Cleo Has Left the Building
If there is a God, Cleopatra Walker O’Keefe is sleeping peacefully beneath a celestial desk, feet twitching, eyes moving rapidly beneath closed lids, as she pursues an impertinent squirrel across an endless grassy dreamscape. Cleo left us early Saturday morning after 13 amazing years. In her final week, the bone cancer moved aggressively into Cleo’s lungs and then her spine, leaving her unable to stand and breathing with difficulty. This was the same dog I once watched from the kitchen window as she sprinted across the yard to leap, with perfect timing, to knock a running squirrel off the top of our six-foot privacy fence.
We knew it was time.
Cleo lived a wonderful dog’s life. She had uncontested sway over a yard infested with wonderfully elusive squirrels and rabbits, a house requiring her constant vigilance to rebuff the daily incursions of persistent mail carriers, a doggy Bill of Rights entitling her to two walks a day, rain, snow, sleet or shine, lakeside vacations, and a biscuit before bed.
I know it’s a cliché–I know everyone says it about their own dog–but Cleo was the world’s best dog. And she was the best kind of a dog: a mutt, although one with an exotic bearing that allowed us to pass her off to credulous strangers as a purebred “Egyptian Shorthair”. It leaves a hole in our hearts to no longer be among her loyal retainers.
World’s best dog.