Monday, February 4, 2013

Shelter Pets :: My "Tooth Fairy" Dog

2 years ago, and 2 days before Christmas we lost our Cleo. She was 16 years old, and had an aggressive form of cancer. Truly one of the worst days of my life. But I would not change one minute of my time with Cleo. She was such an amazing, loving dog. Never once snapped at my girls no matter how many times they pulled her fur, yanked her tail or climbed on her to ride her across the room. She would just look at me with these big eyes as if saying "can't you get them to stop doing that?"

It has taken me awhile to be able to write about her as I still miss her terribly. But I think it is time to tell a few of the stories; stories that make me laugh and wish I could just scratch her behind the ears (she loved that). 

Let's start at the beginning. Just after we bought our first house, we immediately started talking about getting a dog. My husband and I had been renters for 10+ years and could never have a dog. 2 months after we bought the house I came home one day with the worst tooth ache; it was so bad I couldn't move my jaw. Diagnosis? Yep, it was my wisdom teeth. So after the procedure, laying there in bed and a bit zoned out from all the lovely drugs they give you ... my husband says "you feel up to visiting the ASPCA?" Roughly 2 seconds later I had my shoes on and was heading out the door. 

When we walked by the room (with bars) Cleo was in, we noticed she was shivering and huddled in a corner. My husband knelt down and held out his hand to her. It took her a few minutes but she looked in his eyes and walked over to sniff then lick his hand. That was it. She picked us to go home with, and so we headed up to the desk to fill out the paper work. Easy peasy, right? nope. It was 5:00pm and they were closing, and told us we'd have to come back tomorrow. And, btw, there was another couple who wanted to adopt her. WHAT?

Now that we had met Cleo, we knew she was the one. That was a rough night of anxiety, and we were standing outside the door when they opened the next day. The other couple was right behind us, but they were behind us. Ok, so we just fill out the paperwork and take her home right? nope. First we had to be interviewed to see if we were suitable to adopt Cleo. You see she was kind of a 'special needs' dog. Her previous owners had neglected her. Leaving her all day locked up, and then would hit her when they returned and saw that she had gone to the bathroom on the floor. She also had not been socialized as a puppy and was extremely timid. We always joked that she was not an 'alpha' dog, but an 'omega' dog. She would hide behind our legs when other dogs were around. That never changed. No matter how many times we tried puppy school. 

After much convincing that we understood that she was going to need some special attention. We moved on to fill out those papers ... FINALLY. But then we had to come back to get her the following day as the ASPCA will not allow adoption without having pets spade or neutered. So we waited one more day. I always called her my 'tooth fairy' dog as that was the prompt that got us to the ASPCA at just the right moment to find her waiting for us. I love this picture of her getting her first bath as she licked the water off my husbands hands. She was just so happy to be with us, people who wanted her, played with her and included her in our lives. I'll leave you with one more thing. A treasury from Etsy that I created as encouragement to adopt a shelter pet. They have so much love to give.

'The Simple Truth' by AntiquityTravelers

Give love, receive love. Hug, and love comes back. Find a pet. Adopt a pet. Rescue an abused or neglected animal. You'd be surprised how amazing it is to provide a loving home to a shelter pet.


Give Love. Wood Block Decor.
$11.00

Shelter Dog Photography Blac...
$12.00

Adopt a Dog Decal Paw Print ...
$3.99

Dog photography- australian ...
$18.00

Cat Photography Black and Wh...
$60.00

Love Wedding Sign - Photogra...
$40.00

who's a pretty boy (dog ...
$20.00

Maybe My Dog Rescued Me pill...
$15.95

Journal - I Heart My Rescue ...
$10.00

best friends dog girl photo ...
$6.00

Love Like Crazy. Home Decor.
$10.00

Rustic Pet Photograph - Let&...
$25.00

Digital Image Download,Digit...
$5.00

Nursery Decor Photo Cute Bla...
$14.00

PATTERN - Frog Hat for Kids...
$5.50

I Love You To The Moon And B...
$38.00

23 comments:

Duni said...

Cynthia...my heart squeezes reading this. Losing a furry member of the family is the hardest thing.
Cleo was a sweetheart, I can see that. Over here I do my best to educate people about respecting animals. You can find me at the local shelter very often and as you know I'd love to adopt all of the kitties and doggies there...
I love your treasury!!

p.s. I enjoyed reading more about you over at Moncy3 :)

Memories for Life said...

What a great post! Cleo sounds like such a sweetheart!
Love your treasury and the message it sends :)

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

What a beautiful, heartwarming story on this cold winter day. Every time I hear about animals being abused, it shatters my heart to pieces. I am so glad this sweetheart of a dog found you and you found her. She brought so much joy into your lives and you did in hers. Her spirit will live on forever.

Claudia Aguilar said...

What a sweet story, I am loving those puppy eyes on the bath time pictures.

Natasha Hoover said...

I love my shelter pets! In fact, my entire life, all but one cat or dog was either adopted from a shelter or picked up for free from someone who couldn't provide the critter a home. The one purchased pet was a Persian cat and caused my dad to forbid house cats for the next 20 years! After that, until my sister pitched a fit about her old Siamese, pets were outdoors (and barn) only. It's a good thing we live in the South! Adopted pets are so much better. I swear they remember their lives before.

Christine Altmiller said...

This has my in tears. What a great gift you guys were to each other. These photos show Cleo was a beautiful dog and I am sure as your stories trickle out, we will learn of the beauty within her too. We have our first dog now and I cannot imagine there was a 41 year span of time I was not a "dog person". They bring so much love and understanding to us, and such constant enthusiasm.

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

I'm so sorry about your loss. Pets bring us so much love and joy. I don't understand how people can abuse them. My Hope (cat) is from the local shelter, too. She was their only cat on the very urgent list (you now what that means) and I went specifically to get her. I'll be heartbroken when she's gone.

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

What a sweetie, getting her first bath -- she looks so trusting. That's a lovely, though heartbreaking story... it's obvious that Cleo was a very special family member.
We've had cats -- all shelter adopted or rescued -- and they have been the best friends you could ask for.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful story!

storybeader said...

So sorry for your loss, but look at all those years. Our dogs have always been "second hand" doggies. I found Buster, our current doggie, in the museum parking lot where I work, running around in circles one morning, looking for his owner. Someone just dropped him off, poor thing. The doggie we had at the time was a child of a divorce and very timid. She passed away last year, at only (about) 8 years old. We're not sure because the people who we got her from didn't pay any attention to her, and left her in a concrete garage... She came home with us at about 1 years old {:-D

Rose said...

Thanks for sharing Cleo and her stories with us today! She sounds like such a sweetheart. I know that she'll always have a special place in your hearts.

Jane said...

Wonderful memories! Your lives certainly were enriched by Cleo's presence - and dear spirit. So tragic to consider what some animals suffer at the hands of the people who should love them the most.

BeadedTail said...

I'm pretty sure you know tears are running down my face! What a sweet story about Cleo and I have always believed that animals pick us rather more often than not. She was such a pretty girl and I'm so glad she had a loving forever home with you!

New End Studio said...

Cleo blossomed from your love and care. They only need love and they give much more in return; and leave us too soon. I still miss mine, everyday.

Gloria ♥

Nancy said...

Oh, what a sweet story! It's never easy when a beloved pet passes, but it's so nice to think about all of the good memories you had with them and how happy you made their life!

Magic Love Crow said...

What a beautiful and precious story! I am sorry for your loss! But, I am so happy Cleo had you and your family! She is happy and looking down on you ;o) Love your treasury!!

Mama Zen said...

I am a firm advocate for rescue dogs! I'm sorry that you lost Cleo.

Additionsstyle said...

What a wonderful story, and I am happy Cleo was able to be part of your family! I am a true advocate of adopting pets. We rescued a little dog who was almost 10, and I wish I could have more time with her, but I cherish every minute I have. Pets are a wonderful thing!
Valerie
Everyday Inspired

Designed by Vera said...

Love the story. And it seems like all the animals we have ever had have all "picked" us! Our last one, was dropped off in our front yard...Now she is almost 11 years old and slowing down. I am so glad you had that time with cleo! Pets are best!

BIKBIK AND RORO said...

Beautiful dog, lovely story. There's nothing quite like the pure, straightforward joy and affection pets offer, is there? Yes, yes yes -- adopt a pet -- you did a wonderful thing Cynthia; so glad you two found each other.

Janet Bocciardi said...

So glad Cleo had you! My Moose is a rescue dog and he's the sweetest thing. They forgive easily and although they may find trust difficult with new people or dogs - they know who loves them and given a chance will connect and attach. Lucky Dog... Lucky You!

So sorry for your sorrow and hope you've got a new one to love.

Judy Nolan said...

What a great story about your Cleo! I'm sorry about your loss, but am glad you have such wonderful memories of her.

city said...

thanks for share.

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