We got a very sad phone call yesterday from my sister. Our little family dog had died after a long and illustrious life. Though we knew the time would come eventually, the news has us all a bit shook up. We are not, by nature, dog people, but Cicero was an integral part of the family unit, especially for the time that we lived in my parents’ home. In the boys’ minds, he was the perfect dog, against which all other dogs were compared.
For this little boy, especially, the news was heartbreaking. We lived with my parents the first three months of Preston’s life, while Seth was in Spain on a fellowship. For that reason, he and Cicero have always been kindred spirits. Whenever we’d visit the home, Preston would get down on the floor and lay his cheek against Cicero’s face. They understood each other, these too.
At dinner last night, we went around and told of our favorite Cicero memories, from hearing his familiar scratch at the back door to never, ever having to sweep the kitchen floor after a meal, because Cicero took care of the cleaning. We affectionately called him our double-wide Chihuahua.
The night Cicero died, my mom had arrived in town to put the finishing touches on our Texas home before putting it up for sale. She and Dad live in Michigan now, my sister and her husband are headed off on a new adventure in Colorado, and the looming question in all of this flux was: “What do we do with Cicero?”
And this little dog, always the perfect gentleman, seemed to sense that his time had come. It was both fitting and proper for him to begin and end his life in the house on Rickerhill.
Good night, sweet dog. “May flights of angels sing this to thy rest.” As I told Preston, I do believe that all dogs go to heaven. At least, dogs as big-hearted as this one.