Three weeks as an angel

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.

On this photo in Facebook the caption is “I love this face”
Rounding out the day with a cookie!
Resting and she buried her paws in the cool sand
Running down the beach – It’s a dog’s life!
BFFs forever!

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!

5 thoughts on “Three weeks as an angel”

  1. Oh Alison! My eyes well up…tears of joy…tears of sadness…and all with a smile on my face as I read each jewel of a little tidbit of your wonderful life together that you share.

    You are so guided when you write about these experiences……you really are in the moment…you realy are there…and you take us there with you beautifully. Thank you for the privilege of being by your side during these memories.

    You bring these memories to life! You bring Shelby to life!! I love how you “pretended” to pick up her poop and how she proudly kicked up the ground..even though poop was there!! That’s LOVE!!

    And zooming in on any food source within a mile radius of her spot on the beach. Yeah, who brings a picnic to a dog’s beach and thinks dogs will just ignore them? Well, clearly these people have never met ” a Shelby”!

    Alison, these pictures just warm my heart so. The ones of the two of you…OMD…the LOVE…the BOND…the CONNECTION!! The happiness on both of your “mugs”…and the absolute contentment and pure bliss on Shelby’s face in that first picture…magical Alison just magical!

    Thank you…and I mean it…thank you so much for sharing these beautiful chapters of your life! I love the lessons she has been teaching you…and continues to do so. Yeah, she is definitely your role odel for how to “adapt” to whatever comes your way. She clearly disn’t care where she was geographically… just as long as she was by your side. What a girl!! A very, very special girl!


    Sally and Happy Hannah

  2. Alison, what a lovely story and memory for you to share……I cried and even laughed, especially the nose in the bag of chips part!! That Shelby was one of a kind for sure, and certainly a life partner for you. I hope I can get the courage that you have to start posting stories about Polly again. I absolutely love reading your adventures with sweet Shelby, so keep them coming!

    Much Love…..
    Bonnie & Angel Polly

  3. Love them!! I felt like I just took a trip to the Beach. She had the greatest life. So loved, so treasured. Love from: Lori and Ty Guy

  4. Thank you for sharing more stories about Shelby. I love to hear how much you 2 liked the beach. Keep them coming

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  5. Oh what a GORGEOUS pic Alison, I love seeing you two smiling and enjoying each other’s company.

    Always remember, Shelby IS nature, she IS the sky, the water, the birds, the trees, all of that. She is there with you, wherever you go, forever.

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