Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2020 >Daily Dispatch #164

June 13, 2020: Me and My Shadow

Yeah, I named the puppy. The name came easily, after I attempted and failed to make Sunshine work. She’s Ryder’s Shadow and her mother Ember’s shadow. Her former owners called her Ember Jr. Good people with good senses of humors.

When Pete and I first got together, we tested the parental waters by getting a puppy, a wolf-hybrid that we named Bootleg, as in live music (Bootleg tapes) is the best. This was an obscure reference, but most fitting. We then also began to notice that other couples were testing the parental waters by first getting a dog.

Shadow on the outside foam dog bed

Many we knew, after getting a dog, decided to become parents. Not us. The opposite thing happened. Bootleg was such a good dog that we knew that no child or children could compare. So ever since, dogs have been a mainstay in our lives. First of course, there was Bootleg, who lived to be 17, then Rainbow, who lived to be 15, then Jenna who lived to be 14, Ryder, who is seven, and now Shadow, who we hope will also live well into her teens. Many dogs, many good memories.

Very odd that we who have put our child rearing years behind us have now gotten yet another dog, this one an eight week old puppy. I am mystified as to what the underlying motive might be. If say, this is hormonal, what hormones are being activated and why?

What’s most interesting is how effortless dealing with this puppy seems to be. She’s a COVID canine; meaning that we’re here, so keeping an eye on her and handing her off to one another is quite easy. And the weather, which is conducive to our all being outside, enables us to more easily keep an eye on Shadow outside.

Pete actually spent the better part of his day in the hoop house garden. He pulled weeds and the dog slept. He didn’t have to worry about her roaming because she was with him, in an enclosed space. This evening he had her with him when he was in the lower garden. She walked across a carrot bed – I thought he was going to reprimand her, but he paid her no mind.

I spent my morning revising If Wishes were Horses and my afternoon and evening riding all four horses and doing agility with the mares. I babysat Shadow when Pete went to talk to a neighbor about his creek-based watering system. It then occurred to me that 24 hours into it, and Shadow prefers Pete’s company to mind.

It was like déjà vu all over again. Bootleg preferred to be in Pete’s company.

Do I mind this? No. For some odd reason, this little dog seems to be bringing out the best in us. Must be the shared purpose thing. Give us a mutual project of this sort, and we generally rise to the occasion. Me, I am seeing a side of Pete that I haven’t seen for a while, which is the kind, caring, and compassionate side. I haven’t seen it because I haven’t been looking. Shadow is doing a fine job of making it quite obvious.

Next: 165. 6/14/20: The Dog Blog: Ryder has her Say

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles