Shelby’s journey is ending

It is with a heavy heart that I even begin to type this blog post. My beautiful girl has fought a valiant fight but it is time for me to give her the greatest gift of all – peace.

It started Friday when she couldn’t put weight on her remaining hind leg. The ER shrugged it off as a tight muscle and I believe them; it did feel tight. I stayed home to keep an eye on her as I felt something wasn’t right. Later that day she started wheezing and backward sneezing. She wouldn’t settle herself so I brought her back to the ER. The leg was tight again but we got it moving. She got an ultra-sound and there was nothing wrong. But still, I felt in my gut, she’s not well. Saturday morning, I went to get her out of the bathroom, after hearing her try and move around all night and she yelped. I moved her out of the bathroom and she pooped on me. Standing. That was odd. I moved her to the bedding and she vomited. But then she was fine, tail wagging, eating happily. Then she yelped when I petted her again and I knew. Something was terribly wrong. I called the ER to let them know we were on our way. On our way out, she vomited.

She was sedate all the way to the vet which could either mean she was so used to going there or she wasn’t feeling well. They admitted her and within two hours, we got our answer; grand mal seizure. They started her on meds but she kept having little seizures. She was put on “seizure” watch and has bells around her neck. I went to sit with her and she ate for me. I felt progress; she was going to come out of this like she always has.

Within 12 hours, she was incredibly sedate due to meds and the seizures and she wasn’t well. I knew our time was limited. I had no idea how limited. They told me they suspect the cancer has moved to her brain and caused a brain bleed. Horrific.

By Sunday evening, I knew I would have to make the hardest decision any pet parent has to make and sooner rather than later. I was hopeful we could wait till the weekend but seeing her, I knew … she was ready. It was cruel to keep her in this condition. She is fighting for me and I can relieve her suffering. She is not in pain (they tell me). She doesn’t really know much of what’s going on. She still likes to sit outside in the sunshine. She can still pee (with assistance). She isn’t really eating much except baby food and I have to wipe her face like you would a stroke patient. I received the week off from work and spent most of Monday with her.

Today is Tuesday and I have plans to release Shelby’s spirit this afternoon on the beach, with the sand in her paws, holding her as I promised her I would do until her last breath.

My heart is broken in ways I never thought possible. I always said this would be the most epic shit-storm and I was not kidding. I have not stopped crying going on 4 days. I can no longer be strong or brave around my girl. When I sit with her, I tell her stories; I told her how we met. I told her about our first trip to the beach. I told her about our trips. And I told her about my daddy. And how he is waiting for her. And he will take her into his arms and he will hold her tight and he will love her unconditionally until we meet again.

Never did I think a dog would be my soul mate. I have been a mom for 13+ years; I have always put her needs first. To realize, I don’t have to rush home for any reason is daunting. I look at her empty beds, bowls, basket of toys and my heart aches.

I’ve been a caregiver for the past 10 months and it has been the hardest job but I do not regret one day we spent together. I have done everything physically possible for Shelby but I am not God; I cannot perform miracles. I am doing the right thing today. My hope is that my heart can meet up with my mind. 

Saturday … with my girl
God Bless a vet that has visiting hours that lets you sleep on the floor with the love of your life


“Jack Ears” … when she wouldn’t do these for me anymore, I just knew. She’s the bravest girl I know.

Author: mom2shelby

Mom to 13 year old Shelby - Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. A rescue dog that was born in New Orleans. Shelby is a spirited, smart and happy little dog who loves to run, play, go to the beach (we live in LA) and ride in the car! She is my best friend and the true love of my life!

14 thoughts on “Shelby’s journey is ending”

  1. We send you all the love and peace in the universe right now Alison & Shelby. May your last day be filled with doggie kisses that stay in your heart forever. We are so so sorry.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your brave girl. As with with everyone else in the Tripawds Nation, I will also be sending you healing thoughts today. I know how hard this is for you, because I’ve been there. You are doing the right thing for your girl, and you are doing it out of your unending love for her. Thinking of you and your girl.

  3. it is 3:45 EST as I read this. I am so very , words cannot begin to express how sorry I am. Shelby knows how much you love her( yes love not loved) because that part never goes anywhere, but stays tucked inside your heart. I can not be put into past tense. She knows how hard you fought with her against this awful, stupid ,sucky disease. She also knows that you gave her an incredibly unselfish gift today. May the sand always be between your toes Shelby Girl!

  4. Alison I am just completel sick with grief for you 🙁 Please know we are all there with you today. I am sending you tons of hugs…..
    Love always,

  5. My heart breaks….
    My cheeks are wet as I type these words and share your pain….
    My memories flood back as I know exactly how you feel…
    Yet I smile.. knowing that she is loved.. by many as you know…

    Having the sand in her paws… how glorious is that!!?? How blessed you are to be able to offer her that opportunity!! What a beautiful way to let that leash go one more time to let her go play with all those goofy, fun loving furballs that are waiting at the bridge for her arrival
    I just hope that Shelby is aware of what she is in for… have you read about our sweet furbabies who are up there… oh my!!! The party that will be happening… the running along the meadow, into the woods, across the creeks will be non-stop once she arrives!

    Yes, your heart will ache… your eyes will be red and your nose will be stuffed non stop… I won’t lie. And that is ok. we understand.
    I hate it when people say.. “eventially the pain will fade..” because it is true.. but it does not feel that way right now… it hurts… it hurts big time.. and you’re right.. it’s one hell of a shit-storm!

    But, I can tell you that even when the pain fades, actually.. I won’t say fades because it just kind of “subsides” and sometimes it comes back in waves and we have moments… the love never fades.. EVER!!!

    I cried more over my sweet Franklin than I did my own parents… I understand.

    You did the best you could.. and my goodness she had a wonderful life with you.. and I know she thanks you for that!

    I remember when you first came to the Tripawd community you were freaking out, scared, worried, and all around unsure if what you were doing was right. I think we are all on that level when we come here… and we understand. It is quite the adventure isn’t it? And I know that we would not change it for the world.. This adventure gave us extra time with our heart dogs… who would not want that?

    Shelby fought a brave fight and you listened to her when she said she was not having fun anymore, that she wanted to go play.. you gave her the best gift ever… all wrapped up with lots of love. Lucky girl..

    And Shelby gave you the most amazing gift… not just the opportunity to spend a very long time with a very sweet furball… but she gave you her love.. which will always be in your heart.. and you can feel it whenever you want. Just close your eyes and open your heart… and voila!! She’s there… :O)

    Cancer is so limited
    It cannot cripple love
    It cannot shatter hope
    It cannot corrode faith
    It cannot destroy peace
    It cannot kill friendship
    It cannot suppress memories
    It cannot silence courage
    It cannot invade the soul
    It cannot steal eternal life
    It cannot conquer the spirit.
    and most of all.. it will never, EVER destroy the love and bond that you had with your girl. NEVER!

    Christine… with Franklin in her heart♥

  6. Everyone here has said it all perfectly. We grieve for you. We wish you and shelby the best. We want to take that pain away. I’ve been there. It’s never easy. I pray for your strength. The greatest thing about dogs, is they teach us how to be strong when it seems absolutely impossible. It’s a gift that stays with us.
    Our love to you,
    Lori, Angel Chuck and the family

  7. Giving Shelby the opportunity to go peacefully, at the beach in your arms is one of the most amazing acts of love I have ever heard. You are an amazing mom to her and while some people might not understand what having a doggie soul mate is, we sure do here. I just know when Shelby shakes off that worn down body and runs free, all the amazing Tripawds will be waiting to welcome her. I said a prayer to my Jake to make sure he finds her. I cannot agree with Christine more, the crew waiting for Shelby is going to be throwing one heck of a party. She’s a mardi gras dog after all, it is only fitting!

    I’m not going to sugar coat it, the pain will be horrible. It hurts so much and the tears will seem to never end. Just know that you are not alone. Please lean on us and we’ll be here for you. HUGS

  8. Hi Alison,

    You will always love Shelby….and the way that you chose to transition her demonstrates the depth of your love for her!

    While the pain of grief will with you for a while, Shelby will no longer be in pain or tired…..

    Many hugs


  9. 2 amazing ladies have spent the last 10 months on a journey. Today that journey has come to the fork in the road.

    Shelby will be pain free and with other TRIPAWD ANGELS. She’ll be happy and making a ton of friends, who wouldn’t adore her.

    You will be heart broken, lonely and angry. Before long, we hope not to long, you’ll smile and remember your marvelous Shelby and how much she brought into your life.

    You are in our hearts and thanks for letting Shelby go. the chauffeur

  10. You are a good human being, Shelby did well to pick you for her time on earth. Let her go with joy and relief, cry your heart out but still know that you are doing the absolute best for her. The tears cannot be rationalised away, they are a testament to the primal bond that you two have shared.
    Good luck Shelby, you’ve been a good girl.
    , tears and kind thoughts from us in New Zealand.
    Victoria and Dotty

  11. Alison,
    I am so sorry. I totally know your heart is breaking. I know you gave Shelby everything you could do for her. Crying is going to be a natural thing for awhile. Its completely natural. I am so glad that you got to go to the beach and she crossed with sand in her paws. Everyone has said it very well. I know there were plenty of babies there to greet her as she crossed.

    Thoughts & Prayers in your time of need
    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  12. Oh Alison, I’ve been thinking about you all day and I cry with you. You’re such an amazing mom to Shelby. You have showed time and time again how much you love her, and you know that she loves you just as much. Sending you all the love and strength you need today and in the days to come.

    Cody and Family

  13. Alison,
    I am so sorry that it was Shelby’s time to maker her journey to Rainbow Bridge. You gave her the greatest gift of love…her angel wings.

    Godspeed Shelby. Run free, sweet girl, run…. Don’t forget to send your mommy pennies so she knows that you arrived safely.

    Wishing you peace, comfort, and strength until you are both reunited again.

    Hugs and chocolate Labby kisses,
    Ellen and Charley xoxo

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