What I Love About Shadow´╗┐

Two of my favorite bloggers – Jan Keefe at Wag-n-Woof Pets and Jodi Stone at Heart Like A Dog – recently published posts about things they love most about their dogs, Sheba and Delilah respectively. I enjoyed both posts so much that I decided to do one too.

My post is about Shadow. I chose Shadow for two reasons. The first is that before Ducky came along, the majority of my blog posts were about Callie and Shadow. As though they were both just part of a pair and not individuals. Like Tom and Dick Smothers. Or Sonny and Cher. Or Snoopy and Woodstock. That’s not the way I thought of them; but for the most part, that was the way I wrote about them. The second is that since Ducky came along – nearly four years ago – the majority of my posts have been about her. So without further ado….

I Love Shadow’s Sweetness – What else can I say? She has such a sweet, loving nature. Sure, she sees smaller animals as prey; but when it comes to other dogs and humans, she’s as sweet as can be. (There’s only one human I can think of that she just does not like. And with good reason. I’ll leave it at that.)  If you offer her a treat, and say “gently” or “gentle”, and rub her chin or chest, she will be your friend for life.

I Love Shadow’s Respectful Behavior – Shadow has always been respectful of another dog’s space – as well as ours. From Day One, she never approached Callie’s food bowl while Callie was anywhere near it. And unless she was super hungry, she always waited for Callie to at least start eating if not finish before starting to eat her own food. (Callie didn’t always return the favor though so I learned quickly to steer Callie out of the kitchen when she was done.) And when Ducky came along, Shadow accorded her younger sister the same respect.  And to this day, Shadow will only give me full-on eye contact if I ask her for it. And then only for a moment. She does not particularly like human hugs, but she lets ME hug her briefly.

I Love Shadow’s Blossoming Individuality – When Callie was still with us, Shadow almost always deferred to her older sister in any situation. Callie was, among other things, Shadow’s mentor, her teacher. Anything Callie did, Shadow was sure to do as well. Well, almost anything. Now that Callie’s in Heaven, Shadow does things on her own terms.

I Love Shadow’s Tolerance of/Patience with Ducky – When Callie was still here and Ducky competed with Shadow on every level for Callie’s attention and love, Shadow was at times low on tolerance and lacking in patience where Ducky was concerned. Who could blame her?  Callie was Shadow’s bestest friend – furry or human – and she got her snout out of joint when Ducky would try to push her aside. That’s part of the reason Ducky spent so much time at daycare during her first three years with us. So Callie and Shadow could have time together and with me the way they used to before Ducky. It was during Callie’s last several months with us that she started teaching Shadow how to “deal with” Ducky. And Shadow being the excellent student (blessed with the very best teacher) she was/is, took the lessons to heart and started applying them to different situations. Now when Ducky gets bratty with her, Shadow just gets up and walks away from her.

I Love Shadow’s Attentiveness – Shadow had always paid attention to Callie’s lessons – and had a great teacher – but she also pays attention to me when I’m asking her to do something. She may not always do what I ask, but she does listen to my words.

I Love Shadow’s Devotion – One thing that always struck me about Shadow was how utterly devoted she was to Callie (and vice versa). After each of Callie’s CCL surgeries, I had to walk her around the yard in gradually increasing amounts of time and speed. And every time Shadow was out there with us, making sure Callie knew she was trying to help her. And Shadow is equally devoted to her “dog-daddy” and me. She is always “right there” when we need her.  While she may not be all that sure of Ducky’s intentions all the time, I do believe she would protect her little sister if she felt the need to do so.

There are so many things I love about my “Baby Golden Girl”, but it would take forever to write them all down. I think this post sums them all up pretty well though.