While in college during the week I would typically have one day off from classes that I would use to work around the house, do chores, and study, but for the most part I kept busy with the basics and never really worked out in my wood shop I had set up in the garage.
One such day off, I decided that I would work in the garage and make some cuts on the table saw, as I was always building speaker cabinets as a hobbyist in the audiophile world. This day the weather in Reno was warm and sunny, with the spring in full bloom. With the temperature still warm outside, anytime out in the garage would require I open the large bay door up and allow the soft breeze to cool my work area. With hearing protection in and my dusty goggles on, I got to work.
The desert land around our house just north of Sparks was being developed and made for some interesting run-ins with all kinds of wild things. Rabbits, field mice, snakes and plenty of bugs. These items of the wild kingdom would be searching for shelter and looking for a cool safe place, so we always were keeping an eye out for Mother Nature’s creatures. After finishing up with my project, I turned on the radio and sat at my bench. With my heighten awareness I was not startled to hear a ruffle under my car parked on the other half of the garage. I figured that during my time with the garage door open that a rabbit had made its way into the cool and shady garage to get out of the afternoon sun. Grabbing my long broom stick and crawling down onto all four, I could get a good look to see where I needed to scoop the creature back into the wild with a gentle poke of the broom.
Looking underneath the car I could see a very small furry animal, and upon closer inspection I could see it trembling. Not wanting to hurt it I made my way closer under the car. As it slowly was scooted out from under the car it made no moves to try and escape as it was curled up into a little ball. Emerging a puppy poodle… covered in weeds and mud on his paws, he looked as if he had been on a great adventure and with wirery black and gray fur he looked bigger that he really was, being small enough to fit into both of my hands comfortably I brought him out into the day light.
Cleaning the little puppy off in the lawn with some dish soap, a plastic container and the garden hose I could tell that he could not be much more the a few months old, underweight and needing some food and water. Playful and I am sure very excited to have found someone to take care of him after his big adventure in the Nevada desert.
Not having any dog food and none of my neighbors having any pets… I decided to get some water to drink and a uncooked hot dog for the little guy to eat. He quickly devoured the hot dog and began lapping up the cool water from the small bowl. He was here to stay.
After Adrienne and I determined my first check and diagnose of the puppy being a female puppy was wrong, we were now proud adopted parents to this very tiny and very cute poodle puppy. But what to name him. He would follow me around with great excitement, as if I was going to feed him another hot dog, and my wife determined that he would be forever my shadow. And so it was…his name would be… Shadow. Now almost 12 year has gone by since we took in our smart and kind puppy. He will always be my puppy. Shadow still runs around and prances like the first time feeding him, even if it isn’t a hot dog, but he will do the same for a treat, or if I walk in from work or if we have been out for the day, he still has his magical skill of being our “Shadow”