Tribute to Shadow


Editor’s Note: Our guest blogger is Candace Crouch. Candace lives in Virginia and is a long-time member of MDSA.  She and Shadow entered and titled in several of our video events.  Shadow, her heart dog, crossed the bridge in early April.  We will never forget all the delightful routines they shared with us over the years.  Candace has been involved with MDSA in several capacities, including as a member of the Executive Board and judge.  We extend a big thanks to Candace and Shadow for all their years of entertainment, participation and contribution to MDSA.

2001 – 2014

Shadow enjoying the outdoors

Shadow enjoying the outdoors

AKC Champion and American Bouvier des Flandres Club Versatility Champion

DCD Freestyle Champion and NADAC Novice Versatility Agility Title 

       Almost 13 years ago, one of our early instructors told us, “This dog is going to be amazing!” We could never have expected his prophetic words to be so accurate.

        There was little that Shadow could not do or attempt. She could dance, beat border collies in agility, win three obedience highs-in-trial, hike the Appalachian Trail, herd sheep, pull a cart, do nose work, follow a track and appear at the Westminster Kennel Club show at Madison Square Garden.

        Shadow was an AKC breed champion and an American Bouvier des Flandres Club Versatility Champion achieving advanced titles in multiple disciplines. Her picture appeared on the cover of “Dog Fancy” magazine and in “Clean Run.” She was on seven Bouvier calendars including a cover and is the Animal Planet breed representative on their web site.

Shadow and her Frisbee

Shadow and her Frisbee

 She was friendly and fierce, artistic and athletic, loyal and loving, bellicose and beautiful, simple and complicated, cooperative and stubborn, relaxed and aggressive, funny and serious…full of life and (a bit) full of herself! She was the epitome of a bouvier.

 Shadow greeted each day with her bright, brown eyes….her tail wagging with enthusiasm and in anticipation of the day’s events.  There were speedy walks to get home for breakfast, morning lessons and stretching exercises, her grooming session, snoozes on a choice of beds and play time with her collie brother, Heath. There were delivery people to bark at and the ever-present hope that a cat would get “just close enough!” She liked Starbucks whipped cream, icing from all cakes, fruit salad and homemade treats.

 She could “dunk” a Nerf basketball, turn on a light switch and would chase her Frisbee for hours.

 Shadow helped us cut down 12 Christmas trees, traveled over 100,000 miles in her crate in our van, attended countless trials, posed for thousands of pictures, enjoyed almost 9,000 meals and opened us to a world of canine charm and possibilities. Her positive attitude and willingness to live life fully every day was inspiring. There was no “maybe” in Shadow; there was always “absolutely.”

Shadow Styling in Plaid

Shadow Styling in Plaid

 Shadow loved to learn. Indeed, she taped her final freestyle performance just a week before crossing the Rainbow Bridge. She never gave up on herself or us. She tried everything we asked her to do…always trusting us and giving unending effort.

 All of Shadow’s traits…dedication, enthusiasm, strength, beauty and attitude…led to her success. But it was the depth of her character and her affection that led to her finest qualities…loyalty and love. She expressed joy, optimism and happiness every day and remains a constant reminder of the once in a lifetime bond that can be established with a wonderful dog.

 Our favorite title for her remains…Best Friend!