The following conversation with Shadow took place today in several locales. She’s a busy dog and has not yet sat down for an extended chat.
Shadow: How come you named me Shadow?
Alys: Would you have preferred another name?
S: I rather liked Ember Jr.
A: Ember, that’s your mother’s name.
S: And I am her offspring.
A: That’s right.
S: So how come I wasn’t named after her?
A: Because we wanted you to follow in your own footsteps.
S: I’d do that anyways.
A: The name Shadow came to me as I was cleaning the horse pen. I was running named through my head, I first thought moon, then decided that was too common. I then thought Luna, but I decided that name might mark you as being crazy. Then the name Shadow came to mind. I ran up to the cabin and I told Pete that is what we should name you. He agreed.
S: On my AKC Gold Star Puppy certificate it says my name is Ryder’s Shadow. Why is this?
A: Because she’s your teacher.
S: I can now outrun her. Pretty quick I’m going to be her teacher.
Shadow and Ryder
A: I don’t think so.
S: How come you sometimes say that I’m Pete’s Shadow?
A: Because you are at his feet when he’s cooking and by his chair when he’s working.
S: I’m okay with this.
A: Good. We wouldn’t want you to be unhappy. Are you unhappy?
S: Yes, when I get left behind.
A: That’s not often.
S: Remember, time goes even more slowly for a dog than it does a human.
A: How do you know this?
S: Tyra told me.
A: It sounds like Tyra knows everything.
S: Just about.
A: Is she your favorite horse?
S: No, Tinni is.
S: Because he’s very wise. He’s also calm and quiet.
A: Do you enjoy riding him?
S: I actually enjoy riding Hrimmi more.
A: Why is this?
S: Because every so often, Tinni spooks.
A: This is because his eyesight is not as good as it used to be.
S: He claims he can see just fine.
A: That’s because his sight has been going so slowly that he’s unaware of it.
S: Is this going to happen to me?
A: Most likely. But like Tinni, it will come later in life and be so gradual that you won’t be aware of it.
S: But not right away.
A: No, not right away. You’re going to live a ripe old age in part because you are getting such good veterinary care. Because he was your breeder, Dr. Kaiser has taken a special interest in you.
S: Isn’t he the one who cut off my tail?
S: Why did he do this?
A: Because he was worried that if you came with a tail, that you’d be harder to sell.
S: This, is as you say, reverse logic.
A: Well, I’m sorry that you don’t have a tail, but you know that all of you that’s here, is loved.
S: Good, good, good. Let’s go for a hike.
Next: 360. 12/31/20: Out with the Old and In with the New