Shelby was the most beautiful puppy I had ever seen. The instant I saw her I knew she was going home with me. Shelby agreed. She had been playing with her littermates. When I walked into the room, she stopped and came to stand next to me. It was the spot she would occupy for the rest of her life.
True to her breed she and I were inseparable. She loved to play in the snow. Her first winter and the first snowfall play like a favorite movie in my mind. It was time for her trip “outside” and the snow had accumulated to several inches. Excited, ready to go, she bounded across the threshold when I opened the door. She had careened several feet into the yard before she skidded to a stop, turned and looked at me. “What the hell is this?” she asked.
I laughed as she picked up one paw and tried to shake off the wet stuff. Then repeated the process with the other paws.
“We’ll be here all night if you keep that up,” I told her as I scooped up a handful of snow and tossed it at her. She snapped her teeth at the flakes as the mini snowball disintegrated in the wind.
I walked out into the yard and called to her. Shelby hesitated, but when I called her again, she leapt over the snow to land in the hollows left by my footsteps. Soon my pint-sized puppy was running in circles, bounding through the great drifts, snapping at floating flakes as we destroyed the pristine white blanket mother nature created for our amusement. For the rest of her life, Shelby looked forward to winter and snow. She never tired of leaping over and through piles of it.
Shelby kept a watchful eye on everything. When I left the house, she slept next to the door until I returned. At night, she slept right where my feet would land if I should get out of bed. During the day, she followed more closely than my shadow. When we went for a walk, Shelby never needed a leash, she always stayed by my side.
She was my protector, my rock, stalwart, steadfast and true. One constant in an ever-changing life. One day, Shelby looked at me with big brown eyes. Her eyes told me today was the day we said goodbye. I cried. There will never be another companion like Shelby. Others need not apply.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer