21 Months an angel

But heck… who’s counting?!? I cannot believe it. Two years ago today I had dropped my sweet angel off to remove that tired old leg and we began our journey as a tripawd. And became introduced to this amazing community. I can still remember, being new, being petrified, already battling cancer (we kind of did things backward in removing the spleen first, starting chemo and then finally taking the tired leg). This community – I cannot state this enough – is amazing. You all embraced us. Talked me through the highs and lows of the surgery day (we had lots of complications and almost didn’t amputate). And calmed me while Shelby was under the knife.

You celebrated with me, read through my rambling stream of consciousness posts and helped me remember that I was doing this FOR Shelby and that I was a GREAT dog mom and I had more strength in me than I thought.

And thus… here we are today. Celebrating ‘Shelby / infinity’ day. As someone shared with me… an eight on its side is infinity and that is the love that Shelby and I have forever. The pain has definitely gotten less. It is still very real and I still talk to Shelby every single day. I still wait for signs that she is with me.

We got two signs over the last couple of weeks. One, at my mom’s house, my mom brought me a heart charm she had found on the floor and asked if it had fallen off one of my earrings. It was not mine and my first thought – it’s from Shelby. Now admittedly, my mom supports and loves me to the moon and back but I also think she thinks I am a little nutty when it comes to these signs. But just the night before, there was absolutely NO explanation for my mom being awakened by rattling chains … see that as you may but I believe Shelby was visiting in the wee hours of the night and only my mom heard her.

Then as soon as we arrived home from our trip, I noticed the new little dog licking something on the floor. Never knowing what is in her mouth when I can’t see it, I reached for her and it was the little coin with three paws that the Tripawds had sent to us after our first Tripawd Foundation donation. There is NO way Jasper could have reached that as it’s on Shelby’s shelf so I can only assume, in true Shelby form, she tossed it on the floor for me to see. As she did with the Christmas ornaments earlier in the holiday season by having 3 jingle and rattle and fall to the floor.

It doesn’t scare me to have the ghost of Shelby in my space. In fact, I love having her there.

I am only sorry that Shelby’s earthly story ended four months after her amputation.  But her story didn’t end there. I truly believe it continues on today; in me, in Jasper, in the life we live. We honor Shelby everyday. We talk to her. We visit her favorite places.

And the bonds … the friendships, the lifelines I have made through this wonderful community. Some days it is so hard to log-in, not knowing what has happened overnight but then I see that we have lots to celebrate. There is so much joy that can and does come from so much sadness.

Shelby did a really great job – protecting her mommy – looking out for me over the bridge, knowing when to visit, sending me Jasper to love. I never thought I would love again after Shelby. I really didn’t. I knew I would have a dog again since that’s who I am but the love and the bond that Jasper and I have formed … thank you my sweet angel girl. You sent me a pretty and photogenic girl, who loves to travel, who is 50 shades of crazy, who has unpacked her baggage in my heart and my home – all the while honoring you.

I love you Shelby … to the moon and back and for all infinity!

Basking in the sunlight after a hike in the hollywood hills (2013)
Mommy went on vacation and all I got was this lousy boa?!? (2013)
First night home after her amputation. Jan 2014
Did someone say dinner?!? A couple hours post-amp and look who was hungry?! So proud of my best girl. January 2014
Honoring Shelby in one of our favorite parks in Seattle. December 2015.