One year buried, but never without.

November 3rd, 2009 5:25 pm by Kelly Garbato

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It was a year ago today that Shadow, my adopted canine sister and sweet pit bull friend, passed away. I cried for her – for me – often in those first weeks, and even now, it’s hard to type (delete, retype, rinse, repeat) through the tears. The pain has eased considerably with the passage of time, but will never completely disappear. Rather, Shadow has taken her place besides Bucky and Cap, Shannon and Shana, Pokey, Woody, Henry, Hooks I-III, Moe, Larry and Curly, and all the other nonhuman animals I befriended – and whose losses I grieved – during my youth. You may be one year buried, dear Shadow, but I will always carry you in my heart.

One day you’ll be joined by your friend Ralphie, as well as all your other canine cousins: those who you’ve met, and those you’ve yet to meet. When that day comes – and whenever it comes, it will be much, much too soon – please greet him with lots of sloppy kisses. Because as difficult as your passing has been, I’m afraid it’s only been a practice run; the real pain is yet to come. When Ralphie leaves me, he’s going rip my heart in two. Whatever pieces he leaves behind, will be Peedee’s, O-Ren’s, Kaylee’s and (yes, even) Jayne’s to consume. And yet, my heart will forever be a dog’s – some dog’s – to tear.

I miss you something awful, girl. Stay sweet.


Last year, I submitted a photo of Shadow to Bark, hoping to land her (posthumously) in the magazine’s Smiling Dogs spread. Turns out they were working on a Smiling Dogs book – now called DogJoy – at the time. Long story short, my sweet baby girl makes a brief appearance on page 87, under “Grinners.” (You can preview the page on Amazon with an active account.)

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I ordered a copy each for my mother and sister, hoping they’d have received them by today – but unfortunately they haven’t shipped yet. Ah, well, soon. Close enough.

Naturally, I sprung for custom covers. Neither Shadow nor Ralphie are smiling in this picture, but it’s one of my favorites nonetheless.

DogJoy Cover 2

It’s hard to think of Shadow without thinking of Ralphie, too.

I hope you get a kick out of this, Shadow. I sure did.




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2 Responses to “One year buried, but never without.”

  1. Sarah Says:

    What beautiful pictures of Shadow and Ralphie. Shadow looked like such a gentle and kind dog. I for sure know how you feel and almost a year and half after the death of my baby girl I have a hard time talking about her without getting emotional. Man’s best friend is always going to be dogs.

  2. Kelly G. Says:

    Thanks, Sarah. Dogs rock, don’t they? :)

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