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A Shadow of Hope: Adopting Bravo’s Shadow

by | Jun 4, 2021 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care | 12 comments

HAPPY (BELATED) GOTCHA-DAY, SHADOW!

I’m sharing this again today, as the celebration is bittersweet. We desperately miss Bravo, but his Shadow-Pup lives up to his destiny. He’s been a bright spot of joy during incredibly trying times. Here’s his Gotcha-Day story. . . first published June of 2020.

***

Bravo-Dawg had an eventful week. So did we. When you love a family member threatened with a serious illness, it feels like living under a shadow. In this case, though, the shadow brings hopes and smiles. And wags. That’s what happens when adopting a comfort puppy.

Last Sunday on May 31, 2020, as my husband and I planned a day of yard work, we discovered an abandoned puppy. The little one, far too thin and with a sore hairless patch on his side, wanted attention. Oh, and food.

Of course, we brought him inside. He drank two bowls of water, and three offerings of cat food (since his puppy teeth couldn’t handle “big dog” fare). Because puppies often carry “bugs” that we couldn’t risk spreading to our crew, the little boy spent that day and night in the garage. With the lights on, of course. I posted a video of him to a few “lost pet” sites but didn’t hold out much hope for finding his owner. This little one was too small, too fragile, and too young to have strayed on his own.

Bravo and Karma knew about him, of course. The sounds and sniffs through the closed door gave lots of clues. On Monday afternoon, our veterinarian gave him a relatively clean bill of health, other than intestinal parasites. The sore on his side, rather than contagious, appeared to be a healing burn. That cleared the way for Bravo and Karma to (very carefully!) meet the new twelve-week-old boy. Learn more about puppy to dog or cat intros here.

Shadow, the Comfort Puppy

Shadow, or more specifically, “Bravo’s Shadow,” arrived without warning. We didn’t plan for him. We didn’t want another pet. Our hands (and our hearts) are full of the challenges of Bravo’s potential diagnosis. We traveled to Plano last week for Bravo’s bone biopsy, and expect the results in a week or so. Waiting sucks.

But waiting with a new puppy, a new friend that Bravo adores soothes a bit of the angst. Who can cry all the time, when a puppy demands playtime? When Bravo brings Shadow toys to play with, and teaches the fine art of un-stuffing stuffies? He’s a twelve-pound mini-shepherd baby that, dare I say, also looks like a shadow-version of our Magical-Dawg. Karma-Kat has already adopted and decided to school Shadow in the proper way to treat a cat. So I smile through the tears, grateful for happy times even if tempered with worry.

We have some potent pain medication for Bravo for the next ten days and he’s no longer limping. Aside from a shaved shoulder and leg where they took the biopsy, he doesn’t look or act any differently. But he’s not allowed to run or jump for the next three weeks, as the diseased bone and sample removed make the leg more fragile. Our big athletic baby-dawg doesn’t understand why he can’t zoom around the property and must stay on a leash.

It helps enormously for Bravo to have his very own comfort puppy to keep him company and relieve his boredom. And it’s ideal for Shadow-Pup to learn how to be a dog from one of the all-time great canine companions.

Puppy Joy vs Scary Unknowns

A new puppy brings great joy. I remember when Magic arrived, and again less than two years ago when Bravo came home. At age twelve weeks, Shadow shares a birthday with Bravo. And now Shadow brings hope to this house, along with his puppy kisses.

These days I look for hope in the unexpected gifts that arrive, usually without fanfare or explanation, when we least want or think we need them. When we instead want to bury our face in our hands and weep, or scream against the injustice, or lie awake at night with no sleep, and rail against everything and everyone out of righteous anger and pain.

At our house, we’re living with painful scary unknowns. Much of the world also struggles these days with a myriad of unknowns, arguably of far more consequence than Bravo’s situation. At our house, though, we’re now also living with a new hope that came equipped with a wagging tail.

Now, Bravo’s a Tripawd dog. But he has a puppy attached at the hip, LOL!

Whatever your situation, I pray that you find your own shadow of hope in the unexpected gifts of your life.

Update: When we lost Bravo in March 2021, we thanked doG again that a certain puppy showed up when he did. Now he’s our Shadow-Pup, and a comfort to us as we adjust to life moving forward.

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12 Comments

  1. Suzanne Stowe

    I adopted a kitten last year while battling medical issues. Simba has helped me recover and brought me hope during a tough time. It looks like Shadow was meant to join your household at this exact time.

    Reply
  2. marjogo75

    Shadow is darling. Bravo is a magnificent Boy. Karma Kat is cool. Blessings to you and M, and all your wonderful critters.

    Reply
  3. Jan Van Patten

    Thank goodness Shadow found you. He is so adorable! Looks like Bravo likes being a big brother! I am so sad for your worries and heart ache, just want to sit and cry with you. “It was meant to be” fits Shadow’s situation- ALL of you needed each other. I will keep you in my heart.

    Reply
  4. Catwoods

    What an adorable puppy! He arrived when needed for sure. Keeping you in my hopes.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks, we’re enjoying him.🥰

      Reply
  5. tammiesims

    Amy, I absolutely love this! I know it is very difficult to be waiting, but so thankful you also have hope in that sweet little trio of yours! 🙂

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks Tammie, we’re holding on.

      Reply
  6. Franklin Steele

    Of all of your blogs, this is my favorite, and the photos are great. This is heartbreaking, yet a lot hope is there. I wish everything good for all of you.

    Reply
  7. Andrea

    I think the anticipation is worse than the actual event and that’s what you’re facing right now. I’m glad Shadow has brightened your days. And I’m really happy that he and Bravo are getting along so well.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks Andrea. Hopefully we’ll have more answers on Monday.

      Reply
  8. Lucy

    My husband & I are getting up in years & have no one to take our pets when we’re gone. We’re down to one cat “Tiny”. Our last dog was a Border Collie “Biff Dude”. He fit your description of BC’ s to a tee. I fill my yearning for another dog by reading your books Thank you for your efforts. 😁

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Potty Training Puppies? Here's How To House Train Puppies - […] you have a tiny puppy, like our new Shadow puppy, or a big old dawg — my Bravo (below)…
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  3. Dog Fence: Creating Good Neighbors to Keep Dogs Safe - […] But every once in a while, he decides to have selective hearing and go exploring. Now with the new…
  4. Puppy Vomiting & Why Dogs Vomit: How to Treat Puppy Vomiting At Home - […] more readily than almost all other animals. (The cats just started snickering . . . ) Now with a…
  5. Make Pets Vomit: How and Why to Make Cats & Dogs Vomit - […] a new puppy in the house, we have to be better about puppy proofing. Shadow-Pup likes to play with…
  6. Puppy Development: Stages of Puppy Development Birth to Two Years - […] development is fascinating, and one of the most popular dog topics. We just got a new puppy, and even…
  7. Dog Choking & Cat Choking: First Aid & Pet Heimlich Help - […] plays with rocks. And the new puppy Shadow loves to chew sticks. He’s already got one caught in the…
  8. Bravo's Cancer Journey: Treating Bone Cancer Options - […] We have had an emotional roller-coaster ride over the last few weeks dealing with Bravo-Dawg’s unexpected diagnosis of bone…
  9. Work Goes To the Dogs & Cats: Take Your Pet To Work Week! - […] year, of course, we have a new puppy, Shadow, helping us celebrate. And we’re navigating a new “normal” with…
  10. Fun Pet Games for Dogs & Cats in the Time of Pandemic - […] What About Shadow-Pup? […]
  11. Bravo's Cancer Journey Continues: Amputation & I'm a TriPawd Doggy! - […] puppy since Shadow has no understanding anything should be different! Here’s more about how Shadow the comfort puppy showed…
  12. Puppy Proofing: Top 10 Tips to Save Dog Lives for National Puppy Day! - […] it’s important to know the top puppy proofing tips to save dog lives. Last summer, a puppy showed up…
  13. Remembering Bravo-Dawg's Cancer Journey: A Very Good Boy - […] acted off. He tripped. Acted weak and unsteady. Slept constantly. Snarked at his best dog buddy Shadow-Pup. He hated…
  14. Summertime Pet Safety and How to Find Lost Pets - […] our new puppy Shadow appearing recently, I wanted to remind folks on tips to find lost pets. Now, chances…
  15. National Love Your Pet Day: 14 Ways How Pets Show Love - […] mid-2020, we multiplied our pet-love quotient by welcoming Shadow-Pup into the house. He arrived at a time when we…
  16. Amy Shojai'sHeatstroke Dangers: Pet First Aid for Hot Weather Blog - […] in the hot weather. Puppies tend to be clueless anyway. As of this update, Shadow celebrated his Gotcha-Day on…
  17. 2022 New Year Goals--from the Pets: Keep Hope Alive!AMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] fear and anxiety, this joyful puppy brought boundless fun into Bravo’s pain-filled world. And gave us all hope. Like…
  18. Pets Adoption Days: Cats & Dog Weird & Wonderful TimingAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] realize until later that the day we said goodbye to Bravo (March 4, 2021), was also his comfort puppy…

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