I wish so much I could remember when I first thought to dress Shelby up. As everyone knows, Shelby was rescued from the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter in New Orleans. I found about the shelter from a local pet store that would host monthly “Yappy Hours” for dogs and their owners. Often they included costume contests and themes. One month they did “summer” and “beachwear”. Well how could I not dress Shelby up in a bikini?
I went to the Goodwill and found a kid’s bikini (pink of course) and figured it was about Shelby’s size. It fit perfectly. But it was missing ‘assets’ to fill it out. Balloons! Brilliant.
A couple hours before the party I put Shelby in the bikini to try it on, I realized I had to cut a hole for her tail. She took to wearing the bikini pretty easily but then I noticed she walking really funny. Kind of like she had something in her pants. And sure enough, she had POOPED in her bikini! Hours before she needed to walk the runway, her outfit was soiled. I quickly removed the bottoms and cleaned them up but they were still a bit damp.
We got to the party on time and we did our walk and voila, because I had chosen to give her ample double d’s, she won first place! That’s my girl.
Oh Shelby… what a patient dog you really were. Oh how I miss you my sweet angel. We had SO much fun. We had such a great life together. You were a holy terror at first but I don’t remember ever having many regrets after the first weekend with you. You were lap size, arms size, snuggle size. You fit PERFECTLY from day one into my arms. You were always so relaxed in my embrace.
This weekend I will do my 5th Annual YAS-A-THON charity spin ride raising funds to cure cancer. I’ve always dedicated my ride to my father who passed in 1997 but this year, I’ll ride for you, Shelby, as well. Cancer has taken two of the most important beings in my life from me. It’s just so unfair. I am angry. I am heartbroken. I have been in tears since Tuesday. I pray that you send me the strength I need on Sunday for the three hour ride and that I can push the emotions away for just a little bit.
The ironic thing about grief is that it creeps up on you when you least expect it and it can rip your inner core and send all your healing back to the beginning. And the walls that you put up to deal with past griefs come pummeling down and no longer protect that heart.
Shelby, you were indeed my soul mate. Our bond was strong but made stronger by my being your primary caregiver for almost a year. Looking back on where I was last year at this time,( getting ready for the spin event), I was woefully unprepared. We didn’t know what was wrong with you yet but you were recovering from your broken leg and I had taken time off from eating well or exercising. I didn’t know how I would spin for three hours on a bike that I hadn’t been on in almost 2 weeks. But you gave me strength. I was strong for you and I will be strong for you again this year. So this Sunday, Shelby, I will put your name on my arm and feel you by my side the entire time. I will proudly wear your yellow Tripawds bandanna in your honor.
I miss you, baby girl, love of my life … please let me know you are doing ok. Send me some pennies. Send me a sign that you haven’t forgotten about me. Know that I will never forget about you. Looking at your old pictures for your blog today remind me, once again, how strong and pure and true our bond was. I love you to the moon and back, Shelby Lynne… always and for all infinity.