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Rest in Peace, Buddy

5 Dec

Shadow Dog

1997 – 2012



We lost our dog today.  He was 15 years old, which is 105 years in human years.  He had been declining for a while, so we knew this was coming.  He took a turn for the worse overnight, and we knew that he needed to be put out of his misery today.  Shadow was a loving dog that loved our kids and never growled at them as they clamored on top of him.

I met Shadow when JB and I first started dating, and he immediately treated me as one of his family, or pack.  For several years, he was my perfect running match, as neither of us ran very fast.  Over the years, he walked with me through both my pregnancies and recoveries from C-sections, and would talk with such character when he was hungry (which was a lot).  In his younger days, he would find pieces of trash on our walks, and carry them around like they were treasures.  We always knew when he had trash in his mouth, as he got this very proud, yet sheepish look about him.

My husband had two dogs when we met, and I had one dog.  They were all large and black (one Rottweiler and two lab mixes), and we dubbed them the Black Dog Club.  It was a bit overwhelming owning 250+ pounds of dogs, but it was also a lot of fun.  It is sad to have now laid to rest the last member od the Black Dog Club.  For the first time in over 10 years, I am without a dog, and it feels very lonely.

We’ll miss you, Shadow Dog.


Scared of My Own Shadow

12 Apr

We had a scare with our 10 year old black lab mix, Shadow, this past week. I was home from work on Monday hanging out with my parents when I saw him crouching as he walked across the yard. He then lay down, and when I approached him, something was really WRONG.

He was drooling like crazy, his body was all stiff, and his eyes looked empty. I seriously thought he was dieing, and the first thing that popped into my head was the tainted pet food that has been in the news lately.

I’m so glad my parents were there. I called Mom out while I went in to get truck keys and shoes so that I could rush him to the vet. I pulled our pick up truck up right next to him, and loaded him into the bed. And then, he stood up, and was totally fine. The sparkle was back in his eyes, he was wagging his tail, and was totally oblivious to the panic he had stricken in his master’s heart.

That’s when we determined that he had had a siezure. I then recalled that he had experienced a siezure years ago when he was much younger (before I had ever met JB and Shadow).

So, I’m glad to say that Shadow is fine, though it took quite a while for me to recover from the adrenaline rushing through my body and the fear that we would lose yet another precious dog within a year’s time.

Here’s hoping that Shadow is still in it with us for the long haul. He is such an awesome, loving dog that I really hope he is.

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In Loving Memory

1 Sep


Heidi “Bella” Bellin
Went to doggy heaven on 8-27-06

We had to put our beloved Rottweiler to sleep a little over a week ago. She was diagnosed with cancer back in January, when we had to amputate one of her rear legs.

She had such a strong spirit. She never let having three legs slow her down, and resumed chasing bunnies on our nightly walks as soon as she was able.

Heidi was JB’s dog for nine years, and I came to know her when JB and I started dating three years ago. When I first met Heidi, JB claimed that she “had to have an audience” when she ate, as she would look up and wag her tail in between bites of food. (This habit was broken when I convinced him to ration the food for his two dogs better, which eliminated her need for an audience.)

Heidi’s favorite thing to do was lick people smack on the face, with bonus points for giving a nice wet lick right on the lips. But the funny thing was that she never did this to JB. I always had to be careful with getting my face too close to hers, and we were always amused at how Heidi would sneak in for a kiss on my lips when I was least expecting it.

Heidi truly was JB’s dog. I hear that Rottweilers are one owner dogs, which is true. She was friendly with everyone, but she lived for JB. When JB would walk the dogs by himself, she would frolic and run around without abandon. But when anyone would join JB on his walks, she would walk directly behind the people. I always joked with JB that Heidi wanted to protect him from me.

When I would take Heidi out for walks without JB, many times she would go off exploring, and when I’d tell her to “come”, she would stop and look at me, as if saying, “you’re not JB!” and then she’d continue on with what she was doing. It was a funny quirk of hers.

It was hard watching her go downhill over the past few months, but even in those last few days, she would wag her little stubby Rott tail for us whenever we came out to visit. The night before she died, I sat with her in the grass under the stars, petting her and hugging her. I still tear up just thinking about her. But she was so sick, and the cancer was just eating her alive. It was obvious that putting her to sleep was the right thing to do.

I had never had to actually be there to put down one of my animals, and I knew it would be hard. I can’t get those images out of my head, but it was a relief to see her finally at rest.

I still look out in the backyard and occasionally think I see her laying in the grass. Perhaps she is still watching over us.

We miss you, Heidi, and always will. You were a very good dog. I hope that there are plenty of bunnies to chase up there in doggy heaven, and all of the rawhide bones you could ever want.

A Sad Day for the Black Dog Club

30 Jan

This is our dog, Heidi.

Heidi is almost 9 years old. Last week, we noticed a bump on her back leg, and took her to the vet on Saturday. The prognosis was not good. It’s a tumor, and it’s in her femur, requiring amputation of her leg. The vet will do a biopsy on the tumor to see if it is malignant, which is probably is. If it is malignant, she probably has less than a year to live.

I took her in today for her surgery, which was a sad, sad thing to do. Yesterday, we took her on a nice walk, and I sat in the backyard grass with her giving her extra TLC.

Can’t say much else. It’s really hard preparing to celebrate the new life of our baby when our canine child is going through such tough times.

Happy New Year

2 Jan

This has to go on record as one of the quietest New Year’s ever. On Friday morning, JB came down with a nasty flu bug. On top of that, it was rainy all Friday through Sunday, meaning we just stayed at home. JB slept in front of the fire while I read Danielle Steel’s book Echos.

Luckily, for our weekend indoors, that was an incredible book. It sucked me in, entertaining me for most of the day and late into the night.

Anyway, on New Year’s, JB went to bed at 11pm in the upstairs bedroom (so as to avoid getting me sick, too), and I blew him a kiss. I stayed up ’til midnight all by myself and watched the ball drop on TV before going to bed alone in the master bedroom.

There was a lot of sleeping and relaxing going on this weekend. On Monday, we finally got snow. Luckily, JB was feeling better today, so we ventured out to run a few errands and hit the mall. When we got home, we took the dogs on a walk in the snow. We got about 3-4 inches at our house, which makes for a beautiful blanket on the neighborhood and the desert.

We watched three movies this weekend. The first one was Must Love Dogs, which wasn’t all that great. I had high expectations because it was about online dating AND dogs, but it was a snoozer. The second movie was Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which didn’t really do much for us, either. The third movie was March of the Penguins, which was adorable and funny and a total must see!

So, I’m sorry I don’t have much to report. I do, however, have pictures.

Here is The Belly at 8 months 10 days.


This is Tucker the snow dog.


This is Heidi striking a pose.


Shadow was also on our walk, but he didn’t pose for us like the other two dogs did.

Well, I’m off to enjoy my last few hours of the holiday weekend. The couch and the fireplace are calling.

Living in a Land of Coyotes

9 Nov

I almost lost two members of the Black Dog Club last night. We were out for our walk, and I got to the open field where we always take the dogs off the leash and let them run free.

Well, I got Tucker and Shadow off the leash, and had them sitting waiting for me to unleash Heidi when a coyote crossed our path, about 20 feet ahead of us.

In a flash, Tucker and Shadow were off in hot pursuit.

Ever try looking for two black dogs at night?! It’s like they vanished into thin air.

I frantically went in the direction they ran, whistling and calling for them, and I didn’t see or hear a trace of them for a good five minutes, when Tucker finally came back to me.

Luckily, Shadow eventually made his way back to me, but in the mean time, I was having horrible thoughts about the diseases they could catch if bit by a coyote, or what would happen if that lone coyote led them into a pack of angry coyotes.

And as I later told JB this story, I learned that he thinks I say coyote in a really funny way… I’ve always pronounced it “cy-OTE”, where as he thinks the correct pronunciation is “cy-o-TEA”. I’m wondering if my pronunciation is part of my “New Mexican” accent…

Got Milk?

23 Jul


Last night on our dog walk, Shadow found a milk carton, with spoiled milk in it, and he carried that milk carton for our entire 45 minute walk. I thought that warranted a picture when we got home!