I remember Shadow

... Shadow was a mutt but she went to school through the 6th grade

by Louise Fennell

Her name was Shadow. She already had the name when we got her from the
pound. It fit her. She shadowed my daughters everywhere.

She showed great intelligence right from the start. When we brought her
home the first thing she did was jump over the fence and go for a stroll.

Fortunately, there was no leash law at the time but we were concerned that
she would get lost. That never happened. But we wanted to try to keep her in
so we added a foot to the height of the already five foot fence. That stopped
her until she realized that if she went up on the porch she could jump to the
railing and then over the fence. So then we closed in the porch. It took her
about three days to learn to dig under the fence. All this for a dog that
initially cost five dollars.

First grade was at the corner of our street just about four buildings away. It
was one of those one room yellow wooden school houses with first and
second grade in the same room. The teacher told me that one day the
principal came in and she saw him step over something as he walked up the
aisle. When she looked over, there was Shadow asleep beside my daughter's

Later, she had her choice of schools because when my oldest daughter,Lois,
went to third grade Shadow could either go there or to second grade with
Linda, the next daughter. She did a little of both. Sometimes, when the
teacher didn't want her in the classroom she would stay with the janitor and
keep him company until school was over. She did this right through sixth
grade. Then her school career ended.

However, she found a new way to spend her days. She discovered Liberty
Tree Mall and spent many happy hours eating popcorn off the floor at Ann
and Hope and making new friends among the employees while waiting for
her young owners to arrive after school at the junior high where she was not

They weren't always as happy to see her as she was to see them. Often they
would hide in the ladies room hoping that she would get tired and go home
but when they opened the door she would always be sitting there patiently

Sometimes, they would go in through a different store thinking she wouldn't
find them. But this was an educated dog and she would just run around to
the front of Ann and Hope, step on the mat to open the door and run
gleefully to wherever they were.

This went on for several years until the girls finished high school and began
moving on to college and their own lives and Shadow  began laying around
the house in a patch of sunshine enjoying her retirement. This went on until
one day she disappeared and no one could ever find her again. I think she
did it to spare us.

November 6, 2015

You can search below for any word or words in all issues of the Melrose Mirror.
| Return to section | The Front Page | Write to us |

Write to us