I love doggies. Well, I love all animals but I love doggies the most. I have my very own floppy basset hound and I love her so much. She’s our little lovebug and I cannot imagine my life without her. I used to be obsessed with looking at animals on Craigslist, I wanted a dog so bad but kind of unsure about the commitment. One day I saw her and I just can’t even express what I felt. I was so drawn to her, I thought about her constantly, I emailed the rescue agency from every single email address I had. I believe the rescue got 165 emails about Cleo and I was the one who got the phone call from the rescue owner, Angela.
I called my husband while he was at work and calmly notified him that I will be going to meet a dog that day, no commitment, just going to meet her and to see. I remember the first time I saw her, she was this short little fat thing that FOOLED me into thinking she was a small dog because of her 3 inch legs. Angela told me about her situation, the poor girl, used as a puppy factory in the back yard on someone’s home in Surrey BC. She obviously had lived outside because when Angela picked her up, she was covered in her own excrement and all of her nails were so long that they curled under. But Cleo had the sweetest disposition, she was so happy to see me, she had the most beautiful face I had ever seen.
I’d always wanted a basset hound, how can a person handle those long, floppy ears and the sagging skin? Plus, she snuggled!!! I was easily sold! Then I had to sell my husband. I didn’t blink though, I knew she was supposed to be ours and I signed some papers and took her home for an overnight trial at my house. My husband wasn’t sure but I think he felt the pull too. The next morning I was snuggling her on the couch and crying, I just couldn’t imagine my life without her and I was worried Bernt wasn’t on board. She was perfect because I knew bassets sleep most of the day. Cesar Milan always talks about getting a dog that matches your energy level. She was tired and saggy from having babies, just like me. She was a calm presence in the middle of our autism madness. Brent said yes and she became ours. She took her place on the couch and never left, Cleo was home.
There was something incredibly redemptive about taking in an unhealthy, scared, neglected dog and giving it true love for the very first time. Taking her to the dog park, she’s still the only dog that will go greet every single person and dog. I watched as she slowly came out of her shell, she started to have more spunk, more confidence. She lost weight ( total 15 pounds now) and after getting her on a good food, she stopped throwing up every day.
I could tell that kids had tormented her. When my kids had cars or balls or balloons out she would jump on the couch and hide behind me. She was very unsure of them sometimes and would growl a tiny bit. I just did what Cesar said to do and she got over it really fast. Now every morning Silas wakes up and heads downstairs to the couch to cuddle her. She’s calmed him down so many times. She will cuddle him for as long as he needs it. She will pretty much let them do anything to her. She is the receiver of awkward child hugs on a regular basis. They’re her kids, though, and she will tolerate them no matter what. It’s funny when they’re wet, she’s there to lick them dry…if we let her.
She’s sleeping soundly on the floor behind me. I’m her person and I must be followed around the house at all times. I love being a dog’s person. She thinks she’s a lap dog and spends some of her daily 20 hours of sleep on top of me…because she fits and all…
Cleo’s gone on to help me rescue two more dogs through the same rescue I got her from. They were on death row at Devore shelter in San Bernadino in CA. We bring them all the way to BC to give them a new life. She makes them feel at home, loved and comforted. She even takes them out to pee and teaches them to walk on a leash!! Her and I plan on rescuing more. It feels so good to do it.
Cleo is living proof that you can get a gorgeous, healthy, purebred dog that’s amazing even though they’ve been through so much. They are sentient beings who, really, just want someone to love them. Once they are safe and healthy, they will give you that love back, times ten. Sometimes I just look at her and think about how far she has come, what she’s been through and where she’s been. There are so many evil people in this world and not all dogs make it to loving homes. I’m just so glad that the suffering has ended for her. We have many years of happy memories ahead of us 🙂