Your Pet Loss Stories

'My Shadow'

by Kathy

I first found my dog in the local Shopper which features dogs that are adoptable at the Humane Society.

My son entered 12th grade that fall and I was looking for a dog to kind of redirect my attentions since my son was getting older and would be going to college. It was just me and my son all those years and we did have 2 cats (Girly and Baby) who had lived with us for many years.

As soon as I saw the picture in the Shopper of this heinz 57 variety mutt and his soulful eyes, I fell in love with him and went out to the Shelter on my lunch hour to see him and hopefully adopt.

I still remember that day, 14 years ago, as clear as a bell when they brought him to me and he acted just so goofy and kind of nervous. Well, I just loved him and paid the fee to pick him up after work to take him home. He looked so sad when I left but so hopeful. He had the most expressful eyes.

The Shelter said he was 2 years old when I got him in 1994 and for 14 years he lived with me. We walked almost every day which is what he loved to do the best. He was a playful puppy until he was about 10 years old before he finally slowed down a bit.

He slept next to me in bed even after I had to lift him up, but when his legs hurt too much to get off the bed, he slept on a pillow right next to the bed. For the past year, his legs were starting to go.

I retired several years ago, so we were able to walk every morning and every evening until just last week when I knew he was starting to go. He was 16 years old, loved to eat and loved me so much. This past Wednesday, he wouldn't eat or even drink. He was sick and slept. He tried to stand and sat back down. I knew he was going.

On Thursday, he managed to get up and wanted to go out. He needed to do his business and I carried him back in the house. Then he wanted to go out again and this time he threw-up. I called the vet and on Thursday, June 30, 2008 at 11:30 am I looked into his eyes one last time and told him to go to sleep.

Over the years, I came to call him "Paw". Everywhere I look, I expect to see him. His water dish still has water in it. On Tuesday, I had given him a bath and trimmed some of his fur. Today, I washed my hair and picked up a towel to dry it and wipe my face. Then I felt something on my face. It was his fur trimmings left on the towel. I hugged it, folded it and put it away.

We buried Paw in my son's backyard next to his dog, Bud, who died in 2007. I cannot stop crying, feeling guilty and wanting him back. I wish we could have died together.

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