Tuesday, January 12, 2010

 Lake Erie: January 12, 2010

Port Stanley: East side – 10:45 AM.  Still cold but the wind has died down and it seems much more comfortable. 

Port Stanley: East side – 10:15 AM. The Lake has given up the struggle - for now.

South End of Iona Road: 2:15 PM. The clouds gradually closed in and left everything very quiet and still.

Not The Lake:

Cleo after our walk this morning: Blogs make you tired!

About Cleo: Thanks to Frances for asking. Cleo is a 60lb. mostly German Shepherd who came to me 2 years ago in June. She was just over a year old then and was a rescue dog through Animalert, in London. ON. She had been abandoned in the basement of a farm house and had very nearly starved to death before she was found. After a period of recuperation - there was serious doubt as to her chances of survival but she managed it - she went to a wonderful foster home and then to me. While she is one of the toughest dogs I’ve ever had to deal with – a trait that no doubt kept her alive, she is also one of the smartest and loveliest. She came to me with the name Cleopatra, so-named because of the dark line around her eyes, much like those found on Egyptian tomb paintings. She was already responding to the name so I kept it in its shorter version.

As I said, she was tough. Dealing with her was quite a challenge and unbelievably frustrating by times. She’s the first dog I’ve had that CAN NOT be bribed with food. Doesn’t matter what it is – even yummy (gross) homemade liver treats – if she thinks I want something – and she always knows - she’ll just spit it out and stubbornly sits there. Treats of all kinds freely given, with no stings, are eagerly devoured. In spite of the ups and downs, she has learned pretty much everything I wanted her to and lots more. (My dad always said “If you want to teach a dog something, you have to know more than the dog”. You can see my problem). We’re still working on a few things. She had never been socialized with other dogs and can get herself into trouble pretty fast. She has the most difficulty with older female dogs – they just won’t tolerate her crap and I can’t say I blame them – her approach always seems to be head-on and full bore. She has better luck with the boys – Shadow and Hawk are her pals. She had the same trouble with people, especially men, but she quickly got well past that. The neighbours are as amazed as I am at how far she’s come.

The most important thing is that she adores my Grandchildren. She is utterly attentive to and patient with the older one as she would be with the younger if she had the chance. It isn’t that Cleo doesn’t like her it’s that she will have nothing to do with Cleo and the poor dog just can’t figure it out. We’re taking it very slowly and getting there bit by bit.

Dogs – like kids, are a work in progress but it’s some of the most rewarding work you’ll ever do. If you like animals at all, check out your local rescue group. I’m not saying rush out and adopt something – that’s a huge step that needs very deep, hard thought. If you’re up to it, go for it but there are so many other ways to help. There’s always cash, of course, but give them a call and see what they can use. That nearly new cat carrier for $2.00 at a yard sale, or the pile of blankets in the closet that are decent but you’ll never use again, may be exactly what they are looking for. Like so many things in life, it often doesn’t take much to make a difference.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you bought that couch for Cleo! Could you add a feather comforter, or an armrest doggie bowl? She obviously got over her abusive home and is comfortable with you. Good work and good for you! Oh! And the Lake.... Today, an icy enchantress!