1.20.2008

clio's story, part two

we left our fearless heroine snuggled up next to me on her first night inside my apartment. she adapted very easily to our morning routine, and i felt horrible for whoever might have lost her. had she been *my* dog, i would be terrified at not being able to find her.

since she did have a collar, i knew that there must be someone somewhere missing her...i put up fliers and left signs at pet shops, put ads in the paper, halfway hoping all along that no one called. a few people called, but it always turned out that the dog i had was not the one they had lost. i found myself holding my breath every time i heard someone say, "i'm calling about your found dog ad in the paper..."

one morning, clio wouldn't come back in after i'd let her out. she knew that our morning routine went as follows:

-lady gets up and takes precious and clio out
-lady feeds us, takes a shower, gets dressed
-lady takes us out again
-lady LEAVES.

she didn't like that last one. truthfully i wasn't wild about it myself, but someone had to bring home the kibble.

so...there i was, begging a stray dog to get back into my apartment. she wouldn't budge. i was going to be late. as a teacher, this was totally unacceptable. i got in the car and started to drive away. she chased me. i got out of the car, hoping she'd come to her senses, no dice.

driving away that morning is one of the hardest things i have ever ever done in my life. i cannot explain fully how awful that felt.

all day long, all i did was worry about her.

i got home to find that she'd made friends with the local crazy guy, and he'd opted to call animal control. i won't even begin to describe what that did to me.

the animal control officer came over to talk to me - blubbering fool that i'm sure i was - and assured me that if no one claimed her within a week, i could pick her up and either keep her or continue to try finding her home.

i cried all night that first night. kicking myself repeatedly for leaving her. blaming myself for the whole lousy situation. she wasn't even my dog, a few friends said...

but she was. i hadn't named her and i hadn't let myself say it, but she *was* mine. she was happy and thriving with me, and she'd brought joy into my days and evenings.

i called the city animal control office daily. several times daily. it may come as no surprise at all when i tell you that at the end of the third day of these calls, they told me, "um, yeah...come get her please..."

when i pulled into the parking lot, i caught sight of her...she was tied to the side of a barnlike building, with straw for a bed. she recognized my car immediately, the full-body wag and leaping convinced me she'd missed me too.

little side-effect of this whole thing? no matter what, last 9 years that dog comes when i call her now... :D

i brought her home and set about the task of naming her...so many tried and discarded...my mom suggested cleopatra as a joke, mostly...but the fact that the dog had such regal bearing about her sort of begged a regal name. i liked the thought and the sound of it, but...wow, what a moniker to hang on someone.

and then i started thinking about how she felt like such a gift to my life...and the clio award occurred to me...an award, a gift....clio...

she responded to it readily, and it seemed like something we could both live with.

precious passed away five years ago, and clio mourned her in her own way - although she knew as well as i did that i had made precious hang on way too long - and she helped me to mourn.

if i'd been looking for her, i'd likely have never found her. what wonderful fortune that she was able to find me...

6 comments:

Jay said...

just has huge chibi eyes and wonders not (as usual) how I came to fall in love with you... *smiles softly and waits for 5 o'clock to hug you both*

cricket said...

awwww...impatiently waiting too... :)

~J~ said...

Omg... I want to hug Clio too!!!!

cricket said...

she's very huggable..and loves cuddling...c'mon down! :)

Ray said...

Aww what a sweet story! I'm so glad Clio found such a good home :)I definitely believe that sometimes animals are brought to us right when we need them (and they need us), through fate, or whatever you wanna call it.

Side note: when I was 5 I had a hamster named Cleopatra, lol. Big name for a tiny ball of fur. And also had a cat named Precious for many years.

cricket said...

awwwww...see, we were meant to be friends :D yup yup...pet fate or kismet or whatever you wanna call it is definitely a strong force... :)

 

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