Flashback Friday to Easter with Shelby

Almost Easter weekend and while neither Shelby nor I were particularly religious, we did always take the opportunity (OK, maybe just her) to dress-up in some ‘festive’ attire.

The original Easter Bonnet at an event in New Orleans for “Hats and Hounds” to raise money for Shelter pets. My little southern belle…
Several years of photo shoots … Love this face!

I remember the past several Easter’s when I would set up her photo shoot in our front yard and the passing cars would stop and smile. Shelby brought such CHEER to so many people. I miss her so much. She was always such a good sport (even though she looks peeved in some photos). She would always get so excited when I would break out the box that had her various costumes and collars. It was like a new adventure. Either she didn’t realize she was going to be wearing them OR deep down, she loved the dress-up game.

My cleaning lady came this week and since I never see her, I had to leave her a note that said that Shelby had passed. I know that Shelby loved her (hell, Shelby loved anyone who came to visit her during the day) but that Maribella also loved Shelby very much. She was always so kind to Shelby the few times I saw her with Shelby. She left me this note:

From Maribella

She also opened all the blinds in my apt that I had shut last week in an effort to keep my apt. dark to help me sleep and help me grieve. It’s almost like she was trying to let the light back in to help me heal my heart.

I was off to a decent start this week – sad but not uncontrollable. I felt like I had things 100% under control and felt that I had done everything right by Shelby, including my grieving process. I truly wallowed in grief last week, barely leaving my house, eating things I never eat, not exercising and just laying in bed and crying my eyes out. I felt that it would help me start this week with a clean slate and while, obviously, I would still miss my girl desperately. My job has kept me on my toes this week – I’ve put in almost 9 1/2 – 10 hour days each day – why do I need to rush home? There is no one waiting for me. Until today. The grief of losing two of our other Tripawd friends this week and the upcoming weekend is too much. I started to cry on the way to work. I also noticed when I went to go for a run this a.m., my back was seized up and I couldn’t do it. My muscles are so tight. And it makes no sense; I have drastically cut ALL my cardio in 1/2 and then some. I can barely pick up my purse off the floor yet I spent months picking up at 22 – 24 pound dog! And it clicked – by immersing myself in work, refusing to think about what last week meant, not talking about Shelby at all (frankly, I think people are sick of me being sad so I am putting on a very ‘happy face’) I have pushed all my emotional stress into my body. Now I have physical as well as emotional pain. I am lost without our old routine. I am lost without my girl. She was my identity and I don’t know who I am without her. I feel as though I will never be whole again.

But I also felt Shelby’s strength this week. I felt her pushing me forward. I felt her keeping me tear-free and positive. I saw her in my dreams … twice. Two nights in a row, she came to me. And it was wonderful. And then I saw her banner on the Tripawds website when I logged in. My beautiful girl. Her beautiful face, her colors, her smile. Her joy in all perpetuity.

Tripawds Banner

So as I get ready to spend my 2nd weekend without the “love of my life” I feel hopeful that I will see her in my dreams, find some pennies along the way, and perhaps feel her push me forward a bit more . I still ‘hear’ her at night – I can hear her breathing. I know she is not there but I hear it. Knowing Shelby, she’s probably come back to haunt me in ghost form. Every day, I walk into my apt after work and I look to her bed, look to the bathroom before I realize she is not there.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about Shelby’s actual passing (I’ll save that for another blog) but there is more proof that Shelby was indeed the strong one in our relationship and while she is physically gone, I do believe she remains #shelbystrong

I miss you, baby girl. Always and forever. Until we see each other again, don’t be a stranger in my dreams… it is really the only time I am truly at peace and happy anymore …

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!

3 thoughts on “Flashback Friday to Easter with Shelby”

  1. Thank you for contiuing to post Alison. It’s important on so many levels…for you and for u.

    I may post very little right now and I feel like with almost zero substance. Please kow I read each and every word yo write…some make me smile…some make me cry…but ALL of SHELBYSTRONG’S pictures and lovely me ories yo share warms my heart so.

    I LOVE, LOVE LOVE her banner…it’s so bright…so happy..so colorful…s Shelby!

    Yeah, it’s funny besides just emotio all, I’m falling apart physically over here too. I just went back to work this evening and felt achey in every single joint and felt like I was going to collapse. It was the first ti e in thirteen years I had to leave early because I was so sick.

    I had Lyme disease several years ago…which felt like the worst joint aches and fl-like sysmpto s I’d ever felt…and this feels like it too.

    Guess we don’t know the toll this jas taken on or bodies til we jave no reason to stay trong anymore.

    ?ove yo so much.

    Thank yojor sharing these delightful…ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL pics of Shelby! She just loved pleasei g yo so…that’s why she’s s iling non-stop and givi g you her “Okay…for yo mom…because I love yo so” stare!

    Love to yo both

    Sall and Happy Hannah

  2. Ohhhhh. It’s officially Easter and I think I hear the Shelby Bunny hopping down the bunny path.


    Alison, you both shared a strength you never knew you had. That’s what will get you through this grief that manifests itself in so many different ways. Little by little, kind gestures like your housekeeper’s note, the silent hints that Shelby leaves you, all of these things add up to brighter days ahead. Hang in there.

  3. Shelby’s Easter pictures are so adorable… it is apparent how much you love her. <3

    Thinking of you and sending you healing and strength

    Cody and fam

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