105th Street Won’t Be the Same Without Shelbie

By PATTY KELLY | Oct 03, 2018
Courtesy of: Patty Kelly Shelbie, at his post on 105th Street, was a sort of neighborhood goodwill ambassador.

As I write this story, my heart is heavy with sadness due to loss of our forever dog friend, Shelbie. He has been the focus of several of my stories and his picture is forever posted in The SandPaper’s archives. However, I am realizing as I write this story that it is not one of sadness, but one of joy and happiness that will forever be in my thoughts and heart. For when you give an animal, whether it be a dog or cat, a forever home, you have once again succeeded in your worldly responsibility to make a positive mark in the circle of life.

Shelbie brought so much happiness to everyone he met. He was considered the unofficial “Mayor of 105th Street” in Beach Haven Park. He would greet everyone, animal and human kind, with all the excitement, joy and love he could give, and he was sure to receive the love back that he so wanted. He could bring a smile to your face, even when things weren’t quite going your way, with the wag of his tail and those loving, soft brown eyes that twinkled with excitement at the sight of you.

His tail never stopped wagging, even when he was getting reprimanded for doing something he should not have done like eating the cat food and, yes, sometimes the cat poop which, for some reason, appeared to be a delicacy for him, as gross as that sounds.

His romps to the beach or beach bench on LBI were a ritual. My husband and he would take long walks on the beach in the early mornings when Shelbie would task himself to chase the birds, or he would just stop at the top of the beach ramp to rest on the bench, catching the ocean breeze in his whiskers and ears.

Some on the block would say, “He’s everyone’s dog!” – and that he was. During his walks down the street, he would frequently wander up to the front or back doors of those he knew were his friends to see if he could get a free treat, a quick scratch on the head or even a quick romp around the yard with his doggie friends that resided in the house before finally doing his duty and going home.

He walked yearly in the “Longest 4th of July Parade on LBI” with his bandanna proudly worn around his neck revealing his red, white and blue patriotism for the USA. He would sit with my husband and me on those long, glorious, star-lit summer or winter nights on the beach bench, looking for shooting stars to make a wish upon. I hope all his wishes came true, as I know having him in our life was a wish everyone should experience.

Shelbie was a rescue dog who came from West Virginia with his brothers and sisters in hope of finding a forever home. Well, we know Shelbie found his with us. Adopting a rescue animal is truly the way to go as they bring with them such an unconditional amount of love that, once experienced, you can do nothing but love them right back.

Shelbie was not a “kissy, licky” dog, but when you did get a lick, you knew you were special. He always made you feel like you were the best person ever, even when you didn’t feel like you were at your very best. It was a lesson learned that no matter who you are, there is something good in everyone, or so Shelbie believed.

Though the circle of life doesn’t necessarily follow our personal timelines, it is the circle of life that keeps us steady, grounded and on our life paths. It is still hard when you lose your best friend, but we know Shelbie is romping over the Rainbow Bridge, where all dogs go to meet up with those who have passed before them. Right now, I can see him with our dog Anna, who passed several years ago and was also an icon on our block.

The circle of life for Shelbie is not really ending. It is just beginning in a very special doggie heaven. Love, good wishes and lots of LBI doggie kisses to everyone out there from your forever friend, Shelbie.

Patty Kelly lives in Blue Bell, Pa., and Beach Haven Park.




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