Friday, May 18, 2012


Shadow, at Christmas, exhausted from chasing my cousin's little ball of fluff around all day. 
Last Christmas, right before we had to put Gunnar to sleep, my mom stopped at the humane society... and found a labradoodle with phantom coloring and the sweetest personality imaginable. Already missing her German Shepherd, she decided we needed another dog. 

more exhausted pictures...
I had just finished finals, and, also knowing our German Shepherd was going to have to be put down very soon, did not have the energy to make my customary, "No, we do NOT need another dog/cat/bird/fish/horse/turtle/lizard/cow," speech.
(How did that get to be my job? I'm not particularly good at it when it comes to horses... thankfully that one usually doesn't come up. Kittens, unfortunately, I'm the one begging for them... but usually I can argue against the dog idea. Which never gets me anything but the right to say 'I told you not to get it!' whenever the dog does something wrong during the rest of its life. *ahem* At least I try.)

This is her, eating a deer antler. At the table, no less. I took it away from her.
So we got her. I was going to do a post on her then.. but it took us a while to name her (and then school started up again) - everyone was arguing back and forth between Sheila and Sheba (as in Queen of). By then we were starting to get to know her... and I said we should call her some variation on Electrolux, because she eats EVERYTHING. (Seriously... she ate a plastic fork the other day before we realized what she was doing.)
We had noticed something else about her by then as well, though, and finally I just started calling her Shadow. 

Shadow, underfoot.
Because that's what she is. She's always lying at someone's side... if you get up and walk into another room, she will get up and walk with you - even if you do it ten times. Up and down the stairs, around the house, outside, it doesn't matter if you're merely stepping into the other room or going for a walk, she is right there. It makes it kind of hard to do things - cooking and cleaning are a whole lot more difficult when you trip over a dog every time you turn around - but she's so sweet about it you can't even really be annoyed when you turn around, catch yourself from stepping on her head, loose your balance, spill whatever you were carrying all over the place, and fall over. (Don't worry, she'll clean up whatever you spilled! Even if it's papers... or shoes...)

She's adorable... and the name Shadow stuck. :D

As I said though, the other part of her personality is that she also eats constantly. So long as we're petting her, she's good, but otherwise she likes to eat while she's lying there, and if we're sleeping or otherwise engaged, she'll eat whatever she can find. 
okay, I took away the antler after I took a picture
fine, a couple pictures... 

The other night I was in bed, very close to sleep, and therefore kind of crabby when I became aware of loud chewing noise outside my bedroom door. I don't know what she eating, but she wasn't supposed to be eating it. Not wanting to wake up the next morning to either some expensive object completely ruined or a dead dog, I woke myself up enough to snap, "SHADOW!!!!!!"

Instantly the chewing stopped, and she jumped up, and then came running to the side of my bed, where she proceeded to lie down. I, of course, felt bad for yelling at her (even though technically it was probably good that I did...), and it suddenly hit me what a perfect example she was.

When I'm doing something I shouldn't, and my conscious starts pricking me, my instinctive response is to run the opposite way. To either ignore it or to hide until I don't feel so ashamed. The last thing I want to do is run straight to God and have Him rip away the curtains so I see how much I've messed up. It's horrible, because running to Him is exactly what I need to do. Nothing else will get it fixed, and nothing else will keep me from messing up more and worse. Instant repentance, instant renewal of communication with Him.
It's something I'm working on, and Shadow's cheerful obedience was a perfect reminder of what my response should be when I'm corrected.

That got me thinking about some other things I've noticed about her.

Joy. She got anaplasmosis as soon as tick season came around, even though we had stuff on her to keep ticks off of her. :P By the time the vets were willing to give her antibiotics, she had a heart murmur, which thankfully is decreasing. Still, she refuses to slow down. We have to kennel her or tie her, otherwise she just keeps going. Because of her habit of lying EXACTLY underfoot, she gets stepped on a lot - but she doesn't even flinch. Compared to our quick response of "Why did this have to happen to me today???" whenever something goes the slightest bit wrong, her quiet response is another great reminder, as is her absolute zest for living, even when she's feeling horrible.

Love. Her constant desire to be with someone is a striking example of what I think it means to abide. Just as she has chosen to become our shadow, we need to shadow Christ. Where He goes, we need to be right at His side, even if the path doesn't make sense. (We're going up the stairs now?? Didn't we just come down them? Nope. Shadow races you enthusiastically up and down and up again - at some point somebody's going to break their neck, but for now it's just another reminder to be constantly abiding, always at Jesus' side.) She's probably the first dog I've seen who ranked being petted as high as food (and given how much she obviously loves eating, that's pretty amazing).

And finally, being a light. Our little dachapoo, Little Bit, is kind of anti-social. She's 6 years old, and when she was a puppy, she picked one of my brothers as the one person she liked - because he'd always give her treats and refuse to tell her 'no' for anything. Her idea of a fun afternoon is finding a chair, with no one around, since otherwise she'll get in trouble, and go to sleep.Since getting Shadow, though, I've noticed a difference. She doesn't like Shadow (at all; it's sad), but somehow, watching Shadow beg us for attention, and follow us around all the time... Little Bit has started coming to us to get petted, way more than usual.Shadow can't talk, obviously, but the way she's been living, she's affected even her "enemy."

I'm kinda glad I didn't argue against getting her... and I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can learn from her! :D

so then we actually ended up playing keep-away for a while... she was having so much fun running around me in circles, I couldn't grab the antler for laughing at her... 

2 thoughts shared:

Jessica said...

Aw!!!! This is precious!!! SOOO SWEET!!!!! I love the comparisons that you drew between our relationship with God and the dog's with you...though I am afraid I am a bit of a Little least she's cute right??? :P I need to work on being God's Shadow.

Thank you for sharing!!!!

Katherine Sophia said...

:) I wanted to just do a post about her 'cause she's nice, but then it kind of morphed... lol

:P It's much easier being like Little Bit... But God's Shadow is what I want to be. Of course I like Little Bit... but Shadow makes it very easy to completely fall in love with her.


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