Cleo: A Basset Hound’s Resurrection

Growing up, we had a basset hound. Her name was Cleo. She was beautiful and sweet and believed in retribution when she was done wrong. As a puppy, we used to clothes pin her ears together so she could eat without her ears getting in her puppy food and milk. As she grew into those ears, she got sweeter and sweeter. Never was there a sweeter dog.

But if you left her alone too long, beware of what you’d find when you came back home. Woe be to those who done her wrong. She once grabbed ONE of my brother’s shoes and tore it to shreds in anger. She left the other one lying on the floor, as if to say, “I have self control. I just wanted to make sure you knew I did this on purpose.”

One of my brothers had a part time job filling candy vending machines and he kept his inventory in cabinets in the utility room. Once, Cleo was left alone for too long to her own devices. Somehow, she got into the cabinets where the candy was and devoured an entire BOX of Reese’s peanut butter cups. Who said dogs can’t eat chocolate? It didn’t seem to bother Cleo!

Cleo had one problem, though. She suffered from epileptic seizures. We don’t know why, and they weren’t very well controlled by medication, either. After a seizure, she’d lose all her orientation, forget where she was, and it would take her a while to come out of it. It was very sad.

I went away to college and while I was gone, she suffered a seizure while she was outside. This was back in the days before leash laws were around or enforced, and all the neighborhood dogs ran free. Apparently, she got disoriented and got lost. My parents couldn’t find her, and so they called me at school and told me she had died.

Of course I cried.

And then they called to say she was alive!

Huh?

It turns out that, when they couldn’t find her, my parents — in their infinite wisdom — decided it would be better to tell me she was dead than that she was missing. But a lover of basset hounds saw this dog walking down the railroad tracks, and thought it might be lost, so he picked her up and called to say he had found our dog.

SHE’S ALIVE AGAIN! And then my parents had to call me back.

Unfortunately, Cleo only lived for 5 years. Her tired body just couldn’t keep taking the beatings that the seizures induced. She was just worn out, poor thing. But she was a beautiful dog, and the sweetest dog I think I ever knew. Until I met Treyce. But that’s another story. Another sad story…

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~ by Heather on October 19, 2010.

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