In the blog, “Journeying beyond Breast Cancer” Marie challenged other bloggers to celebrate the ordinary by taking a photo of something every day that makes them feel grateful.  When my friend Li Bailey died on January 6, 2012 of Metastatic Breast Cancer (see earlier blog My Fearless Friend Li Bailey) , she left me with a gift that she asked me to take care of when she found out she was going to die from Breast Cancer.  It was her beautiful dog Shelby. Li knew that I adored Shelby from the first day she arrived at her home.

When Li got Shelby, Li had completed her primary chemo and moved to a bigger apartment so she could have a puppy. Shelby arrived around Christmas in 2005 and when I visited Li, I loved playing with Shelby and she is just the sweetest dog that anyone could ever ask for. Shelby brought so much joy in to Li’s life and continues to bring me joy every day.

The day Li died, I took Shelby and all of her things to my home. We spent the day together as she got used to her new home. Shelby acted as though this was a new fun adventure. I am so grateful to have her in my life and she continues to keep my friend alive in my mind by just being herself. I love Shelby so much! She is a fun, happy, adorable dog with the most beautiful eyes.

Earlier today I was feeling sad because I missed my friend. I walked with Shelby like I do everyday and when we got home I felt so much better. She was sitting on the floor looking so pretty that I took her picture and realized just how grateful I am for having had Li in my life and having been blessed with her incredible gift of Shelby.

I also want to thank Marie for giving all of us bloggers a great idea to post about.

16 thoughts on “Celebrating the Extra-Ordinary: Her name is Shelby

  1. Wow! This is a magnificent story, and I have to now read about your friend. I’m so sorry for your loss. Like you, I lost a very close friend to breast cancer. I know what that feels like. I am glad that you are Shelby’s guardian; it sounds like your relationship is wonderful. And Shelby is adorable. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Beth I am sorry for your loss too. At the same time I wouldn’t trade a moment of time with Li as we were lucky to have some very special days. We both agreed it was best to try to live in the moment on a great day, knowing that her time was so precious. When the chemo was starting not to work, we tried to make the most of what we had by deciding we wanted quality time over quantity. Thanks also for saying how adorable Shelby is. Every time I look at her she makes me smile!

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    1. Yes, the challenge has been wonderful and I am finding so many more bloggers that I am getting to know including you. I am enjoying reading about your celebrations! Thanks Jan!

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  2. Susan, I did not see this post earlier. You probably know how I feel about dogs… Shelby is so adorable. It must give you such a great feeling to know how happy Li would be knowing her dear Shelby is well cared for and loved. You were and are a special friend. Lovely post. Darling dog!

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    1. Thank you Nancy. There are so many memories of visiting Li with Shelby and taking her out for walks especially when Li was sick. She has been such a comfort for me because of my friend. Somehow she stays alive with me because Shelby is here. It’s funny because Shelby has really changed a lot of her personality with me, but I am so glad she has adapted to so much change. She’s a very sweet dog.

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  3. Susan, what a sweet story. A nice tribute to your friend, Li, showing her human side and showing the love and joy a pet can give and receive.

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    1. I am always so amazed at how much joy has been added to my life from having Shelby in it. What amazes me is that my friend knew that Shelby belonged with me the minute she knew that she was Stage IV. At the time Li and I were in so much shock . Li especially was so overwhelmed but she knew immediately to ask me if I would take care of Shelby. It meant a lot to me then because I realized just how close we were. You are so tight when you talk about all of the joy a pet can give and receive. I am lucky for that every day with Shelby.

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