Recent rains forced the need to mow our backyard hillside this past week. It was the first time this spring, and actually my first time being on the hill since before my knee replacement last December.
It had been quite a spell since I visited the burial site of my buddy, Shadow. He had come to live with us one Christmas Eve when our two daughters were young. He was just a couple weeks old himself.
He was a registered Yorkshire Terrier, more commonly known as a Yorkie. With his purchase we received the proper papers to be filed. We should have kept them at home because that little rascal never became housetrained. They would have been good for a clean-up.
Being registered, our new puppy needed a proper name. Wife, Cherl, came up with the perfect moniker; Hondo's Mighty Shadow. That name was bigger than he was at the time.
Now Shadow was going to be a Santa Claus present for the girls on Christmas morning. In order to pull this off we had to wait until the girls went to bed and then sneak him into the house. We had purchased a nice wicker basket bed and a warm blanket for him. The plan called for us to open all the presents under the tree the next morning, saving a wrapped up doggy dish and leash for last.
The girls had questionable looks on their faces concerning the last presents as I put Shadow down and he proudly walked right up to them.
Everything worked perfect that morning. It was the night before that caused the problem. Our new puppy didn't like being in the basket alone with the lights out.
He apparently missed his mama. He started whimpering, softly at first but louder as he continued.
After several unsuccessful attempts to soothe him, I discovered he liked my hand in the basket rubbing his head or back.
Believe me this was not a simple task because we had a king-size waterbed encased in 2x10 inch frame boards.
We made it all right except for a sore arm the next three or four days. Shadow proved to be a good addition to the family and provided us much humor for the rest of his life. That is ruling out the floor wetting, of course.
He was a smart little tyke. His first trick was learning to sit. He would get a treat when he did it when told. The next two tricks were to shake hands with his paw and roll over. Shadow realized he was on stage any time I picked up the box of his doggie snacks. He would run into the front room on the rug, then quickly sit, shake his paw, and roll over, all in rapid order without instruction.
Shadow would only do his tricks on carpet. He flatly refused to do them on any hardwood floor.
On another Christmas we were having the family dinner at our house so the day before Cherl arranged for a trip to the doggie salon.
Shadow came back really looking great. He even had a blue ribbon on his head.
He didn't stay that way. While we were loading the car to go to my parents Christmas Eve, Shadow escaped out the back door. He came back muddy and wet, looking like a drown rat. Despite being after closing hours, Cherl was able to get him back to the salon. This time we left the ribbon off.
Finally old age and illness forced Shadow to the vet for the final time. Once again Cherl had to take him. I couldn't do it. We place him and his original blanket in a plastic box and buried him on the hill.
I think Shadow probably liked the location. That was the direction he always headed when he got loose.