clio's story, part one

i'm not 100% on this, since all my old archives are pretty much either gone or not easily accessible, but i don't think i've ever written about how clio came to adopt me...

yes, she most assuredly adopted me...

at the time, i was living in an apartment complex that was set up kind of oddly. there were about 8 or 9 little parking lots off of the main route into and out of the complex. each parking lot had 8 apartments that faced into the lot. they were single story buildings - wow, do i miss that attic. the complex itself was on a very busy road, but once you got into the heart of the area, we were surrounded by fields and woods. from my patio, you couldn't tell you were right on top of a highway, really, but it was close to everything i needed to get to, and it was home.

my cocker spaniel mix, precious (shut up, i was still a kid when i got her... :)), was still alive, although she was in ill health and i was dreading the time when she either passed away on her own or i had to make a decision. in my heart, i felt like i just couldn't get attached to a dog again and precious would be my last pet. now, i've had dogs ALL of my life, so i know i would not really have been able to stick to that, but by then she'd been with me for 13 or 14 years, and i really didn't want to wrap my brain around the thought of losing her.

i was still teaching high school - i KNOW, me...but i escaped - and i had to be up and gone at the ass-crack of dawn one saturday morning to meet the academic team for which i was the advisor. we had a tournament, and i needed to be there early so we could get our "rah rah go team" action on.

as i took precious out for her morning constitutional, i glanced across the parking lot and saw a shape wiggling and whining at the door of one of my elderly neighbors. he was heading back into his apartment, and there was a young dog hesitantly trying to be friendly to him. i knew it wasn't his dog, we'd talked several times and gotten to be friendly.

she caught sight of me and gave a full body wiggle and raced across the parking lot, stopping just out of arm's reach. she wanted to play and be petted, but she was so scared. i tried to gently coax her closer, but she was too skittish.

i brought her some water and a bowl of food, but she was too nervous for that, too.

finally, i had to leave or risk being late, and i wasn't going to be able to do that. all the way across the county i thought about that sweet sweet puppy, and i worried about how she had come to be in our little apartment complex and why she was so afraid. she was beautiful, brown and black and fluffy coated. i could tell that she was too big to be allowed to live in our complex, so she had to have come from somewhere else, but it was a crapshoot as to where that might be.

she had a collar, but no tag. the obvious conclusions were that she'd either gotten out of somewhere, or she'd been dumped. unfortunately, that happens way too often around these parts, so it wasn't something inconceivable.

i figured by the time i got home she would be long gone, but as i pulled up, there she was. all full body wags and happiness.

i went in, changed clothes, took care of precious...then took a tennis ball out to the puppy.

we played fetch with that tennis ball for hours and hours...every single time i threw the ball, she brought it straight back to me. eventually, she even trusted me enough to pet her.

all too soon, the sun sank.

i thought to myself, *what* am i gonna do with this dog?? by now - softie that i am - i couldn't just leave her out there. but i also thought, i *can't* bring her in...or can i???

i tried - once - to go inside without her. but i couldn't resist peeking out the window at her, and she was looking up at the door, such a lost expression on her face.

i caved.

i think that night is the first time that she ever set paw on carpeting, because the look on her face as she felt it against her feet was priceless. as soon as she came in, she sought out something to curl up under, settling in a little ball of puppy underneath the table the tv was on.

the tv amazed her...she watched it, gobsmacked, then ran around behind it to see from whence all the people and animals were coming. she carefully, quietly, skittishly explored every corner of the apartment and tried - unsuccessfully - to make friends with precious.

when bedtime arrived, this adorable little bundle leapt up onto the bed beside me, snuggled close, and fell asleep.

little did i know, but that was the end for me...

next: how clio became mine forever and ever, amen...


Jay said...

Awwwwwwwww, and I already knew part of this but still.... :)

cricket said...

she sucker punched you, too... ;)


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