Doberman clashes with a colossal critter

Meet Shadow the Doberman, defender of the Shaw family.

Mary and Bruce Shaw were enjoying their golden years in the natural beauty of their Rhode Island home when the opportunity to adopt a handsome Doberman rescue came along. They leapt at the chance and started calling him Shadow, because of the way he shadowed Bruce.

Shadow, a 90-pound Doberman who looks ferocious, but is full of goofiness, quickly connected with the family’s pack of pooches, including his new best friend, Samantha, a 65-pound female Doberman mix.

“She’s feisty—takes on Shadow, no problem. They can play rough, but they are best friends, and they work as a team.” Mary laughs. “If something seems suspicious, Shadow barks an alarm bark for Samantha. Samantha will immediately come and check to see if something needs to be done and takes care of business.”

The pair had their routine down pretty well, until an unusually large critter from the woods surprised them both—and led to this Hambone-nominated story.

What happened?

“We’ve been in this house 25 years and we’ve never seen a raccoon,” Mary recalls. On that fateful day, all that would change.

Shadow and Samantha went off to explore in the backyard like they would any other day. Suddenly, Mary heard Shadow’s alarm bark and went to the back deck to call in the dogs. To her astonishment, a parade of animals was racing toward her—Samantha, who usually won’t run from a challenge in the lead, followed by Shadow … and a huge raccoon chasing the both of them.

Fortunately, the hulking raccoon disappeared under the deck after it saw Mary. She brought the pooches inside and gave them both a thorough once-over to make sure they were okay. Samantha had a small mark on her nose—likely a bite or scratch, but Shadow appeared fine.

“I looked at Shadow and I didn’t see anything,” Mary recalls. She reached out to the authorities at the Department of Environmental Management and immediately brought both dogs to their vet as a precautionary measure.  Since Samantha had a small scratch, she was given another rabies shot, even though she was up to date on her shots.

“We got home at about a quarter after nine, and I see [Shadow] licking himself. Well, sure enough he had a wound that was not at first visible that was on his shoulder,” Mary says.

The next morning, Mary brought Shadow back to the vet to update his shots. She remembers, “[The vet] realized the wound was more severe than it looked. They put him under anesthesia as they really wanted to clean it out.

“Though the scratch looked minor, the skin was actually torn away from the muscle underneath the skin and required stitches,” Mary adds.

Fortunately, both of the Shaw family pups quickly recovered. Afterward, Mary wondered why Shadow got involved with the raccoon in the first place. “He is a bit of a wimp … one time he got concerned and barked an alarm over a piece of rope,” she remembers.

“I really firmly believe that he was protecting Samantha, like ‘I don’t want to do this, but I’m not going to let anything happen to you,’” Mary says.

How Nationwide helped

“Over 30 years, I have had previous experience [with Dobermans] and other dogs.  Shadow and Samantha are our 7th and 8th…. When we got Shadow, we immediately signed him up with Nationwide. We absolutely love Nationwide pet insurance,” Mary says. “I’m going to tell you right up front, I recommend [Nationwide] to everybody. If you own pets, you never know what can happen even when you are very careful!”

She continues, “We don’t have to make a decision to go to a less able medical facility because of price…. We have all three of our dogs covered by Nationwide.”


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