Our family has lost a loyal and precious old friend today. Shelby, Katie's Shetland sheepdog, drifted peacefully off to sleep with her by her side. First, let me say....as I have so often, my daughter is one of the most courageous people I know. I don't think I could have stayed while she left this world. That took a great amount of fortitude. What can I say about Shelby. Many of you have met her. She greeted you w/ a wag of her tail and bark or two as if to say, "welcome, come on in...stay for a while...and while you're at it you can give me a stroke or two and I will stay by your side until your done." Shelby came into our lives when Katie was in 5th grade. Katie volunteered @ the local pet store and it was there that she found Shelby. We paid a 'hefty' price for her...but she was worth it. Katie spent hours training Shelby to do all the dog tricks she could think of. Shelby learned quickly and was devoted to Katie. I think my favorite memory of Shelby is when we lived in Cincinnati, Ohio and we had a long back yard that was fenced in. She would constantly run up and down chasing birds that dared to drop in. One day we had a big snow and the kids and I took sleds to the back of the yard where it sloped down hill. Shelby didn't want to be left out and as each of us took a spin down the hill she would chase us and bark and try to jump on board. The picture that is posted is from that day. Funniest memory of Shelby is also when we lived in Ohio. We were moving into our home and there was a built in pool in the back. The next door neighbor had a huge yellow lab and when Shelby (who was still a little puppy) saw him she started to bark and back up @ the same time. Well, you guessed it, she backed herself right into the pool and almost drown. She never liked water after that. She made the big trip to Texas when Katie moved there to go to college. We had her stuffed in the back seat w/everything else that Katie owned and had to carry her in and out of the window because it was so full. This is the part of life that is so very difficult. Losing someone that has brought so many memories into your life. You can't bring them back. She was our first family dog and that in itself places her in a position of honor and endearment. She will be so very missed. Would you pray for Katie if you read this. Good bye Shelba Belba, you were the definition of "Man's Best Friend."

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