Some weeks it seems longer, some weeks it feels like yesterday that I lost my ‘best girl’. This roller coaster is one ride that I really wish would end. There are extreme ups and downs and it seems that I have taken a huge step backward, I think that is the reality of my new reality kicking in. That my girl is definitely not coming back. And when that kicks in, I feel paralyzed with emotion and fear. Shelby was so much better at adapting than me. She adapted to each of our cities just fine, her new homes with ease, new routines. Nothing seemed to phase that girl. She was always eager to go and have fun.
One of the things we greatly loved doing together was being outside. Oh how Shelby loved to smell the air, bask in the sunshine (more so the shade in her later years), sniff the grass. Our walks would take for forever because she had to scent mark everything. One friend of mine who walked her once with her rottie (who was always the alpha by peeing where Shelby would pee) commented to me that even her girl, Lola, stopped marking because she couldn’t keep up with Shelby. Shelby peed the way I would expect boy dogs to do. And the pooping – Shelby was famous for ‘faux’ pooping. She would go into position and act like she was pooping only to discover there was nothing there. But she would kick up her back legs like a bull and act all proud. I would have to ‘fake’ bend over to look like I was picking something up as to not have people think I was leaving her poop there but in reality – there was nothing to pick up. Silly girl.
A couple years ago, I discovered a dog friendly beach by our house. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach in Los Angeles. Shelby and I used to go to the Oregon Coast when we lived up north and we missed our beach time. Shelby loved to have her feet in the sand. Not so much the water but that was fine. I didn’t want her out in the choppy waters. One weekend, I decided to go exploring this famous “dog beach” called Rosie’s beach in Long Beach, CA. It is a couple mile stretch of dog-friendly beach started and dedicated to Rosie who loved the beach. Rosie had long since passed but her legacy lives on with this beach. Dogs are friendly (for the most part) and so are the people. I packed up some stuff and out we went. It was a wonderful day.
Shelby took to the sand like any dog would – she ran and played and avoided the water. She didn’t want to get her paws wet. We spent about an hour down there. She buried her paws in the sand trying to cool off. She made friends – both canine and human.
Shelby was also always a hungry girl – it would seem she would never tire of begging (sharking) for food. No matter what. I always told people not to feed her for many reasons but the main reason, she would never leave you alone. But that never stopped Shelby. She saw a nice little family with some little kids and a huge picnic (who brings a picnic to a dog beach? – seriously?!?). Anyways, Shelby walked around and basically assessed the situation and I could see the wheels turning in her mind. I kept pulling her away but at one point, she made a break for it. RIGHT to the blankets, nose first into a bag of chips. As the family started to yell and panic, and I tried to contain my laughter at Shelby’s boldness, I grabbed my girl and even though I took her hundreds of yards away from that blanket and family, Shelby would slink that way. I loved how she would think she was so sly – like I wouldn’t notice what she was up too!
And like any good mom, after we left the beach we stopped for treats. She picked out a beautiful blue cookie – one that was probably loaded with sugar and junk but it made her happy and therefore, made mommy happy. As we drove the hour so back to LA on the dreaded 405, and I listened to her snore in the back seat, I couldn’t help but think what a perfect day it was. The album which I snagged these photos from are on my Facebook page – entitled “Shelby’s “rough” Life”! – what a life it was.
My sweet girl – we had so much fun! You were my partner in crime. You were my best friend. You comforted me on days that I didn’t think I had the strength to be comforted. You made me smile every day. You gave me purpose. I miss you, my love. I miss you every day, every hour, every minute. And when I run by the beach, I look forward to the day that a walk/run on the beach brings me joy again. That is why I chose the beach for your final resting place. Everything I ever did in my life was for you. And while many say “Shelby was one lucky dog” – it was I who was the lucky one. I was the one who was blessed to be owned by you. Thank you, Shelby girl, for always keeping me on my toes. I miss you. I love you for forever. And, like I have always said, I will never, ever leave you.