#TBT Happy Halloween Shelby-style!

Shelby always LOVED Halloween (well perhaps maybe I loved Halloween for dressing her up). Worlds. Most. Patient. Dog.

I can’t recall when I started dressing Shelby up, but she was a natural with the camera. Always had the same intense look;  bordering murderous contentious, but she would get really excited when I would pull out the tiara or the boas so I refuse to believe she hated wearing the costumes. Maybe she just hated the camera. Maybe she had a typical female problem – does this outfit make me look fat? Is this a bad angle? Either way, Shelby had an entire bin of costumes since I would buy new stuff for her each time. I never bought the ‘pet’ Halloween costumes at Petco or Petsmart. I preferred to try and make something up special. Thus, I bring you – Butterfly Ballerina Princess.












This costume (complete with wig) was modeled at a local pet Halloween party in Seattle. I still cannot believe she didn’t win a prize for this.

One year she went (sadly no photos) as a marathon dog – complete with a little marathon tech shirt, medal and her blue booties (aka running shoes). She did win first prize at a local Yappy hour for that.

Other years, I would pull out my old costumes and put them on Shelby for fun.

So through the years … I present, my princess, the love of my life, the world’s most patient dog … Shelby Lynne!

Ballerina Princess, Seattle 2006




Flapper, Los Angeles, 2010


Halloween 2011, Los Angeles
Halloween 2011, Los Angeles

I miss those days … so much. So much more than I ever thought was possible. Shelby was always up for a quick hat or accessory. She was such a good sport. And it was fun. I was always looking for stuff at the dollar bin/store for her. I wanted to make each photo shoot more memorable. And people loved to see her photos. As much as people “threatened ” to turn me in to the SPCA for animal abuse, I know people looked forward to Shelby’s annual costume adventures.

NYE - because who doesn't dress their dog up in a tiara on New Year's Eve at midnight?!?
NYE – because who doesn’t dress their dog up in a tiara on New Year’s Eve at midnight?!?

So Shelby’s box of costumes remains under my bed… I haven’t been strong enough enough to look through it or even touch it. I fear that if I open that box of sweaters, tutus, feather boas, glitter…the tears will start and they will never stop again. I have gotten to a place where I am sort of strong – 90% of the time. The holidays are fast approaching and I cannot avoid or even hide from them this year. I can’t run away. I can try and create “new” memories but they only seem to remind me that the good times are no more. I miss that bond – that connection – that utter sense of eternal love and devotion that we had for each other. My soul mate. So I think that Saturday is the “day of the dead” and a time to honor our loved ones that have passed… so on Saturday, I will light a candle for my dear Shelby, toast to her memory with a glass of wine and pull out the tiaras for old time sake.

I love you, Shelby Lynne… always and forever … the the moon and back and for all eternity!

Last Ocotber, 2013 – all those years and this was the first mother/daughter tiara selfie!

Happy (what would have been your 14th) Birthday

Oh sweet Shelby Lynne… you would have been 14 today! I always told people that I knew in my heart you would live to at least 15 … sadly, you lost your earthly battle at age 13 1/2.

We always celebrated your ‘made up’ birthday. I picked today special for you since I figured you were about 6 months when I adopted you in March so backtracking, you would have been born in October. I made you a Libra since my best friend is a Libra and they are extremely kind and generous and friendly to all (that would be you). I figured I would always remember the 15th. What I didn’t expect was the stab in my heart when my calendar sent me a reminder this week about your birthday. Of course I knew it was coming up but to see that come up on my phone – punch in the gut. I have removed the reminder but I will never forget your birthday.

Each year for your birthday, you got presents, cards (from Grandmama of course), treats and a special dinner. Usually something that involved wet food since you didn’t get that often. I treated you even more like a princess and gave you many cuddles, snuggles and kisses all day.

Last year was your last birthday that we would celebrate together. You were already sick with cancer and were being treated. I was just so glad to celebrate and have you by my side. I made this montage of all your favorite photos.

Shelby through the years – her birthday montage – October 2013















I didn’t want think that it would be your last birthday but I guess, as a mother always does, I knew on some level that our time was dwindling. We vowed to celebrate YOU every single day for the next several months. To make your life count and to make your life matter. To make a difference.

So today, Shelby Lynne, love of my life, my best girl, I will celebrate you. I will have cake for dinner! I will light a candle for you. And I will look back on your videos of your happier times … you were the ultimate fighter, my girl, and even though we didn’t make it to 15, our love story continues to grow – despite our physical beings not being together … we are together in spirit, in mind, in heart and in soul. My love to you, my baby. I hope your friends over the bridge are celebrating with you, tiaras, streamers, cake and ice-cream! Much love my girl!

Candles on her birthday!










Baby 4
November 2001 – with your bestie Spiderman!











Baby 3
Baby Shelby with her toys! (from the archives)

















Baby 2
OMG … that face!!! Fur-ever in my heart … I love you Shelby Lynne!

















Baby 1
Shelby with her bone. Notice the curtains in the back. They did not come like that. Shelby added her enhancements by chewing off the bottoms.

Six Months an Angel

My dearest Shelby … how is it possible that six months ago you earned your wings? Why does it feel like so much longer since I have snuggled those ears (perfect ears) and kissed that little nose and hugged your booty and held you in my arms?

My girl, my sweet angel, I miss you so terribly much. I know you are playing over the bridge and your legs are perfect again! I know you watch over me (maybe if you could not visit at 3 a.m., that would be fantastic as the click, click from your nails on the floors wakes me up).

Thank you for sending me that penny when I got off the plane at SeaTac. I KNEW it was from you. We had such an amazing life in Seattle, didn’t we? Our bond became stronger than ever. You were in the prime of your life. Still, always on your leash since you were still a flight-risk. I ran around Greenlake this past weekend and thought of you. Remember how we used to walk/run around the lake and you would run alongside me and jump up and grab my arm? We called it you sharking me! And how we hiked down to the lake through the bunny forest.

I found your baby album when I was home this weekend. Mom (aka your grandmama) said it didn’t exist but I knew it did. I found your first photos at home, photos from our first road trip, our first parades, your sweaters and way, way, way too many photos of you with the Easter Bunny. And all the cards that grandmama would send to you. I swear, you got more mail than I ever did! I did such a great job of documenting the early years of our life and then I kind of slacked off and then picked up when I got my first smartphone. You then became the most photographed dog.

We talked about you – a lot – this past weekend. Talked about what a good girl you became but boy oh boy were you a naughty girl for many many years! I say, strong-willed and spirited. In your album, there is also you Canine Good Citizen certification, your certificate from your graduation from dog obedience and your Visiting Pet Program card. You loved being a visiting pet. How could you not? You always just wanted to give and receive love. You were good at it. You were happy in my home from almost day one, I think. You picked me that day at the shelter.

Oh Shelby … what a life we had. Never did I think you would bring me so much joy and save me in so many ways … and you continue to save me, as an angel. I feel you within me daily. I dream about you more and more. I miss you more and more. Some days the pain is so raw that I can’t help but cry but most days it is just a dull and constant ache. I think about you first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. I think about you all day. I wear the necklace I had made in your honor and it gives me the chance to talk about you when people ask me about it. I hold it in my fingers many times throughout the day and will myself to feel you within me.

I cannot believe six long months have passed. So much has changed. Yet so much has stayed the same. I doubt that I will ever fully recover from your loss and I admit I don’t want. I want the pain to remain in some aspect as it reminds me how strong our love was because if I didn’t hurt as much, then it didn’t happen.

This is your birthday month. In a couple weeks, you would have been 14. I always thought you would live to at least 15. You left earth at 13 1/2. Too young. Too soon. But you needed to go and I get it. You fought the most amazing fight. So today, I will try and celebrate you and look at your baby album and will those memories to come back to me (I have horrible long-term memory issues) but what I do know is that face – in all those photos – is 100% and your personality shines through each one… they could have been taken yesterday or 13 years ago – because you are happy in all them!

I miss you my girl… always and forever and to the moon and back!

Baby Shelby ... her first day home.
Baby Shelby … her first day home.
Play time! Manic dog on the bed!
Look at how skinny you were? You were always scared of balloons. It made me laugh.
Mystic Krewe of Barkus! My little blue suede shoe!
One of your many sweaters … because of course you needed a sweater in the south.