Nate, Trey, Joshua, and I spent some time today after she passed looking up photos of her and telling stories of how much she has impacted our lives. We recalled how Nate and I picked her out from a Killeen animal shelter in 1994. She was a full-breed Cairn Terrier that was purchased through a breeder then brought to the kennel after she didn't 'get along' with the owner's current dogs. She was a bossy little thing with more energy than sense at times and we loved her immediately. We wondered why her name was "Shadow" with her light brindle coloring, but soon discovered that she was constantly underfoot, a 'shadow' to your every step.
As it often goes, she was our first experiment with parenting and she was our first 'child.' Shadow traveled with us from Texas to Oklahoma, to South Korea, to Georgia, to Kansas, and back to Texas again. She's been a part of our lives every step of the way and we will miss her eager little personality greeting us each day.
A million memories flood my mind today as I remember with love the adventure this little girl has brought to us through the years ... chewing through every chew toy then moving on to carpet, belts, telephone cords, mattresses, and anything else she could get her little teeth on; taking charge of all of her 'cousin' dogs, no matter their size; hunting and killing rats in our Korean backyard; being adored by Korean children every time we took her out with us; leaping for joy when we brought home our first baby ... and again when we brought home his brother; curling up at the end of our bed to sleep each night and nosing her way under the covers when it got cold; swinging her paws in a swimming motion every time we put her in a bath; digging under countless fences to meet the world on the other side; going duck hunting with Nate and insisting on carrying the duck (which was about her size) herself; meeting our boxer puppy Leo and teaching him who was boss in her house; greeting us at the door every time we have come home in the past 17 years ... the list could go on and on.
I will miss her feisty personality and hearing her steps on the tile in our house. I'll miss the scratch at the door when she wanted to go outside and the insistent little yelp when she was ready to come in. I'll miss telling her "no, eat your own food" when she would sneak a bite of Leo's large-breed puppy food and seeing her sweet face before bed each night. She is such a part of our daily lives and I will grieve for having lost her.
Rest in Peace, Shadow. You're a good girl.