On September 17, 2012 at approximately 8:00 am central time, Shadow Lawlor was put to sleep. He had been suffering from an unknown illness for some time though this was not noted until last Friday when he, the hungriest dog I have ever met, would not eat. For the duration of the weekend he rarely moved from his bed, and even when spoon fed soup, he could or would not keep it down. On Sunday night he was taken to the vet overnight, where they tested him with a fever of 105 and diagnosed him with an unknown disease, though one of the autoimmune or cancerous variety. By the morning, Shadow’s fever had not lessened and with its intensity he had begun to undergo organ failures. The veterinarians said we could’ve given him medication to extend his life for a couple more days, however such an end was not fitting for him and my mother and sister agreed with Shadow that it was his time. He went peacefully.
Shadow first came into my life in December of 2002, not long after my parents separated. We picked him up at the humane society one evening and he immediately added some much needed positivity to our lives. Waldo, at this time likely enjoyed Shadow the most as he now had someone smaller than him to play around with. Shadow was so little that he slept in a cat kennel, with a metronome ticking by his side. As Shadow grew up he did some of the silliest things I have ever seen any being do, mostly in pursuit of food. He would eat everything in any quantity imaginable. We soon had to push all food away from the edges of counters after Shadow got multiple pans of brownies. A gate had to be added to the laundry room so he wouldn’t eat cat poop. I don’t want to know how many times he ate baby rabbits and then lick my face. Shadow would even scrape at his ears using his hind leg and then lick off the wax he could get. I have so many stories about Shadow, from the time he ran around inside Westside Middle School to when he defended Waldo from a stray dog. That may have been the best thing about Shadow, how he and Waldo always got along so well. They would fight, but Shadow never hurt Waldo, even though it was often the other way around.
Though admittedly I am a cat person, I am also a Shadow person. Despite often making references to his intelligence or lack thereof, I always appreciated his silent ability to understand when I needed comforting and to be there for me. It is a fallacy to assign human thoughts and emotions to animals, however I see why so many do it as I am doing so right now. It is very easy to reflect oneself or project onto a pet and I have noted myself doing this several times, they just seem to understand. He seemed to be a judge of character, if he barked loudly at someone they were either not to be trusted, black, or David Glazer.
I apologize if this is too personal or somber for tainted, however I figured many of you knew Shadow and that it might be cathartic.
RIP Shadow Lawlor
October 17, 2002 – September 17, 2012