Me and My Shadow

It’s funny how a dog becomes a best friend in a way no one else really can. And yes, this is coming from a self confessed cat lady. I know I’ve mentioned Crowley here a little bit, but I wanted to introduce her properly, in all her wonderful-ness.

When I had to say goodbye to my little old Bam Bam my heart broke. She’d been my girl for 14 years. The first dog I owned as a grown up. My very best baby girl.

I knew I would need another dog. I’m not the type to grieve alone and lonely. We had little dog Nikki with us still, but she’s not ‘mine’ the way Bam was. Nikki is a little ball of rescued nervous ticks. She’s sweet and stubborn and as good a version of herself as she’s ever going to be. But in her heart of hearts, Nikki belongs to herself. She’s loves us is her own way. I’m sure she appreciates being warm and loved and taken care of. But she has no ‘mum’ so to speak.

And so the search began. We always prefer to adopt. I sent in applications. I wasn’t too fussy per se. I wanted someone smart, funny, trainable and loving. Someone who needed me as much as I needed them. But my applications came back no, no, no. No one really trusted little old Nik to be a good role model for a working dog pup. I have a big old soft sport for working dogs. Border Collie’s preferably. To me they’ve always been the people pleasers. The dogs most keen to be in mix of family life, but still have a primary ‘boss’. I wanted a heart dog again.

Because somewhere between me getting sick with Fibro and Bam Bam starting to decline from heart failure I realized I would need someone to be with me the way she always was. Someone who would still want to be right next to me on days when I couldn’t manage to fight through the pain and get up. Someone who wanted to be with me on the down days, as well as the better, more active walk-in-the-bush days.

Enter Crowley. Found for me by a dear family friend. She was a special pup, and her rescuer wanted the very best fit for her. I held my breath, said yes and hoped like hell they liked me enough to trust me with her. They did! We drove over, anxiously hopeful, to meet her. She was immediately delightful. Running around a farm, trying to get the cat to play with her, cheeky in a sweet, dorky, big footed way that made my heart say YES so loudly I’m pretty sure she heard it.

She kissed my kids and sat cuddled in my lap all the way home. She likes her daddy, adores ‘her’ kids… but she loves mumma most. I don’t want to go overboard, but she’s so much more than I hoped. She’s mine and I am hers and she made the loss of Bam Bam easier to bear. She lies on my legs through every panic attack. She greets every human with love and kisses. She looks at the cats the same way a dorky younger sister does her aloof older siblings and just wishes they would pay attention to her. She greets Dad after work like a hero returning from abroad. She’s so gentle and caring towards Nikki. She worries over her and helps keep her warm by snuggling up in the same bed. Especially now as Nik recovers from surgery and a cancer scare.

Crowley is a perfect match. Somehow the right dog found her way to me and I am grateful every day. I will live up to all her expectations. I will train her well and return her love ten fold. She’s my shadow, my soul dog, my gift. If she’s watching I like to think Bam Bam would be happy for me. She knows I will always love her, and in true baby girl style, she’s probably very happy I’m not lonesome anymore.

Thank god for ‘man’s’ best friend eh?!

X Bon

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