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Monday, October 31, 2011

Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile and our house

I've wanted a dog pretty much from the moment I was born.  My mother may disagree with the exact date, but I'm sure that my infant dreams included puppy paws.  Since moving to Egypt it's been hard for me to accept the fact that my dreams of life with a dog would have to go on hold until we moved back to the states.  But then a couple of things changed.  First of all, we started to realize that we're probably going to be in Egypt for longer than we originally thought.  And second we developed some really close relationships with Egyptian friends who live locally.  It suddenly occurred to me this summer that I can continue living here feeling like my life is on hold because I can't have the things I need to make my life feel complete.  Or, I can live my life no matter where I am and work through the complications.

So we got a puppy.

Her name is Cleo and we are a bit infatuated with her.  I've always wanted a big dog, and though a golden retriever wasn't my dream dog, it made a lot more sense to start with something smaller than a great dane.  She is tawny, mellow and full of personality.  When we first got her one of her wierdest obsessions was wedging herself into the cushions of the couch or sleeping with her head propped up.

She's also much more baby than dog sometimes since she loves to be held in your arms and falls asleep on her back with her paws up in the air.

We've gotten a real kick out of teaching her tricks and moving her closer to being house trained.  She's a very smart and good natured dog so it's been more fun than work.  So far she's learned to sit, stay, come and fetch.  And probably our favorite of her personality quirks is that she's extremely quiet.  It took her 5 weeks to bark for the first time and now she only does it when she needs something.  I'm so much happier in Cairo now that I have more of a home and a feeling of family.  Cleo has added such a richness and layer of playfulness to our days.

I was looking through photos and videos we've taken of her since she joined the family in August and it amazes me how much she's grown.  She's only 3 1/2 months old and being away from her for a weekend felt like she had changed tremendously.  I can only imagine how this compares to parenthood, but it feels like we're getting some good practice!

Cleo at 3 1/2 months- Tonight
Cleo at 45 days old