*This was written several months ago.
I have never been so glad to see a year leave as 2015. Christmas was shadowed with pain as we watched our 16-year old Cocker Spaniel slowly pass away. Shadow left us a couple of days after the holiday, and the gut-wrenching pain that I felt was unbearable.
Crying took up most of my days. I am not sure if being off work was a good thing or a bad thing. I tried diving into things I enjoyed like my favorite episode of Angel. Nothing really worked.
I reminised about all the times that we spent together. We got Shadow as a pup. He along with his siblings were all ready for a good home. Shadow seemed to have a better digestive track than his fellow siblings, so we choose him. The truth is I think he choose us.
Baby Shadow and I
I became attached immediately. While my parents figured out the details, I carried him around the back yard singing to him. He was sweet and perfect. He was warm. He made me feel happy. Content.
From then on, Shadow was my buddy. I remember waking up on cold mornings to let him outside, him nipping at my feet with his little puppy teeth. I remember it hurting, but his sweet face got him a pass. I remember his little puppy breath and his accidents that I cleaned up while he was learning to house train.
After I got my license, Shadow and I hit the open road in our small community. Music and driving with my faithful companion. That feeling is something you can never get back. The innocence. The lack of responsibilty. The freedom.
Shadow with Cory and I – my senior prom
Going off to college was tough. I missed my family and my pup. Going home was always exciting. We reconnected. We played. We rode.
Shadow was more than a dog. He was my friend — one of my best. He knew my secrets. He knew my heart. He was my confidant. He was my love.
His passing made me feel like all of that was gone. I felt empty. I still do. That part of my heart is gone, and I can never get it back. To everyone else, I lost a dog, but to me, I lost me. He was me. He was all of me. He was the best part of me. I miss him. I miss me.
Miss you, sweet boy