top of page
Lucy and Shadow
In the heart of Alabama, nestled between sprawling fields and whispering woods, was a small town where everyone knew everyone, and the days rolled by like slow-moving clouds in a summer sky. My name is Lucy, and in this little slice of heaven, I lived with my family and my best friend in the whole wide world, Shadow. Shadow wasn't your regular kind of friend; he was a Great Dane with a heart as grand as his size.

My mornings began with Shadow's soft whine at my door, his way of saying, "Time to wake up, Lucy." I'd open the door, and in he'd barrel, a great big blur of black fur and wagging tail. Momma always said Shadow was more horse than dog, and sometimes, I believed her, especially when he'd accidentally knock over a vase or two with his happy tail.

School days were the same routine. I'd sling my backpack over my shoulders, and Shadow would be right there beside me, his head level with mine. We'd walk to school together, his steady pace matching my hurried steps. The kids at school used to be scared of Shadow, his size intimidating them. But over time, they realized he was just a gentle giant.

After school, our real adventures would begin. We'd explore the woods behind our house, Shadow leading the way, his nose twitching at every new scent. We'd run through the fields, my laughter mingling with his barks, until we'd collapse under the big oak tree, breathless and happy.

Our favorite spot was the creek that meandered through the edge of town. The water was cool and clear, a perfect place for a ten-year-old girl and her oversized dog to play. I'd throw sticks and stones into the water, and Shadow would leap after them, making great big splashes. I'd tell him about my day, about the mean girls at school, and about how I missed Daddy when he was away on business. Shadow would just sit there, his head cocked to one side as if he understood every word.

One July afternoon, the sky turned a menacing shade of gray. I had been so caught up in our game at the creek that I didn't notice the storm clouds gathering. The first clap of thunder made me jump, and Shadow let out a low growl. Rain began to fall, first a drizzle, then a downpour.

"We gotta get home, Shadow," I said, a note of urgency in my voice. Shadow seemed to understand, as he always did. We started back, the rain pelting down, turning the dirt path into a muddy mess. The creek, our creek, started to swell, the water rising with a frightening speed.

I realized we couldn't go back the way we came. The path was flooded. I felt a surge of fear, but then I looked at Shadow. His calm demeanor in the chaos gave me courage. "It's okay, Shadow. We'll find another way," I said, more to reassure myself.

We took a detour through the woods, the rain making the leaves around us glisten like they were sprinkled with diamonds. Thunder rumbled, a deep, ominous sound, but we kept going. Shadow led the way, his instincts guiding us.

It felt like hours, trudging through the mud and rain, but finally, we saw the lights of our house. Momma was on the porch, a worried look on her face that turned to relief when she saw us. "Lucy! Shadow! Thank God you're safe," she exclaimed as she rushed to meet us, enveloping us in a big, warm hug.

That night, as I lay in my bed listening to the rain, Shadow curled up on the floor beside me. I knew I wasn't just lucky to have a pet; I had a guardian, a friend who would brave storms with me.

Over the next few days, the story of how we navigated through the storm became a popular tale in our small town. Shadow was more than just a local pet; he was a hero, a loyal companion who looked after one of their own. People who had once crossed the street to avoid him now greeted him with smiles and pats.

In the days and years that followed, Shadow and I had many more adventures. We watched seasons change and grew up together in our little town. We saw the world through each other's eyes: a world that was kinder, braver, and filled with love.

As I grew older, I realized that the bond I shared with Shadow was something extraordinary. It was a friendship that taught me about loyalty, courage, and the unspoken understanding between a girl and her dog. Shadow might have been a giant in size, but it was his heart that truly made him enormous.

Looking back, those days with Shadow were more than just childhood memories. They were lessons in love, trust, and friendship. They were reminders that sometimes, the best things in life come in the most unexpected forms – like a giant Great Dane with a heart big enough to fill a small town.

bottom of page