The Water Is Wide


Yesterday we helped our old friend Cleo cross the rainbow bridge. It was a very, very sad day for me, but she went peacefully, at home, thanks to a very compassionate mobile veterinarian who performs at-home euthanasia services.

It was time: an ultrasound last week revealed tumors all through her liver, spleen, and her one remaining kidney. She was in pain, despite doses of Tramadol. She’d stopped eating her regular food and could only manage a few nibbles of ground turkey and sweet potato I cooked for her. So, while we’re sad, we’re grateful we got to spend a final weekend saying our goodbyes and telling her how much we loved her.

I wrote about Cleo here, about how I got her from Nashville’s pound, and our first trip to the beach two weeks later. Cleo was the first dog I actually picked out, and I can’t believe how fast our time together has flown.

We have lots of stories about Cleo, most of them involving food. She was a masterful counter-cleaner, and sneaky, too! One time Mr. Beale was looking for the half dozen Jalapeno bagels we’d bought the day before, and we realized Cleo had eaten them all when we found the plastic sleeve she’d hidden in her bed. Another time I had two New York strip steaks marinating in a dish under a paper towel. When Mr. Beale had the grill ready he lifted the white paper towel and shouted to me, “Hey! Do I get a steak?” — where there had been two steaks, now there was only one! Cleo had snuck one out of the marinade, without disturbing the white paper towel, without leaving so much as a drop of marinade on the counter or floor. If she’s reincarnated as a human she will be the best thief ever.

Cleo loved to swim, but she hated baths. Her favorite thing in the world was to chase squirrels. I imagine she’s with her good buddy Zelda, running through a field chasing squirrels and jumping in a cool, clear pond.

Goodbye, old girl. You were a good dog.



Filed under pets

20 responses to “The Water Is Wide

  1. greennotGreen

    I’m so sorry. I’m glad she had a good life, but it is always hard to lose a pet,even though you know you’ve done well by them.

  2. democommie

    Both I and my roommate, Buddy the Wonderdog express our sympathy. He just had his breakfast of sweet potato, rice, ground turkey and some bits of roasted chicken. As I look over at him I realize that whether there’s a doggy/kitty/gerbil/ferret heaven matters less than what we give them while they are with us. Buddy is currently looking at me with that, “Let’s take a walk”, look.

    Rest easy, Cleo.

  3. SiubhanDuinne

    I am so sorry. Big loss.

  4. It’s hard when a good, loyal friend dies, especially when you have to make the choice. Bless vets who will do that. We had one who did that for one of our dogs. It was hard enough for her without having to put her through a trip in the truck.

    Only think of the good memories, that’s what a good dog would want.

  5. So sorry for your loss.

  6. yutsano

    Hugz. I hope you both are okay.

  7. So sorry for your loss. I’ve been there and know how hard it is. I do love the analogy of the Rainbow Bridge. It’s always brought me comfort whenever I think of my sweet kitty, Muffin.

  8. Sending my condolences. It’s never easy.

  9. ThresherK

    Condolences from CT.

    I have this innate ability to remember dates, which is my blessing and curse, so on some of the anniversaries of pet passings (Oct 5th, Mar 20th) I’ll be a bit of a wreck, and my wife will not realize what’s going on until I remind her.

  10. I am so, so sorry.

    I too have been where you are now, within the past year, with a 16-year-old kitty who was born in my house. The last two of her siblings are still with me. So, this will happen again, I just hope not soon.

    Think of Cleo running, playing, and being a pup again. Cry when you need to.

    Blessings and peace to all of you.

  11. Ravensara Travillian

    I’m so sorry :(. For me, the grief of losing dear companions has gradually been replaced by the solace that and bittersweet joy that good memories bring with them.

    I hope that it is the same way for you. Wishing you all the best.

  12. deep

    RIP Cleo. 😦

  13. Roadmaster1968

    My condolences and big hugs to you.

  14. Pam

    I recently helped my last geezer kitty cross the Rainbow Bridge too. He was such a Mama’s Boy, I had to tell him that his buddy was waiting and I’d see him again. My heart aches for you and your family. Hugs.

  15. Flying Junior

    I remember that Cleo post from a couple of years back. They start to look so beautiful when the first little grey hairs appear on the snout. Fortunately it’s not really all that sad until the day finally comes. As long as we are living, loving and enjoying each day together, we don’t fear the future. Animals bring us such an incredible portion of true joy and contentment it seems like the greatest thing on earth.

    Our daughter fell pretty hard for a Dutch Shepherd she got in 1999. I remember when she brought that slathering beast home with her from San Francisco. It fell to me to care for the little monster a couple of weeks, the dog less than two years old at the time. First thing I did was fix her an enormous skillet full of eggs, beans, corn tortillas and cheese. My wife remembers more vividly a skillet full of shrimp and scallops that she got to before we did. Then I leashed her up and took her on about a three mile walk in the middle of the night with my little sheep dog to tire her out enough to sleep. Duffy always said that he wanted to marry her. One beautiful spring day in 2004, we all climbed the mountain at Dripping Springs with my wife and her dog to look for wildflowers. Kathryn took a picture of my little dog with a flower stuck to his eyebrow.

  16. Flying Junior

    We were hanging out at the local elementary school on the playing fields. Someone called the cops. I saw their headlights. Escaped down the stairs on the playground to a different neighborhood without causing any general alarm. It was a long uphill trek back home!