A story about a little dog named Cisco

I don’t know how many times I have sent sympathetic texts and responses to pet owners who lost their animals whether to disease, old age, accident… So now we are grappling with what I believe are the last days of our chihuahua, Cisco. He will be 21 years old on October 19, 2021 but part of me doesn’t think he will make it that long. He does circles for what seems to be forever when he’s awake – a sign of doggy dementia. We have to hold his little body in place while he eats or he gets distracted and can’t find his bowl. He has a hard time sleeping except when he is on our lap, or swaddled in a blanket – otherwise he is so restless and agitated. At this very moment, he is sleeping soundly on my lap as I write this ode of love to an idiosyncratic, loving, ornery, happy, crazy, hilarious creature…

Cisco was about 6 weeks old when we got him in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was tiny and fit in the palm of one hand. He had a very dark muzzle and sweet brown, tan, black and white markings on his body. Marvin and he were inseparable for the first few weeks we had him. I was called away on a work trip and they bonded for life in a way that I can’t access… Cisco traveled with Marvin in a little carrier bag to work, in the car, and everywhere basically and I missed out.

In his younger years he was very athletic and would run and jump with great enthusiasm and vigor. He also learned to heel off the leash quite well for our strolls through the neighborhood in Greensboro. He went missing for about 12 hours at some point in our lives together and we were truly panicked. He literally disappeared from our yard and we suspected the worst. For sure, we thought, he had slipped into a drainage hole and was stuck and drowning. We posted Lost Dog posters with a reward all over our neighborhood. Then, at about 2am in the wee morning hours we heard a yip and a howl and we both jumped out of bed only to find Cisco at the front door seemingly unbothered by the whole episode. We still don’t know where he was for those unaccounted for hours…

Cisco is a traveling dog. He has lived in Honolulu, Hawaii; Greensboro, NC; and Atlanta, Georgia. For most of his life he ate the lamb-flavored small kibble Science Diet dry dog food and never complained. Early on, we had to take his toys away from him because he was very possessive of them and would snarl and bare his teeth if you tried to even get near one of them. The same goes for chew sticks and bones. Strangely enough, when it comes to his dog food, he enjoys it most when we hand-feed him from his bowl.

This final paragraph is being written about a month after I started this post…

Cisco’s health had been steadily declining over the past week and Marvin and I both knew how this story would end… On October 8th, eleven days before his 21st birthday, Cisco took his last ride in the car and we said our final farewell. The process was carried out with solemnity, kindness, and gentle care. He peacefully slept in my arms as he took his last breath. No struggle, no pain, just relief for his little body.

I’m sure Cisco will be with us in our afterlife as he was with us in this one, rambunctious, silly, playful, and crazy. He will be forever in our hearts, our baby.

“And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way it all would end, the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance, I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.” The Dance – Garth Brooks

About helvetius59

Lifelong learner, loyal friend, setting out to take over the world-- but only for the powers of good!
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2 Responses to A story about a little dog named Cisco

  1. Roy Eric van Broekhuizen says:

    I am also very saddened by the loss of Cisco. I am not one to get attached to animals, but Cisco was a special dog even though he would snarl and such when I first met him in NC. The last visit was in Georgia and I had a wonderful time with Cisco. Even though I only saw him a few times, Cisco will always be remembered with fondness. I am sure God has a place for him in Doggie Heaven. Rest in peace…

  2. Rita Parham says:

    A beautiful tribute to crazy, always lovable, your big-dog-in-a-little-body snarly Cisco.

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