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Happy Birthday, Little Shadow

Happy Birthday, Little Shadow

Happy Birthday, Little Shadow

When Gavin first came home with me, there’s nothing that would wake him from sleep. It took some adjusting. My Finn was always ready to save me from whatever I tripped on or dropped. And, while I knew in my soul that I was ready to love another dog, the habits ingrained in my heart for almost 14 years needed their own type of nurturing to change.

The rescue I had adopted Gavin from estimated him to be two years old but within days, I knew (and my veterinarian confirmed) that he was maybe six months old. So, letting a biting, chewing, hooligan puppy sleep was in my best interest.  

I sometimes watched him while he slumbered. It gave me such peace to know that he trusted me enough to relax and let go completely. I can’t imagine what it was like for him to be tied up outside with his brother or sleeping on concrete in the shelter. But that’s one of the many amazing things about rescuing a dog. You can celebrate their Gotcha Day AND their birthday, even if you kinda-sorta guessed/made it up. 

Now, when I’m packing orders or adding batch numbers to pouches, I can feel Gavin’s gaze on me. Watching. Waiting. Letting me know he’s ready for snuggle time anytime I am. I’m grateful. I’m so happy we found each other and that 8+ years later, he still trusts me and wants to be near me.

I’m not the only person he lurks after. It’s fairly common for him to follow other walkers and runners. If the person pets and loves on him, I have the opportunity to tell them, “please don’t think I’m following you, but he’ll try to stay on your heels.” People usually laugh. But, even pre-COVID, it was a bit trickier when Gavin wanted to lag behind someone who gave me the vibe they didn’t want to engage with him. There’s a lot of stopping, the occasional awkward moment, and my derpy dog completely clueless as to why he can’t be nose-up-the-butt to anyone and everyone. 

We recently got caught in an unexpected torrential downpour. Within seconds of it starting, my shoes were so drenched that it felt like I’d waded through the river. Well, Gavin, hates rain and when he hates something, he freezes. I knew he was miserable, and I knew standing in the rain would continue to make him miserable, but he couldn’t move. 

So, I picked him up and carried all 65-pounds of him for a few steps. I needed a break, so I placed him on the sidewalk again for a second. Fate was on my side because another walker came up from behind us, and Gavin loves people more than he detests being wet, so he followed fast. I kept my distance but was super thankful for the other hapless hiker who helped us make our way out of the park and home, where it immediately stopped raining. 

This week is Gavin’s kinda-sorta birthday, and we’re going to celebrate with some quiet time in the backyard, a Peanut Butter & Blueberry pouch, and lots of snuggling. I hope whatever’s on your agenda today that you find time to let loose with your dog(s), in whatever way makes you happiest. 

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