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Soon to be No More Sticks-N-Bricks... And Some Sad News

On July 1st 2008 we got the keys to our new home in Oceanside, California. For thirty days we worked hard on tearing down walls and remodeling the kitchen. August 1st 2008, we moved in and built a wonderful home in a great neighborhood. This house has brought us great joy and so many memories. We brought in strangers that became great friends, loved ones that are no longer with us and a couple of loyal pets. We have been extremely fortunate to have fabulous neighbors that we will always remember. The only address I have had longer than this one is of my childhood home, but only by a few months.

On December 1st 2021, our house will be someone else's home. We will begin our life on the road and wander to places that we've never been, revisit places we love seeing and experience tiny living.

We've spent weeks purging our home. We've thrown away, donated and shared items we've held onto for far too long. It was challenging condensing our life into a 16x8x8 storage pod and a Converted Sprinter Van, but we did it. On November 29th, that pod will be collected and stored until we are ready to settle into a stationary house again. We hand over the keys to our new tenants on December 1st and off we'll go. I think I have mentioned this before, we here at TheRollingStowes like to do things a little differently. We will be heading north to Canada in December! We have a heater, so why not? Darin says we will be headed south within 2 weeks - I say we will make it all the way to the east coast of Canada before dropping out... My hope is to find a quaint little snow covered town for Christmas - Or even a big city, snow covered is the key here.

Just in case he is right, I have packed for Florida weather.

I started this particular post for our blog with the intent of discussing how we managed to downsize our lives. However, our circumstances have changed. Our plan was to load up our 13 year old lab Shadow and head off to parts unknown to us. Shadow has been traveling with us many times and is an awesome road-dog.

We picked Shadow out of a litter of pups that were hand nursed from birth as his mom died during delivery. We picked him because he was male, black and the runt of the litter. Shadow has been the most loyal pet you can imagine, literally Darin's shadow. Shortly after bringing Shadow home we also got a little black kitten - Boxer. They became great buds but he learned very quickly to respect her boundaries.

When we first brought him home, I treated him like a lap-dog. My boss at the time did his best to warn me that Shadow would outgrow my lap. I left that job - who needs that kind of negativity?

Shadow was the great escape artist of our neighborhood. Regularly he would get out of the yard while we were away at work and I would get the call. I've picked Shadow up from folks that really wanted to keep him. Eventually the neighbors just accepted that Shadow marched to his own drummer and roamed the neighborhood at will.

A few years ago my father-in-law moved in with us, he and Shadow became fast friends. They took their morning walk daily and Pops even taught Shadow a few manners.

Pops passed in June of last year, Shadow missed him dearly. Darin and I took a six week road-trip while Shadow stayed with a dear friend.

As Darin and I began traveling more we took Shadow along with us. He has gone coast to coast with us twice. As well as other trips along the way.

He even attended the wedding of the century with us in Sedona when Franklin and Alisha married. Shadow was introduced to their beauty of a pooch, Leyna.

After our last coast to coast he seemed off so we had him checked out, he was diagnosed with Liver disease. Since then we knew the end was approaching. He still had more good days than bad and still took his morning walks with Darin.

Yesterday (November 20, 2021) Shadow had a very bad day and ultimately had a seizure and could no longer eat, drink or walk. We were able to find a local vet that answered our call very early the next morning on a Sunday that assisted in sending Shadow to Doggy Heaven.

We loved him so much and will miss him greatly.

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1 Comment

Thank you for sharing this story. I am sure many who read it ,myself including can relate. In my world there’s no greater loss than the unconditional love of a dog.

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