Thursday, October 21, 2010


Shadow as a youngster.
I don't why ... but this morning I found myself thinking of Shadow, and I simply couldn't get him out of my mind. Not long ago, he appeared in my dream .... and in my dream, he had his paws crossed just like he does in the photo on the left. I remember the day I rescued him ... it was a hot summer day in Tulsa, Oklahoma after a hill workout on "killer hill" ... on our way back home my ex and I saw this skinny, scrawny black dog with ribs protruding cross the country road in front of us. We pulled over and coerced him to get in the car with us. He was scared and I held him as we huddled scrunched in the back of my ex's hatchback. He was in bad shape. We later learn he has been shot ... shattered lead from a bullet still remaining in his skull with the top of part of his ear taken off but had healed (how amazing our bodies are!) ... for the first few years he was with us he had horrible seizures that often hit around the full moon. I remember the first time I witnessed him have a seizure. I felt helpless and scared as I held him. When we moved to Minnesota his seizures subsided ... must be he wanted to get the heck out of Oklahoma!!

Shadow was my houdini dog ... he could escape from places and wiggle his way out of tight crevices. He was without a doubt a street smart dog. After his sister Shen died on 9/15/2006 to spleen cancer it seemed like a part of him died too. Then on July 2, 2007 we lost Shadow to intestinal cancer. I found the following emails as I was going through my old emails remembering Shadow this morning:


June 19, 2007 3:55:53 AM CDT

Shadow in June, 2007 ... a week before
we had to say goodbye.
I sent the email below to fellow volunteers at Pet Haven.  Many of you are aware that it was 9 months ago when we lost our sweet Shen to spleen cancer.  We are now faced with the impending loss of our boy Shadow.  Tonight has been a rough night.  He has woken me up twice tonight.  This last time he was vomiting.  He has had good days sprinkled with not so good moments.  The vet warned us that he may decline rapidly.  Moments like now make me realize our days are numbered.  His sister Missy knows. As I lay curled up with Shadow on the floor on their large LL Bean dog bed, Missy joins us and presses her body against his, and licks my face.  Two dogs and half a human body scrunched up on a dog bed.  Moments like these are what I will cherish.  

As Shadow approaches Rainbow Bridge, please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.  May we have many more days under the sun with him,  and may we have many more days blessed with his presence, and may our hearts know when it is time to let him go.  

Sent: Monday, June 18, 2007 9:50 PM

We had our surgical consult for Shadow at the U today, and a couple more tests.  We are awaiting the final report by the pathologists on the biopsy of the mass in his intestine, but preliminary results confirm he has a very aggressive cancer. Surgery carries too much risk for a dog his age (11 and a half years), and after much thought and reflection, we have decided to not put him through major surgery.  We will continue to work with our regular vet and try to make his last weeks (and hopefully months) as comfortable as possible through diet and alternative treatments.  For now, he still has a spring in his step and if it weren't for his occasional vomiting and losing weight, you would never know he is walking the final road of his incredible life's journey.  He continues to patrol our backyard, fixating on squirrels in our neighbor's yards.  Our four-legged friends are simply amazing -- their stoic nature hides symptoms of cancer till it is too late.  In some ways, I wish he would've complained sooner.  Other times, I am reminded of how much humans can learn from our four-legged friends.

We are grateful for the time he has given.  We are grateful for the opportunity he is giving to us to say goodbye -- nine months ago cancer took Shen so quickly that we did not have time for a proper  
goodbye.  Now we have a chance to savor the gift of his presence.    

We will fill our hearts with Shadow moments, which will become our precious memories.

I created the following video shortly after Shadow died ... my tribute to this furry angel who touched my heart, my life and my soul ... I still miss you little boy:


  1. You know how you said that he had seizures usually around the full moon? Well, isn't it pretty darn close to a full moon right now? Or a full moon? Maybe that's why he is on your mind?

  2. I didn't even realize that ... but you are probably right!!! :) Thanks Shadow boy for coming to visit me!! :)