Taking Our Best Memories Along Part II
With the potential sale of our house pending, the subject has come up of the bittersweetness of leaving behind a home where we have so many happy memories with so many pets. In the summer of 2014 I completed a project here that was very close to my heart – a memorial garden for all of those pets. I am sad to leave that behind, but I will be taking many parts of it with us, and creating a new garden at our new home.
This trellis holds a tag for each pet that lived with us at our current home but have since passed on.
Last week we shared about our three cats who first lived with us in our new home. You can read that post by clicking here.
My hubby grew up with dogs, but I had never had one. I grew up with cats and the honest truth is that for a long time I never wanted a dog. I wrote about how all that changed in one of my first blog posts in 2012 “A Spiritual Awakening of Sorts“; how I came to fall in love with dogs is a favorite story of mine and I even reblogged that post in 2014.
I had promised my hubby that when we finally bought our own home we could get a dog. He held me to that and just a few months after moving in we adopted Shelby, a terrier mix, from our local humane society. Shelby loved the outdoors just like we did and when we weren’t just hanging out around our new house, we were hiking and camping.
I enjoyed finding old photos of Shelby and seeing our yard how it used to look. Since then many trees and brush have been cleared, and we added the fenced in yard for the dogs.
I have a favorite story about Shelby and her love of the outdoors. We used to let her run free; back in those days many people did that and my hubby had grown up just letting his dogs hang out loose outside. We found out as new homeowners and new dog owners why that might not be a good idea. We kept an eye on her in the yard, we didn’t leave her outside for hours unattended, but we found out we weren’t watching her as closely as we thought we were.
We got a phone call from the neighbors saying “can we come over and talk to you?”. They didn’t say why but we had a feeling it wasn’t good! As it turns out, Shelby was slipping out of yard at times, and crossing the street to chase the neighbors horse! We felt awful of course, both for the neighbors’ horse and because Shelby had been crossing the road and could have gotten hit or hurt by the horse. We promised to watch her more closely, and of course we did.
We actually put a tie out with a run for her, but she never did like that. If we tied her out, she would just lie in the driveway, she wouldn’t explore or do her business…she would just lie there. I don’t remember what we did after that, I guess we only tied her out when we needed to and the rest of the time were outside with her watching her. We didn’t fence in the yard until many years later when we got our beagle Kobi.
Shelby was a wonderful dog and a perfect first dog. She got along great with our cats. Sadly, she died from lymphoma at only 6 years old. You can read about that in my post “Give Cancer the Paw – Shelby’s Story” and I also wrote more of Shelby’s story in a series I wrote many years ago: “My Life of Pets in Photos: My First Dog“.
The year Shelby died was a rough one; my Dad had major surgery, then came Shelby’s cancer diagnosis, and our cat Miss Bones, who I wrote about last week, was killed by the neighbor’s dog. Shelby died in the summer, and my mother died in the fall. But the high points in that awful year were the new pets that joined our home, and I’ll share about them in my next post in this series.