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Happy Tail: Shadow brings on the sunshine


Sometimes stress gets to a boiling point, and Marianne and Dan were about there. They had gotten engaged, were making wedding plans and had bought their first home together.

Shadow reminded them about what was important.

Shadow reminded them what was important.

“We found ourselves forgetting what brought us together, and that was love,” Marianne says. To make matters more stressful, Dan’s childhood dog passed away and left the Dumont, New Jersey, couple with a great emptiness that needed to be filled.

They decided to adopt a dog. “Growing up, I never had a pet,” Marianne says, “but Dan had, and he was adamant about rescuing.”

Their search began on Petfinder. They became discouraged when some of the dogs they liked were snapped up by other families first, but when they saw Shadow’s listing by Bergen County Protect and Rescue Foundation in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, they knew their frustration had led them to her.

Shadow had come to the shelter with her mother and brother, but about a week earlier, they had been adopted. Her ultra-shyness worked against her getting adopted. Now with her mother and brother gone, the Labrador Retriever mix was feeling an emptiness like Dan and Marianne’s. She didn’t even want to go on a walk when they went to the shelter to meet her.

“We knew she needed the love that we were so desperately wanting back in our lives,” Marianne says.

Shadow’s transformation into a loving family dog wasn’t instantaneous. After the adoption, “it took her awhile to adjust and get comfortable with us.” When she began to play, it was a milestone. “We could see her start to brighten up.”

That was two years ago. Today she loves to go on walks and has lots of human and dog friends, “more than we do,” Marianne says. “She is like a human sometimes. She tries to talk to us and, boy, does she have a lot to say!” She’s no longer the shy dog they adopted

Shadow helped the couple through a rough patch. “She made us realize that, yes, things can be stressful, but with just some puppy love and kisses all the stress melts away,” Marianne says.

She tamed their stress monster, and they helped her step into the sunshine.

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