The Shadow Knew – the canine life savers

September 13, 2016 at 4:13 pm 5 comments

The rescuers
We haven’t had many dogs in this old house, truth be told I am somewhat afraid of dogs, always have been. SHEENA came to us as a pup. Some cretin threw soap into the original fish pond killing all the fish . It was then I decided- time for a dog. Excitedly my two children accompanied me to the Rescue Shelter. Among the animals was a fairly large litter of mixed Shepherd and Labrador breed, they were tumbling and rough housing all over each other, nipping and yelping with joy and play.

Each of my children had their favorite. I noticed in the “getting to know” area a little two-year old being introduced to one of the pups. The little girl was pulling the pup’s ears, tail , screaming with delight and this pup just let her and was so calm .

“That is the pup ” I want

thought I . I so hoped this family didn’t take this pup and they didn’t but we did and for 13 years she was the best dog anyone could’ve wanted .
sheenapond

Sheena’s intelligence amazed me and there was a knowing look in her eyes you could see her very soul in those eyes . She remained patient with her family even when my mum’s little Tetley would visit. Although she had her ways of showing displeasure sheena

MISTY was the designer dog ( Silver Lab), she was ten months old when she joined the family.

Misty  lake
My daughter was trying to find a home for her as her family had to relocate without her. Stopping off here to visit on her way to show her to a prospective family ( I always wondered if this was by design as well) my son fell in love.
chrismisty
Trying poor Sheena’s patience once again Misty entered our lives.

Oh what a dog! She was more like Dino on the Flintstones except when it came to my son, a word or look from him and she became the world’s best trained animal. It was heartbreaking when Sheena succumbed to age and illness and poor Misty wandered the house looking for her friend. Life took a terrible turn and my son also succumbed to Cancer and left us, leaving Misty Morn to a house of grief.
chris dad misty

It was Misty that pulled and demanded my husband leave his chair to look after her, it was Misty who insisted on walks, who didn’t leave him. Misty who spent hours sitting with him in the garden at all hours of the day , a nuzzle for comfort, her soft silky fur comforting to his hand, Misty who slept at his feet.
During this horrendous time of grief TETLEY
tetmist12
came to live here, in a house where laughter is now seldom heard, my mum having to give up her home and independence through no fault of hers –

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/what-are-they-thinking-the-thought-process-stops-here/

Misty was not as patient as Sheena when it came to Tetley but they managed .

It was Misty who stopped the choking of grief in the night. But her heart too was broken and although she was only 5 it bled out. Oh! there is a technical term but she was Chris’ dog and her true master was no longer there to throw the balls, take her swimming or for runs. I think she stayed long enough to see us through, but once again we felt we had failed our son. We had gone to the Emergency Vet with Misty knowing something was not right And the consensus was she had to leave.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/the-rescue-dog-s-life-lines-love/
For two days I watched as grief and undeserved guilt once more took its terrible toll. My daughter said:

“We have to get Dad a dog to get him through and give him something to hold onto “

And so an internet search, a call to “Luv my Shepherd Pups” https://www.facebook.com/got2luvmyshepherdpups/ and the breeder Denise Cieslik. There was one pup available – the runt-. Nikki , Gavin and I went to be introduced.
pickingupshadow

Love at first sight , well except for Tetley –
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This pup of life and love needed a name- there was great debate, none suggested suited everyone. Her name changed periodically through the ensuring days. I watched as this little bundle of energy, who seemed to know right from the outset that she was here to rescue my husband from his profound grief and bring life back into this house; she shadowed his every move and hence SHADOW , the name seemed to fit.

She has her ways and personality , she will bring the shoe of the person she wants to take notice of her to them , meets family with someone’s shoe or another gift when she likes you. She gives the mailman a heart attack if I have forgotten to close the main door before he arrives and barks around the property every morning to let the neighbors know she is on guard, her tail held high like waving a furry flag. No-one better enter the alley without her OK and she talks to every dog in the neighborhood. She definitely does not know her place- she reigns supreme .

shdow-couch

She is my husband’s dog, it is for him she pines when goes out, for him she waits and it was his life she saved.

It has been hot here in Ohio, terrible damning days of unrelenting sun. The property next door needed a lot of work and to that end the summer days were spent getting it in order.
THEN
grass
NOW
scene
One July night, I was exhausted from daily life and routine and went to bed early , my husband downstairs with Shadow. It was 2:30 in the morning when I was rudely awakened by Shadow pawing at me and licking my face , not something she usually does unless there are fireworks or thunder. I told her

go away- downstairs

. I am selfish when I am asleep as there aren’t many such nights since my son passed.

Soon she was back again this time more insistent, I listened for thunder, fireworks nothing-

Go away Shadow go find Ritch

– she did .
However, he next thing I knew was she was literally thumping me with my husband’s shoe insistent once more I get up with her.

Grumbling, thinking he had fallen asleep in the chair and she wanted out I got up and went downstairs. Well he had fallen- but not asleep – he was stretched out- collapsed on the floor . Whilst I took in the sight before me, Shadow immediately went to him lay beside him and wouldn’t move – she stayed there whilst the rescue squad was called , it took two of us to get her outside – she wouldn’t leave him and the paramedics were leery of such an animal. Shadow barked and barked, waking the whole neighborhood as they put him on the gurney for the ambulance she tried jumping over the fence to follow . My mother told me she cried and whined the whole morning, pacing and off her food.

Had Shadow not woken me my husband would’ve died it was that serious! He passed out from severe dehydration and ended up with a condition called Rhabdomyolysis http://www.medicinenet.com/rhabdomyolysis/article.htm

rhab
He was in hospital and rehab for two weeks. The condition causing a heart attack, pneumonia . Had Shadow not been so insistent in bringing me downstairs grief would once again visited this home.

In all their ways these dogs , including Tetley who brought comfort, companionship and love to my mum before he too passed this summer, give us their everything and unconditional love. Shadow though, is truly a rescue dog because she has rescued this family from so much and we owe her so much
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, grief, health, Love, MISTY. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

9/11 – 15- 2016 Study + Plan = money = blah blah = Lorain= ?

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rich  |  September 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    All of your pets have been wonderful ….. Even as a neighbor! Loved them all.

  • 2. thatwoman  |  September 13, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    well Tetley had his moments – snappy little thing but we got him on Sept 11th and he was over 15 years when he passed this summer. He so loved mum

  • 3. Pam Burton  |  September 13, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Oh Loraine. What a story hope that all is well now. Hugs to you all especially your beautiful smart Shadow!!
    Lots of love
    Pam
    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  • 4. Dave  |  September 13, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Beautiful, just beautiful!!

  • 5. Carolyn Sipkovsky  |  September 14, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    What a nice tribute to a very special member of your family.

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