Shelby’s been creating havoc over the Rainbow Bridge for a week

I can hardly believe it’s been a week since I sent the ‘love of my life’ over the Rainbow Bridge. While it doesn’t seem any easier, I have stopped crying (as much).  It was truly beneficial for me to have a week off of work to stay home and wallow in my grief. I could barely leave the house – what was the point? I didn’t have to ‘go outside’ since no one needed to go outside to go potty?

Saturday before I was heading out to yet another home-cooked meal (my friends have been amazing since they know I will literally stop eating unless food is in front of me), I got the call that Shelby’s ashes were ready and could they deliver them to me that night. But of course. I needed to have my baby BACK in my home. The presentation was beautiful and they made a little clay paw print of her paw and there was a single piece of fur … Shelby.  An instant peace warmed my heart. I held the box in my arms and cried and  cried and cried. I now talk to the box (several times a day), sit with it on the couch with me and tell it (her) good morning and good night.

Shelby is home

I made it through the weekend and found some old disposable cameras and took them to get developed on a pipe dream there would be photos of my girl. And there were. Shelby on the beach. Shelby in hats. Shelby, being Shelby. I don’t remember taking any of the photos or what we were doing at the time but they warmed my heart. We always had such a good time. I really think, though, that we came into our groove and our deep love once we moved to LA over 7 years ago. Not to say that Shelby wasn’t my love the first 7 years we were together but there is something about that tipping point … However, I do recall us driving to Los Angeles in the dead of winter and I put her in the hotel room to run out to get food since I didn’t want to leave her in the car since it was so cold. When I got back to the hotel, she was shaking and scared – scared that I would leave her. Which I promised her, again and again I would never do. I remember feeding her dinner on the bed since we were in an unfamiliar room and she didn’t want to eat. I remember her chewing bully sticks and stinking up my car ALL the way to LA. I remember arriving for our new life in LA and immediately having to board her so I could go out of town for a work trip and then when I finally brought her to our new home … the peace and comfort she felt with her toys, her smells, and her mama.

Oh Shelby … what a life we had. Your mama misses you so much. Your favorite toys were those awful ‘hooves’ with the filling. You broke a tooth on one of them and had to have dental surgery. No big deal. But your mama was a wreck the entire time you were under anesthesia. I remember them calling and asking if I wanted to do any extra teeth whitening or polishing for a more ‘sophisticated look’ – only in LA. They did your nails and on the bill it said “mani/pedi” – not “nails clipped”. We made friends at the local dog park (some more questionable than other). We lived in the Valley where neither of us understood the 105+ heat and the AC unit didn’t work fantastically so I would lock you in my bedroom to try and keep you as cool as possible.

Our apt in the Valley was bigger than the one we shared now. I remember day after day of coming home and finding poop in the bathtub. I couldn’t figure it out. I  applauded your creativity but it was upsetting. Finally, when you vomited in front of me, I got you to the vet and they said you had a parasite infection (thus the excessive pooping in the bathtub). You never wanted to mess in my apt. Before we moved to the beach, we would go on weekend hikes and you loved to ride in the car, loved the smell the dirt path, chased the gophers, absorbed nature. I couldn’t have asked for a better travel companion. We never ran together since I wasn’t a runner when I got you. We did maybe 2 – 3 miles from time to time but never the distance that I would do. You loved to run. You were a sprinter.

Before we moved to LA, do you remember, Shelby, that we would go to Cannon Beach, OR to get some true R&R since your mama worked such long hours? Look at how happy you were … you had an amazing dog’s life – even though I did work long hours and sometimes didn’t have the energy to play at night. But when it was our time, it was the most amazing time! ALWAYS. I miss you my sweet princess. Thank you for sending me a rhinestone yesterday. I look forward to the day when we can be together soon.

Shelby at Cannon Beach 2005?
Long before I could ever take your leash off and you wouldn’t sprint off …
Come to Mommy!!!



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!

10 thoughts on “Shelby’s been creating havoc over the Rainbow Bridge for a week”

  1. Oh Alison I know it’s both difficult and comforting to have her back in your arms. It’s a part of the grieving process that helps us heal though, just like talking to hear and sharing these beautiful stories and photos. Share away, we’re listening, reading and sending lots of love. You’re doing great.

    Shelby’s spirit is everywhere among us, she will always inspire and put smiles on everyone’s faces.

    1. It is definitely better to have her home with me. I didn’t realize how much it would help me having her back under my roof. Thank you for creating a place where I can keep her story alive and remember all the wonderful things we did and shared together… these are memories I want to preserve. It’s still too hard to go back and read my old entries but my hope is that one day, when I am stronger, this journal will bring me much happiness and joy. XO

  2. Alison,

    Thank you for sharing the pictures of Shelby and the stories of the two of you with us. You have so many wonderful happy memories. These memories will bring you comfort. The two of you had so much love for each other, and that love will stay with you forever. I know you’re hurting so much right now, but it will get better. You will always miss Shelby, but remember that she is always with you in your heart and your memories, watching over you with love.


    1. Thank you! Sharing her life and her stories is very cathartic for me. It reminds me of all the great times we had (long before our move to Los Angeles which are first and foremost in my memory). Her last few days here on earth with me, I told her stories about our adventures. My hope is that through the intense pain of this loss, I can see all the greatness that we had together and I can remember how great her life really was. XO

  3. Welcome home sweet Shelby. What a beautiful story about your life with her. Thanks for sharing more of her with us.

    1. Thank you for indulging me in sharing her story and her wonderful life. She was such a special girl.

  4. I am glad she is back home with you. I love the paw print. I tried to do one of Ty but it did not turn out so well. Yours looks as if you could put up as an ornament in her memory every year. I think Shelby’s next move is a Mardi Gras bead. How precious to have found those pictures also. Wonderful memories of her wonderful life.

    1. Oh that paw print was done by the service that peacefully transitioned her so she was passed when they did it which is probably why it looks so nice. A Christmas ornament is a great idea. I was also going to put it in a shadow box to ensure it was never broken or lost.

      Shelby did love her beads … that’s a great idea! XO

  5. Alison,
    Thank you so much for sharing your feelings & story of Shelby with us. I tell Sassy good morning & goodnight every day. Nothing wrong with that. Keep sharing all the good times with us and pictures

    Love them all

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

    1. Thank you Michelle! I know this will help with the healing and keep her alive in my heart … this blog has become a journal of sorts for me now. I find such a peace in updating it with Shelby stories and boy did she have some good ones!


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