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Shadow the German Shepherd, Border Collie mix, the Dog of the Day
Name: Shadow
Age: Eleven years old
Gender: Male Breed: German Shepherd, Border Collie mix
Home: United Kingdom
 
   My dog is called Shadow, he is eleven (I think) and a possible German Shepherd x border Collie, but he was a freecycle rescue and so I don't really know. He has the protective streak and loyalty of a Shepherd and the communication skills of a Collie. His fur is the softest, coziest fur, he has a double coat that changes color with the seasons (and gets everywhere). Stroking him is a perfect meditative activity.

     We met on my birthday ten years ago and he's been my best buddy ever since. All through a turbulent relationship with my son's father, all through the abuse and the escape and then the stuff that happened after, Shadow has been my rock and my comfort.

     When we first met, Shadow was the naughty, bitey dog that nobody wanted. What I noticed that he did want was tons of exercise and love. So he and I walked for miles and miles, exploring the local area and discovering the great outdoors. As long as I had petrol in my car I was happy, because Shadow and I could go out and have a wonderful afternoon together. It was my escape.

     Then, when I was pregnant and poorly, Shadow made me go outside twice a day for walks, and that kept my body moving and my baby and I healthier. When my labor commenced, the father soon got bored, but Shadow and I stuck it out for the rest of the week (yup, a week-long labor). I cried into his fur with the pain and would have given anything to have him there in the delivery room with me.

     Because he was a slightly unpredictable rescue, everyone had concerns about his suitability to be in a house with a baby. Dogs know things though, he knew I was pregnant (and developed protective habits that I had to then train out of him) and he was always careful around my baby, my toddler, and now my wonderful growing child.

     He's still not great with some kids, or adults, so we can only have people in the house that he is comfortable with, who are kind, respectful of him and listen to me and my son when we ask them to behave a certain way. My son adores him and has grown up with more dog knowledge than most adults.

     He's growing old now, and does not have as much energy as he used to. I worry I've worn him out when we trained for the half marathons together. He's my soul dog. He is featured as part of my business on Twitter. He's amazing, so much more than just a pet. I know I love him too much, and one day he will not be there, but, he's incredible.

Shadow the German Shepherd, Border Collie mix, the Dog of the Day Shadow the German Shepherd, Border Collie mix, the Dog of the Day Shadow the German Shepherd, Border Collie mix, the Dog of the Day

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