16 weeks an angel

Oh Shelby … it all makes so much sense now. I have been feeling off and lethargic and tired for a couple days now. Combined with my epic tears (albeit Oscar worthy performance this past weekend), today crept up on me.

Sixteen weeks ago today I helped your earn your beautiful wings and you assumed a new role – my guardian angel. I miss you so very much, my princess. I have found myself staring at your photos more and more lately. Trying to look into your eyes. Such love we had for each other.

I also noticed that Friday, when I worked from home, I went to the gym first and didn’t shower right away. Because I had been working out, I wasn’t wearing your necklace that I got to always hold you in my heart. I feel naked without it. The Tripawds Etsy store did such an amazing job and it’s beautiful and it holds me close to you.

I’ve heard you’ve been visiting with my friend, Bonnie. I hope you are being a good guest as you are leaving a trail of rhinestones all over the place. I am glad you are making friends.

I have visions, thoughts, dreams of what you are doing over the bridge. I know you have met up with all the angels of the friends I have here, Polly, Ty, Happy Hannah, Sassy, Brendol, Jake, Jersey Girl, Snoops (who just got there so show him the ropes) and of course, Jerry. I think you are probably the smallest one out of this group but your personality is as big as they are in size. I am sure they all love you but have schooled you more than once about the jumping and play-nipping! You always did love the bigger dogs! 🙂

When I close my eyes … sometimes I can see you playing with all your friends. I know you can see me and you don’t want me to be sad. I know you send me as much strength as you can. I know you sent me little Jasper Lily. She’s your baby sister. We talk about you every day. Do you hear us?  If you could send her a message about being a little less scared of EVERYTHING, that would be fantastic! You were my fearless girl.

I have your photos on my desk at work still. I love looking into your pretty face from our trip to Santa Barbara. We had so many wonderful adventures.

I have the big sequin I found in my office right after you passed sitting on my desk. I have the pennies you have sent near your little shrine.

I miss you Shelby. I know I will see you again. I think that is what gives me peace and keeps me going. But today, and this week, I am exhausted and I am sad and I feel worn out. I know that is the grief. It’s hard to believe last summer at this time we were chillaxin’ by the beach.

I have figured out a new way to sign my name on the Tripawds forums which really expresses what I believe to be true.  “Alison with the Spirit of Shelby fur-ever in her heart” because I believe you are with me in my heart, my soul, my daily life … there is a piece of you that lives on in me. You were my soul mate. My one true love. And a love like that never, ever, EVER leaves.

Mommy loves you, Shelby Lynne… to the moon and back and for all infinity.

Smiling! Always smiling!
Such a good sport – always!

Missing my best girl … grief can hit you when you least expect it

Oh Miss Shelby… God how I miss you. And just when I thought the daily tears had stopped, I find myself sobbing at my computer. I am working at home today and put on my iTunes library at ‘random’. An Enya song came on. It brought me right back to those first few days after your amputation. You were beyond manic. I couldn’t soothe you – no matter what I did. You just paced and paced. It broke my heart. I was exhausted; up all night with you, knowing it was the drugs that was doing this but hopeful they ease out of your system.  I needed sleep – desperately – to be a better caregiver for you. I was a single mom.

So I shut you out my room and cranked up Enya to calm and soothe you. I knew you wouldn’t hurt yourself and I just prayed you would settle and get some rest. I felt like the world’s worst mom. What kind of mom shuts her baby – who is scared – out of her room? But I knew I couldn’t help you. No matter if I sat on the floor with you or paced with you.

You rested. You found your respite in my bathroom which you made your den.

My baby girl – my one true love – I miss you so very much. It is summer here. It was our time. Beach time. Cocktail time. Travel time. I only wish I had discovered how much fun traveling was together earlier in our life together. However, you most likely would have been the most mega PITA on the face of the earth! 🙂 I long to snuggle your ears one more time. Breathe in your fur. Kiss your face over and over. I hope you know how much I miss you. How much I think about you every day. How much I love you. There will NEVER be another love like ours. I truly believe that.

Thank you for the penny last weekend. And the sequin. I know it was your way of telling me you were and always here with me. I hope that this pain eases up. It’s almost been 4 months … how is that possible? It feels like you have been gone so much longer. I find it harder to recall our wonderful life together and those memories. thank GOD for Facebook so I can see how happy and how much fun we had last summer before we knew for sure about that awful f’ing cancer. I am thankful that God gave us last summer. I am thankful we didn’t know.  Because look how much fun we had!!!

I love you, Shelby, to the moon and back and for all infinity.

SNUGGLES were always the best
You always smiled for me! And we said YAY for sunshine!
The best … always the best…

#TBT Shelby the crafty one!

Oh my sweet angel, how much do I miss you!?!? I cannot believe we just passed the three month mark (7.8.14) of when you earned your wings. It brings me comfort and peace to think that you are terrorizing other pooches over the rainbow bridge. That you are running and jumping with the best of them and having a blast! That your spirit lives on in my heart daily. I feel you sending me strength. I feel you in my heart. You are the love of my life and I think about you and miss you daily. I stare at your photos all the time. Your scent has left the apt since we got new floors and the carpet is gone. But I think I found some of your fur the other day. It made me smile. I saw a car yesterday on my drive home from Tennessee. It was from “Shelby” county (as noted on the plate). Was that the sign I have been looking for from you?

On of your many shrines!

I posted this on Facebook the other day. Everyone misses you so much.  You were so very much loved that sometime I think we forget all the quirky and perhaps ‘challenging’ things you would do.

Remember the many conversations we had about ‘boundaries’? Somewhere along the line, our relationship became blurry and you thought that my food was your food. I could leave a plate of food on the coffee table and you wouldn’t touch it but somehow, you never quite grasped not getting into the trash can. Oh how I do not miss coming home from work and seeing coffee grounds all over my floor as you went into the trash for a taste of deli meat on an old wrapper. And I do not believe for once second you didn’t know that was wrong. You could remember what time dinner was, where the cookies were stashed but you couldn’t remember “don’t eat out of the trash”?!? Oh Shelby Lynne… you gave me a run for my money for sure!

Or when I was rushing out that one time for TRX and I had a piece of string cheese in my mouth and I leaned over to put your leash on you and you grabbed the string cheese out of my mouth. Kind of like the Italian restaurant scene from “Lady and The Tramp”. Boundaries! We shared food, we shared ice-cream, we even shared wine (once or twice and only a splash). Your mouth was never dirty to me yet I never liked you to kiss me on the mouth! And you knew that – somehow. You knew that I didn’t like to be licked on the face but you would do it to others without even thinking about it.

Shelby … we were SO bonded. We were kindred spirits. You “got” me. And I “got” you. Part of the beauty of knowing you SO well was that I knew when you weren’t feeling well. I knew you inside and out and I was able to fight so hard for you. I have no regrets. We fought with every fiber of our being and we won. You may have lost your life but you never stopped living in the process. I am forever grateful for the 10 months we had . They will never be enough but your story was so much more than that. And even though I can’t remember the little day to day things we did that made us – “us” – I remember that you were the best part of my morning, the best part of my evening and the best part of my life. So until we meet again my sweet angel … run free, play hard and don’t forget to keep sending me signs! I love you to the moon and back and for all infinity!

In theory…putting her on the ledge next to table was better than her on the ground tripping everyone. However…time for another discussion about ‘boundaries’. At our favorite lunch spot.
Oh Shelby … how I loved your evening antics while I sipped some wine.
Photobomb by Shelby! She would never have helped herself to that since somehow, on the coffee table, it was off-limits and she knew that.
No caption necessary. (except, no, I did not give the dog the wine)
Or perhaps I did … the morning after! 🙂



#TBT Shelby and the 4th of July

Oh Shelby … what a patient dog you were! I miss you so very much. I’ve been sick this week and I’ve been missing you SO much. You were the best nurse. You snuggled when I needed it. Gave me space when I needed it. Did your business outside when I wanted you to. And always understood that I couldn’t walk as far when I was fighting a cold. I think having a compromised immune system is a recipe for intense emotions. I just miss you so terribly much.

Shelby was always so great about the 4th of July. Maybe it was her early roots on the streets in the hood of New Orleans but the fireworks never phased her. I remember the first year we lived by the beach, we walked down to see the fireworks and people were stunned that I was there with my dog. I held you in my arms and we watched the show. I truly believed you liked seeing the pretty colors in the sky (never mind that dogs don’t see colors). Maybe you just really loved being with me and in my arms.  You weren’t spooked or anything.

Holidays always meant a time to ‘dress up’. What patience you always had for us and the costumes I would put you in. It never got old. And you wore those costumes so well. You were so proud to showcase your ‘assets’ for all the world to see. Everyone loved to see what outfit you would turn up in!

I miss you baby girl. So very much. I hope you know how much I think about you – every single moment of every single day. There will never be another you. There will never be another “love of my life”. I long to hold you in my arms one more time and watch those sparklies in the sky! So tomorrow… I hope you can still see the fireworks over the bridge and I hope you and your buddies are having a blast! I love you, Shelby Lynne… to the moon and back and for all infinity.

First 4th of July!
4th of July in Seattle
4th of July in your pretty dress
Too cool for the 4th of July

12 weeks an angel

Three months ago you earned your wings. And not a day goes by that I don’t miss you, think about you, long to feel your fur between my fingers one more time, to give you kisses, snuggles, hugs. You knew me. You “got” me. You were my best friend, my best girl, my soul mate.

It feels longer than three months since you left this earth. Longer since I laid you to rest in my arms by the beach and kissed you and told you that I would never leave you and that I loved you for all eternity.

Last weekend I participated in my annual YAS Spin-a-thon for cancer. This year the ride was dedicated to you. I rode with your bandanna on my arm and your name etched on my arm. I rode with you by my side and in my heart. People asked me “who is Shelby”, thinking it was a person. When I told them Shelby was my dog who had passed from cancer and thanks to advances in cancer therapies for humans, we were able to treat you as well.

Our apt flooded this week. The carpets were ruined. I guess it was a good thing that I had been dragging my feet in getting the carpets cleaned from your last few months there where you had been sick and had a few accidents. You know I was never mad because I knew how devastated you were when you messed on the carpet. We have laminate hardwood floors now. Like we did in Seattle (yet those were real hardwood). I remember you would slide across them like it was a game! The poor man that lived below us. Clickity click with your little nails!

It’s been a stressful couple of weeks. I have felt your strength, Shelby. I truly feel your spirit guiding me daily. I still feel tremendous sadness and grief. I worry that I talk to you less. I worry that your memory is becoming more distant. I worry that my focus is being re-directed. I worry that you think that I will forget about you – which how is that possible, my apt is still a shrine to you. I found your Christmas photo box this week when I was cleaning. I can’t bear to look at those photos yet.

It’s odd – I miss the gut-wrenching, heart-throbbing pain that I felt those first few weeks. I miss the hysterical tears. I fear that if I don’t grieve as intently, then it wasn’t real and our love wasn’t as strong as I believed it to be. People tell me that they miss you. That is good to hear. They can’t even imagine how much I miss you.

I love you, Shelby Lynne … always and forever. You will always be the most beautiful dog in the world with the best smile (I never realized how much you smiled until you were gone) and the best disposition. Thank you for keeping me safe. Thank you for watching out for me. Send me some pennies. Let me know you are still with me.  Because last weekend, you were most definitely with me. Till we meet again, my love …

Riding with me!










YOUR name!
YOUR name!
















Pre-ride! Your name etched on my arm!
















Somewhere between hour 2 and hour three. It was a three hour ride.











Post-ride! Representing the Tripawds!
Post-ride! Representing the Tripawds!