Missing You, Shelbs!

While I was in Louisiana living it up with my nieces, I received a heartbreaking call from my husband. I was out to eat with dear friends and he called to see what time I would be home. I didn't think anything was up, so I told him I would call him when I got to my parents. Well, 3 hours passed, the phone rang again, and it was him. When I answered, he asked again if I was at home. I told him no, but at that moment I noticed a hitch in his voice. I asked what was going on and he told me that he had some bad news to tell me. So, I got up from my seat and braced myself for the worst. While he had gone to pick up something to eat 5 minutes down the road, our yellow lab had been hit by a car. Shelby had never ventured into the road to our knowledge, but something had grabbed her attention this time. When Cheney drove over the hill he found her in the ditch with her collar on top of her. Apparently, someone had moved her from the road for us.

To say that I was devastated is an understatement. I believe the first words out of my mouth were, "I'm tired of losing things." It was a gut response to losing a baby and another dog a few years ago. I gathered myself and went back into the restaurant and then cried my eyes out with my best friends. Then, I had to go home and tell my mom.

Telling my mom was difficult because Shelby had been my mom's dog first. Mom gave her to us because she felt like we could give her a better home - a place to run, a spot on the couch, playmates, and lots of love and affection. We enjoyed her for 2 years. She became my classroom pet as well visiting often for students to read with her.

Shelby had the sweetest disposition - never barked or complained, gave constant attention, and loved to snuggle at the end of the day. She melted into our family perfectly! Cash and Taku loved her and took care of her as well as the litter of puppies she delivered shortly after we received her. *They were the cutest puppies I've ever seen!

When Shelby first arrived, she was sleek and trim, but 6 short weeks later, she delivered a litter of 6 cuties and never regained her girlish figure. We had her fixed as soon as we were able and she put on a hefty 30 pounds. She waddled when she walked, but it was a cute waddle.

She never demanded to be petted or paid attention too at first, but as time wore on and she became more comfortable with our family, she grew accustomed to being hugged and petted. If you were petting her and then stopped, she immediately let you know, by the jerk of her head, that she was not satisfied and the petting should commence immediately!

When walking outside, she always stayed close by, often hopping up and down in excitement for play time. She was a great fetcher, loved to swim and run in the back field. When you would whistle for her she would run at break-neck speed and slide to a stop right beside you waiting for you to reach down and give her a pet.

One of my best memories of her is playing in the snow. Not many dogs like the snow, but Shelby loved it. She even mastered snow angels.

I miss her terribly! The jingle of her collar as she rounded the corner, her following me around all over the house until I settled down for the night, finding her at the foot of the bed, her snoring that was so loud you had to move her to another room, her sweet little velvety ears that loved being rubbed, and the look she gave you when she knew you had a bad day.

When school started back after Christmas break, I had to break the news to my kiddos. T took it the hardest, as I knew he would. It broke my heart to break theirs and we all cried together. She was a special dog and everyone who met her loved her - even those who didn't like dogs.

Shelby, life isn't the same without you! You are definitely missed by ALL of us!


Shonda said…
I can't believe it! I'm so sorry. It's awful to lose a pet especially when you were so far away. I've lost 3 pets and I grieved for one of them more than a year. I did get to see all 3 and say goodbye. On top of that losing a baby 4 years ago for you. My heart just breaks and I pray everyday for God to bless you!
just me said…
I hate that Shelby passed too but somehow I feel she is at total peace. Some say that animals don't go to heaven they just fade away...I don't choose to believe that. I choose to believe that they are there. They just don't have to be redeemed. Surely she fulfilled her purpose here. I think the happiest years of her life were those with you and Cheney. I believe she knew she was loved and treasured. Thanks for doing that for her.
Shasta Looper said…
Thank you for your sweet words and your prayers. They are very comforting.