Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas with Cleo

Cleo is quite special. She is our five-year-old Maltese, and, even though she is but seven pounds, she is a large presence in our family life.

We must factor Cleo's feelings into all our decisions. For instance, take our recent Christmas vacation to Colorado. It turns out Cleo likes to travel. As we began packing our suitcases Cleo ran around them sniffing and wagging her tail. You can almost hear her saying, "Oh boy, road trip!"

When we bring out her little white travel bag she frequently crawls in and out of it apparently in an effort to make sure things are just right for her. We place a couple of her toys in the bag, as well as water and dry food in the side pockets.

She sits patiently in the bag while waiting to board the plane at the airport, that is as long as she is on someone's lap. Her little nose poked out, and on occasion she stuck her head out to see what's happening. Before we leave one of us takes her to the bathroom where we placed a "wee-wee" pad on the floor. Cleo then immediately relieved herself before her journey (TMI?).

Cleo is a phenomenal passenger. She sat quietly in her bag, which must be resting on a lap. She doesn't like to be stuffed under the seat in front. She must be in her rightful place; after all, she is a lap dog.

This was her fifth trip to the Ft. Collins Hilton, located on the edge of the Colorado State University campus and in full view of the Rockies. She didn't spend too much time looking at the mountains; rather she liked to take walks, even in the cold and snow.

Upon returning from each of her walks, little Cleo runs to the automatic entrance doors, often alone with her leash trailing behind her. She then he zooms with little hesitation into the hotel even before the doors have fully opened. She then runs toward the lobby and around a corner. There she enters whichever elevator is open and waits for one of us to join her. Thankfully an elevator has never taken off with her as the solo occupant. Upon reaching our floor, Cleo dashes to the room we are occupying and waits for the door to be opened.

Now Vail had more than three feet of snow when we arrived. For sure, perfect skiing conditions. This should discourage any animal that is only ten inches tall. But Cleo loves to romp and sniff in the snow. While it is difficult to keep track of a small white dog in heavy white snow, Cleo's constant movement makes the task much easier.

Cleo likes receiving Christmas gifts. In fact, she likes everyone's Christmas gifts. She gets excited when packages are unwrapped, often jumping into the fray. She loves to tear, or chew, the wrapping paper off her own gifts. She then grabs each of her new toys in her teeth and runs around the room playing "keep away." She never asks that a present be returned or re-gifted.

I don't think Cleo believes in Santa Claus. But I do know she loves the Christmas spirit of giving. Everyday with Cleo is Christmas because she brings so much joy to our family and friends!

No comments: