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.|
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.
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.