and hear me and I would then have more control of his potty habits. As soon as he woke up I would put his leash on him and then take him outside. I would praise him and tell him what a good boy he was each and every time. If he whined I tapped the kennel, said no and let him see that I was there with him. Sometimes I would put my fingers through the bars so I could touch him. He would then go to sleep. Through his whole life I would continue to tell him what a good boy he was. I continued to work on his training whether it was in front of our house or at the park or riverbed or the running track. People would tell me how beautiful and well behaved he was. I was so proud to have him with me and to be my good boy. There were times when I would take him on the riverbed and make him stay as I walked away. This made him uncomfortable because he didn't like me leaving him. One of the first times of making him stay that long I made him stay and I walked about 100 yds. away. He kept his eyes on me. I was working on his hand signal commands. Up, down, stay and come. By the time he had sit up and down a couple of times he decided to look away from me.  I guess he figured that if he didn't look at me he wouldn't have to do it. Then when I said "ok that's it" in a stern voice and started walking toward him, he looked at me quickly and then he layed down as he was suppose to. What a little brat I told him. It did make me laugh. He had his toddler moments. I would take him on the track at the park and work with him. I would tell him to stay and he would watch and when I got a certain distance I would say the word he was waiting for "come Shadow" and he would run all the way to me. People on the track saw him and said how beautiful and smart he was. I was always so proud of him being with me.One day Danielle and I were out in the front yard trimming trees and rosebushes. I had cut a pretty pink rose and gave it to Shadow and told him to take it to Danielle. He gently took the rose across the yard to Danielle. That was the first time we knew that he knew her name. He already knew me as mommy. We praised him and then Danielle gave it back to him and said to give it to Mommy. He once again gently brought it to me. We did this all one more time and the third time he took the rose from me, walked half way to Danielle, layed down and began to tear the petals off the rose. He figured he was done with that game! We laughed. When I had to travel I would call home and Danielle would put me on speaker phone and he would put his paws on the table and look at the answering machine wagging his tail and wondering where I was. I never liked leaving him. He always looked so sad, but I always promised him I would be back. I worked every day but he was there all the time when I got home wagging his tail as I said "Hi my honey". He was always happy to see me. When I was sad he would put his head in my lap and that would ease my heart. I definitely named him the right name. He truly was my Shadow. If I stood still for more than a minute anywhere he would lay down at my feet. He just didn't like seeing me too far from him. I had to lock him outside so he would get some sun and air, but he would fret. He would carry something in his mouth and trot back and forth all over the yard. He would carry small things and some large things. One time it was a plastic bucket. Silly silly boy. I had a can for scooping his food and he would carry that until he actually punched holes in it while he was fretting. If I just closed the screen door he would use his nails to open the door. I would say no and go close it and turn around and leave. He would open it again and just stand there and look at me. If I didn't give in I would shut the door. But when we got new screen doors, something spooked him and I heard a racket coming from the door just in time to find him in the house now and a hole in the screen as big as he was, We haven't fixed that yet, He did get scolded but then I heard there was some popping noises outside that he was afraid of so I couldn't stay mad. That was a pretty big hole. He was very afraid of the 4th of July and Thunder. We would mildly tranquilize him and play really loud Classical music to drown out the noise. When I was sitting on a stool while painting the hallway he layed right next to me. I would just work my way around him. He didn't care that it was the middle of summer and very hot in the hallway, he just liked to be near me. Shadow was a people dog, not a dogs dog. My daughter Dawn told me that he didn't think he was a dog. He just didn't act like other dogs. He adapted very well around people. Just his presence demanded respect from other dogs. Shadow would bark a roaring bark but never bite down. He was the leader of the 'pack'.One Thanksgiving when Shadow was about 2 or 3, we had just finished dinner and put everything in the kitchen including the leftover turkey. My cousin Lance's daughter came running in the living room and told me that Shadow just pulled the turkey on the floor. I went running in the kitchen and he took off out the back door! The temptation was too great even for a 'good boy' like him.Another time my brother Sonny had just fixed himself a Steak dinner and left it on the coffee table while he went to the bathroom. Bad mistake. Once again the temptation was too great. Sonny didn't have a steak dinner after all. I felt bad.Another time I had started fixing my quesdilla's lunch for work and had placed all the tortilla's on the counter with the cheese on top. I then went to do my hair and make up and came out to cook the quesadilla's and found there was no cheese on the tortilla's! Once again Shadow ran out the back door. I finally learned not to leave such temptations out. He loved food. He loved whip cream from the can. He and his brother Pawnee and sister Belle loved when I brought out the whip cream can and held it up and let them take turns catching the whip cream as it fell. Shadow loved water. When he was about 4 months old Don, Danielle and I took him and Taffy (our little Cockapoo) to the local mountains for a little hike. We got to a small stream which had a log across it. Taffy jumped on the log very sure footed. Shadow followed her very unsteady and grabbed onto her tail to help him across. But then coming back across Shadow lost his footing and fell off the log half way in the water and his front paws hanging onto the log and he started whining. Don rescued him. Shadow the pup was now very tired, so Don carried him on his shoulders the rest of the way. This did not discourage Shadow's love of water. When Shadow was about 1 1/2 Don, Danielle and I took him down the riverbed to El Dorado park. Since Shadow liked water we threw a stick in the lake to see if he would get it. He went in the water and was looking for the stick but it was hard for him to see the stick when it was eye level, but he wouldn't get out of the water because he had nothing to 'retrieve'. We all saw that he was getting tired and kept coaxing him to come to us, he went under once and then twice and all of us were about to jump in the mucky duck pond water and just then he got a burst of energy and came back. We noticed that he had the end of his own collar in his mouth. He just could not come back of any body of water without something in his mouth. So we laughed when he would do that because it looked as though he was bringing himself in. Shadow did not like seeing someone in a swimming pool. I guess he felt the need to 'retrieve'. He would run around the pool barking like crazy. If you splashed water at him he would chomp at it. He didn't mind if he got drenched. One day when Shadow was 11 years old, Justyn was in the pool floating on the water noodle. Shadow ran around the pool and barked and barked and finally found the steps and went in after Justyn. Shadow swam over to Justyn grabbed hold of one end of the noodle and brought Justyn and the noodle back to the steps. We laughed and told him what a good boy he was. Justyn went back out, and Shadow did the same thing. Brought Justyn back safely to the steps. Justyn went out again and a tired Shadow went back out and brought Justyn back but this time he wouldn't let go of the noodle. He pulled it onto the cement and proceeded to tear up the noodle because he wasn't gonna 'play that game again! One day we took him to the doggie beach at Huntington. He was afraid of the waves. So I asked a friends daughter if she would hold his leash so I could go in. Well Shadow didn't like seeing me go in there so he pulled away from the little girl and came running into the waves until he got to me. The problem was that he didn't really know what to do so he was trying to climb on me because he was afraid and swallowing water. Danielle and I ended up bringing him back onto the shore. He had left bruises down the back of my arms and legs from his nails when he was trying to climb on me. Shadow always had to be near us. He was ok when we had to leave and go to work he was fine in the house. No chewing on things or going potty. But when we were home he didn't like being locked outside. I would close the screen door and he would open it. If I would just leave it open he would lie down outside and look inside. I always felt great comfort with him in the house with me. A life without him just seems impossible.When I would get upset about something or cry he would come over to me slowly and put his head in my lap to comfort me. Even at the end it was he who was comforting me.Shadow was the 'man of the house'. As he grew older we called him the Sean Connery of  dogs. He was just so proper looking with his now gray hair. His presence and love for us will forever be missed.I look forward to the day when we will once again be together and happy with my family that has passed on and my other critters.I know that the Lord has placed all of them together and our reunion will be so very tearful and happy.There is is hole in my heart that will never be filled.But when we are all together again, my heart will be complete once more and all the sadness will lifted. You were my great wonderful big boy who loved me unconditionally,Please go run with the others and have lots of fun. I know you like to swim. But don't forget to listen when I whisper you name.Sleep well now my beautiful boy. The Pain has left your body and now you are free from the burdens of this world.Have you seen Jesue yet?Christmas 2007My sweet big beautiful boy. It is already Christmas time again. I cannot believe that you are not here. This is our first Christmas without you here in 13 years. I look at the pictures that were taken just last Christmas. You and me and your brother and sister were in them together. I made a little memorial for you on the tree. I hope you know that. It is a "golden puppy" with wings and a halo. There is a big "S" (for Shadow) done in rhinestones. Dawn gave them to me as a gift while I was back there. She also knows just how much you mean to me. All the girls know how I love and miss you. Kerry gave me a book of memories with you in it and me holding you and loving you and you loving it. Some of them were of our last day together. So I cried some more. The tears just keep slipping out. I hope you approve of Kahuna. He reminds me of you so much. I know you don't like it when I cry and he does make me laugh. Sometimes I imagine that you helped Jesus pick out this puppy as he was born one week after you left me. I love you my big boy. Run and play a lot. Merry Christmas my honey.Love always and forever, Mommy2-19-08 My good boy, You have been in Heaven 1 year now. I cannot believe that I have been without you this long. Not one day goes by that I don't think about you. When I see you again I will throw my arms around you and hug for as long as you want. I will rub your tummy and we both will run once again.Thank you my good boy for helping Jesus pick out a Golden puppy to send to me. He was born on the day that your ashes were delivered to me, Feb.27th. Sometimes I close my eyes when I am rubbing him and pretend for a moment that it is you. Do you hear me when I say your name and say that this is for you too my Shadow? Kahuna doesn't mind. I give him the same amount of love that I give to you. He has helped me smile through the tears. I still cry but then he comes up to me and his goofiness makes me smile. Just like you used to comfort me in my time of pain, now Kahuna does. There are times when I look at him and I see you. I have often caught myself calling him by your name. He doesn't seem to mind. And the times that I say your name outloud Belle perks up her ears as though she knows that you are in the house. Pawnee and Belle had a great respect for you. Pawnee layed in the hallway and wrapped his tail around his face and cried the night that you left. He missed his leader. He has never taken the lead and I have noticed that since you left, he is starting to show his age. His seizures are more often. I know that you will be waiting there for him when it is his time to leave. But I don't want Danielle and I to go through another separation for a long time. I am not fully recoverd from letting you go and know that I never will fully recover. I love you my Shadow. I hope Jesus lets me feel your presence.God Bless you my good boy. Go run and play in the beautiful sunshine and be with my family. Mom and Daddy and Sissy will give you lots of love.Love foreverYour Mommy2-06-09 My dear Shadow. I missed you being here this Christmas. That is our 2nd one without you. I had your picture up. I took a lot of pictures of Kahuna like I did with you. I got a bunch of Pawnee and Belle but Kahuna is quickly learning the routine of picture taking just like you did. He lets me put hats on him although sometimes he starts roling over and playing like pups do. And through the year I tried to remember to light a candle for you on Monday's. The day that you went to heaven. Sometimes I forget what day it is and I would fret because I forgot. It will soon be two years that you have been gone.
Nov.9th 2009. I am sure that your brother Pawnee is now with you. Were you shocked? He cried after you crossed over to Rainbow Bridge. He didn't know what to do after you left. But he learned. He also was a gentle Alpha. He always was goofy. Remember the times you and him and Belle would start playing. Of coarse Pawnee would always be the one that went submissive. Who was to know that 33 months later he would have to leave us too. Your Danielle is very sad. I am too, but I know that he is safe with you. I hope you are keeping the family comforted the way you always did with me.
It is really hard for Mommy to believe that you have been gone this long. I was so depressed after you left. I didn't want to let you go Shadow. The Dr. told me that it wouldn't be fair to let you suffer. I just wanted to pick you up in my arms and run all the way home with you and shut the world out. I am so sorry that I let them take you from me and Danielle. You deserved to be home. After you left we decided that we wouldn't let that happen to Pawnee. And as you probably know, he crossed over here at home with Belle laying beside him on the blanket.
The pup that you helped Jesus pick out continues to make me smile. Oh Shadow, he loves playing ball too. I regret that I don't get to play with him more often, but I will try harder.
I love you my 'good boy' and I miss you. I keep a candle lit for you all the time.
Take care of Pawnee dog. You know how silly and crazy and talkative he is. All of you stay close to each other and family.
Love Forever and Ever, Mommy
Hi my good boy. Today is Feb.19,2010 and you and I have been seperated for 3 years now. I can't believe it has been that long. I still look at your pictures in my room every day and I have a candle going constantly in your memory. Oh Shadow, I try not to cry. But right now I am because I truly wish I could hug you. Kahuna is being a very good boy to me. Thank you for helping Jesus pick him out. I will try harder to play with him more. He is not as gentle with me as you were but I know he'll get there. I can hardly wait until I see you again. I hope you and Pawnee found each other. He needed a 'leader'. I hope you are with my family and being that perfect boy for them that were for me. God bless you my Shadow and I will love you forever.
Love Mommy
July 14,2010
My Shadow. I miss you so much. I look at your picture and cry. Can you hear me when I call your name? I say your name everyday. I wish that you were still here at home with us. I would be taking you bye-bye in the car and go to agility classes with Kahuna. You are such a smart boy. I still brag about you. I tell everyone how you were obedience trained by 13 weeks old. Oh what a cutie you were. You didn't like the trainers male voice and you would yelp, pee and run to the house. You were only use to my voice and Danielle's voice. And you were so protective. But my sweet boy don't fret. Kahuna loves us and is protective. He lets Belle boss him around. She finally ,moved up to Alpha position. Shadow, Kahuna loves to play ball too. I wish I would have been able to play more with you. It seems like I was always working. Well, Mommy doesn't have to work anymore so I get to spend more time with Belle, Kahuna and Salem. Belle and Kahuna follow me everywhere just like you did. Kahuna loves to be near me just like you. And when he is laying in the hallway, I have to step over him because he trusts me that I won't step on him. Just like you. Sometimes I call him your name. He doesn't seem to care. You and Jesus did a good job in picking him out for me. He makes me smile even when I don't feel good. When Danielle leaves for work he comes down the hallway to my room and puts his paws up on my bed. I think he is just checking that I am still home. I don't get mad. I smile. I hope you and Pawnee have been having fun. He really looks up to you. You are his pack leader. Oh Shadow, my good boy, one day we will all be together.
Mommy has to go to sleep. I will call out your name again. I hope you hear me.
I love you forever
Your Mommy
My Shadow, The months have passed so quickly. I cannot believe that you left here 4 years ago. Has Pawnee been messing with you? You know he's a silly boy. Kahuna has been a good boy. He has made me laugh. I get to spend more time with him than I did you. He is doing a lot better at listening. You were just perfect at listening. He is just more hyper than you ever were. I do agility training with him. Have you been able to watch from heaven? It gives him and me a good workout. You also would have been awesome at agility but your Mommy had to work all the time and take care of your sisters. I still have a candle going for you in your special corner of my room. I don't have as much energy as I did when you were a pup. I'm getting older too but Danielle walk a lot at the nature center to try to keep me healthy for her and the other critters. You would be shocked if you were here to see that we have 7 cats now. We didn't want to see them killed so we have them. So it gets to be quite a madhouse around here. Belle and Kahuna are fine with it. Belle is getting older. She now has some gray hair. One night Danielle was bathing her and she saw Pawnees pic in the window and she started to whine. So I am sure now that she remembers you and Pawnee. It would be so neat if you could come back with Pawnee. Sometimes you have been in my dreams but they have made me cry. Even though I don't talk to you very often it is only because I don't want to cry. It takes a lot out of me because it hurts. I am now throwing my arms around you and hugging you and rubbing your tummy. I love you My Shadow. Have you seen Daniel yet? Remember when he bathed you? He was so good to you. Well he went to heaven in April. His family misses him terribly. But oh how all of us are going to have a great reunion. I love you My Good Boy. Love Your Mommy
Feb.21st 2012
My Shadow, How I miss you. There are more critters living with us now. You would really be busy just watching all of them They all needed homes when they were babies and since Danielle and I don't trust just anyone we kept them. There is a total of seven kitties now along with Belle and Kahuna. They are all very safe and happy. Many of them sleep on my bed with me and that gives me comfort. Kahuna sleeps in my room when he is clean, just like you use to. Just like you, he lays right where I am trying to walk and I have to take a big step across him. Many times I look at him and I see you. I still have a candle going for you in my room. I know you don't understand all that but that is a sign of my love for you sweet boy. This earth is a very hard place to live and I look forward to the day that I will get to hug you again. Is Pawnee being crazy? Go play with him now my sweet boy. I love you. Your Mommy
Aug 6,2015 Oh my beautiful boy, not a day goes by that I don't think about you. I don't let myself cry as often cause it hurts. As you may know by now your little Sister Belle is now with you and Pawnee and Taffy. She was quite the little fighter. She passed to Rainbow Bridge July 7 2015. She stayed with us 7 more years after Pawnee dog left us. I am sure he is happy to see her. She was 15 and fought the good fight just like you and Pawnee and Taffy. Kahuna is still a good boy and loves me like you did. I just need to make time to spend with him more. He loves agility class and he loves playing ball. But I am guilty as with you, time slips away. I am getting older also and want to have fun with him until both of us no longer can do those things. I love you Shadow. Please have fun and watch over your crazy little sister.
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