Tuesday, May 25, 2010
A wonderful dog
A few years ago, about three months after we lost Little Kitty, I offered to take care of a friends dog while she was on vacation for two weeks. We hadn't had the dog for more than a couple of days when I got a phone call asking if I wanted to keep the dog. She and her husband were preparing to make major life style changes and thought we could give the dog a good home.
My husband was in love with her already, and thus after a bit of back and forth, we decided to keep her. At this point in her life she was about 11 years old but still a pretty peppy gal who loved to run and play.
Shadow was part Standard Poodle, but she also had a black tongue. I also met a Portuguese Water Dog that could have been her twin, so who knows what lurked in her DNA? She didn't jump up on people, she didn't lick, and she didn't push open doors. Mostly she stayed off the furniture unless you put a blanket on it and invited her up. The word ride had her dancing for joy, she loved going anywhere in the car.
I love to take photographs, but in all the photos I ever took, I found it difficult to capture her joy and animation. With Shadow in the house I felt safe. She wasn't unfriendly, usually, but kept herself between us and any visitors we had. She had been known to herd people back to their chairs by mouthing the backs of their legs if they went somewhere she didn't think they should be. And one day, when I invited a friend into the bathroom to get a band-aide he needed, she placed herself squarely in front of him and actually growled. Apparently, that was forbidden.
We had Shadow for just a bit over four years. Even on her last day, when she was in a lot of pain and had difficulty breathing, she wanted to go for her morning walk with my husband. I painted this painting long before we had to take her for her final ride. I am so glad that I did.
The following month, we went to a place where you could make your own wine with some friends. We 'created' a Shiraz, called it "Shadow's Shiraz". One of our friends is an artist in his own right, and a graphic designer by trade. He used this painting to create the label. We are still drinking our toasts to Shadow.