In Memory of Shakes

What can I say? Shakes came to me at 6 months old with his sister, Nell, from Iowa in February of 2001. Both he and Nell ended up being a pleasure to have as a part of my family. At the time I also had another dog named Snuggles, who I had gotten from a friend who was moving and could only take one pet with her in her new place. You see Snuggles was almost 16 yrs old and I knew that she wouldn’t be with me for too much longer. When my brother told me about Shakes and Nell I told him I would take them both if they had their shots, we’re wormed and Nell spayed. You see my brother’s friend had to give up Shakes and Nell. Shakes got his was named by my brother’s friend’s daughter’ friend because he shook easily. The name fitted him to a tee. Nell got her name from the friend’s daughter Nel. Needless to say my brother along with Shakes and Nell traveled from Iowa to Massachusetts where I was living at the time. The two dogs did great on the trip and were happy to be welcomed into my home. About a week after Shakes and Nell arrived Snuggles stopped eating and after a day of trying to get her to eat I took her to the vet to see if there was something going on. The vet told me that Snuggles was dehydrated and her abdomen was very sensitive to touching. It wasn’t good news. That day I let Snuggles go rest and I know one day we’ll meet again at the Rainbow Bridge.

I then had only Shakes and Nell and all was going great until one day Nell started acting differently. I took her to the vet and we initially thought that she had eaten something toxic. After a week of treating her I ended up bringing her to Tufts University Small Animal Hospital in Grafton, MA as she wasn’t getting better. The end result was that I had to let her go to rest at the age of 3 1/2 yrs old. It was a very tough decision to make at the time and it hurt to see her so sick. It turned out that she had a very rare neurological problem. GME is the short name of the neurological problem she had. I found out this info after they did a necropsy on her. Nell was too young to have this disease.

I was worried that Shakes would miss his sister terribly so I went to a shelter in Sterling, MA a week after Nell was put to rest and adopted Skippy who is a Australian Koolie or Coolie mix. Skippy was just 9 1/2 weeks old and when we had him in the meet and greet area at the shelter with Shakes, Skippy didn’t show any fear or run away from Shakes and as a results Skippy became a part of my family too.

Shakes came around and accepted Skippy after initially not being to fond of him. Over the years Shakes and Skippy have had their ups and downs like all families do but mainly the issues were about food. Skippy would eat all day if I let him. Shakes was the leader of the two of them. He had an uncanny way of knowing when a storm was about to hit about 5 – 10 minutes before it hit. Shakes was a very loving friend and dog. He would always be there for me and always lay near me wherever I would be in the house. He was also very good letting me know if Skippy was going to be sick or needed to go out. Shakes was a trusted confidant and always seemed to understand when you needed someone to listen to you or a shoulder to lean on. This past August when I tripped and fell he was right there checking me out to make sure I was okay.

I’ll always remember Shakes looking out the front door window watching me leave when I had to go somewhere. When I’d see him in the window and I’d wave to him. It was always a comfort knowing how much he cared about me.

If Shakes had a flaw it was when he would hear the EAS signal, or the smoke detector or a siren or any other sound similar to these sounds. When he heard this type of sound there was this almost 60 lbs dog trying to get in my lap and so inconsolable. As the years went on I got used to his anxiety to these sounds and tried to comfort him as best I coulld but sometimes even that didn’t work. In 2012 I found out about the Thundershirt and when I put in on Shakes it helped him deal with the sounds that caused him anxiety. It was a reflief for both of us.

If Shakes ever gave you a lick or took something from your hand he had such a gentle mouth that you usually only felt his whiskers. You could always tell when he was in great spirits as he had that special bounce in his step. It also amazed me when he would just jump up and run to the front door and start barking for what seemed no reason. Well leave it to Shakes to know that there was a cat across the street in our cul-de-sac. How he knew a cat was there is beyond me because when he jumped up there was no way he could have seen the cat until he went to the front window.

The above is just some of the memories and thoughts I have about my dear family member Shakes. Now he is no longer in pain or suffering. I’m sure that he is with God watching down on Skippy and I. A funny thing happened this afternoon, today is Skippy’s 10th birthday and right after I gave Skippy a greenie for his birthday Skippy initially went to eat it near the dining room table. When I looked back at Skippy I found him laying in front of the fireplace eating his greenie. On the mantle of the fireplace I have Shakes’ cremations. I guess Skippy wanted to share his greenie with Shakes.

Just have to love you Shakes. Thanks for all of your love and protection. I miss you dearly my sweet boy. I’ll see you again someday at the Rainbow Bridge. Loving you always, Mom