Monday, September 8, 2014


Well, this isn't the sort of post I'd intended to kickstart the blogging again, but...well, it's what happened. 

On paper, a dog shouldn’t mean so much. But often things aren’t the same on paper as they are in your heart.

Today I had to get Cleo put to sleep. The vet said it could take up to a minute, but it was a matter of seconds, really. She was old, and she was hurting, and she went very quickly.

So I’m a mess, of course.

Twelve years is a long time. I think it will take me a while to be able to go to sleep without listening for her claws clicking across the floors, as she’d flop down beside my bed with a long sigh before snoring like a chainsaw.

Cleo and her BFF Grub being accidentally photogenic recently.

Once upon a time – and I’ve probably told this story before – Cleo ate Christmas.

It was my first year in my own house, and I was going to make the latticed veranda beautiful. I went and spent a lot of money on Christmas lights and decorations, then spent hours threading them through the lattice. Hours, getting the spacing just right. My arms and shoulders were killing me by the time I was finished. I flicked the lights on once to make sure they worked.

God, it would look so good at night when I turned them on. I could hardly wait!

Then, studying the molding above the front door, I thought to myself, That would look great with a piece of tinsel above it.

I went inside to get some tinsel.

And, in the thirty seconds I was gone, the dog chewed through the power cord for the lights. Hours of painstaking work with a chair and a step ladder… ruined.

“We are never doing Christmas again!”

I pulled all the lights and the tinsel and the decorations down while I ranted and raved and had a meltdown, and the dog just sat and placidly watched me go insane.

“Never again!”

We did, of course. Lots of times. And Cleo never really lost the uncanny ability to hone in on the things I least wanted eaten, and eat them. My brother-in-law’s new expensive sunglasses. Books. Yummy crunchy CDs. Any bra she could reach.

She was fun and stupid and lazy and sneaky and sweet and stinky and happy and naughty and bouncy.

I’m going to miss her like hell.


  1. Our pets get into our hearts, regardless of their bad habits. I know how it feels, and it hurts. My sympathies.

  2. My condolences for your loss. I understand what you are feeling. We had say goodbye to our sweet dog of 15 years last summer. We still miss him, but treasure the time we had with him and all his little ways. I enjoyed your story about the Christmas lights.

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. She will always be The Dog Who Ate Christmas to me. :)

  3. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I knew she was getting on, but I so loved to hear about her adventures in ignoring possums and going to the beach and running outdoors in the rain...

    Blessings, Cleo. Thanks for brightening my days and for being there for Jen for so long.

    1. Thanks so much, Steve. Never a dull moment with a dog as silly as a wheel.

  4. Always so sad to have to say goodbye to a friend like that. My last dog was twelve when I had to put him down because of the pain. Just gutted me. I still dream about him six years later. Hugs.

    1. Cleo made it to 12 as well, which is a good innings for a lab, but it's never long enough is it?

  5. "Never long enough" -- truer words were never spoken. We had to put our Joe down; he was half black lab and half Dalmatian. I always said the Dalmatian made him naughty and the Lab made him sorry for it. We had him for about 12 years, and the last two we felt guilty for not giving him up. Then we just had to, for his sake. HUGS

    1. Thanks, Marian. Hugs back to you as well.



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