Goodbye Cleo


Many of my long term readers and clients have met or virtually met my dog Cleo over the years.  She sits next to me in the banner on this blog and spent her days in my office nudging me every few hours, knocking my hand off the keyboard requesting attention (and frequently a treat from the tin on my desk too).  She’d sometimes photobomb me as I’d take my outfit photos.  There is a beige colour chip called Cleo after her in one of my colour swatches (colour naming is arbitrary and it’s my colour system so I get to name all the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of colours).


Goodbye Cleo the whippet

This past weekend has been heartbreaking for me.  5 years ago Cleo was diagnosed with cancer on one of her legs, and we had it operated on 3 times, having it removed, but because of where it was located they couldn’t get the whole thing, and it grew back again and again.   Over these last couple of years she’d also developed a cough, secondary lung cancer, and as the cancer on her leg grew and grew to a point where the skin could no longer hold it in any longer and we knew it was the right time to say goodbye.  We were lucky to have had this time with her.  The vet’s prognosis 18 months ago was that she’d be unlikely to make even another 12 months, so we got at least a bonus 6 months with her on what we expected.

Cleo was the fourth whippet I’ve owned in my life.  The first one Binker, appeared as a stray puppy, beaten and starved when I was just 17.   All my whippets have been rescues, and some have come with issues because of their life, prior to joining my family.  Some of you may remember when Cleo went missing in Canberra for 12 days back in 2012, that experience gave her PTSD, and she would no longer leave the house and go for walks after that.  But our house was her haven and she was always so happy to be here with us.

When the vet asked me on Saturday why I had chosen whippets, I told him that the first one chose me, and then I realised that our personalities just fit together so well.  Whippets are quiet and loving, are either full speed running or total couch potatoes, like some attention and then happy to be an observer and don’t require much in the way of grooming (no need for regular clipping of their fur!).    

Such a gentle loving dog who brought so much joy and love to my life.  Cleo has been my whippet-shaped shadow over the past 11 years, and leaves a whippet-shaped hole in my heart.  

Vale Cleo you beautiful girl.

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  • A beautiful friend, much loved and will be dearly missed. What a loving home you gave Cleo and what devotion she gave you. I will miss her too, my visits to your home will be missing a beautiful whippet- shaped soul

  • I am sorry for your loss. Cleo brought so much joy and fun to your photos and webinars With her unexpected appearances. My condolences.

    • Imogen, I’m so sorry. No matter how many years you have with a beloved pet, it’s never long enough. Condolences to you and your family.

  • Oh, Imogen, my heart reaches out to you and your family. Sweet dogs fill a special place in our lives and our heart, especially a Whippet like Cleo. Words cannot express your sense of loss and only time will help ease the pain. Thank goodness for the sweet memories.

    I know you can feel the love and support from your faithful fans,

  • Losing a beloved pet is so hard, even when you know it is best for them. I’m sure your home feels empty without her. I’m so sorry.

  • Words cannot say how sad how sad I am, with you, and for you. Will figure out some sort of special treat to give my three tonight, to celebrate her life!

  • Sorry to hear about that end, now Cleo is no longer in pain, I m sure she will be in your good memories, tons of love,

  • Sad day for you Imogen – big hugs. Nice photo memories especially the gorgeous pic here with Cleo. No more suffering

  • So sorry for your loss. Our animals are part of our family. I enjoy your blog very much. I like to hear about your travels

  • Very sad to read about Cleo passing, a sweet dog with a beautiful soft face that will be sadly missed by all.loosing pets is so heartbreaking.

  • What a beautiful tribute to Cleo, Imogen. I’m so sorry for your loss. I remember when Cleo went missing & your joy when she returned. Thank you for sharing Cleo with us over the years – she enriched all of our lives from afar! ?

  • I’m so sorry to hear this sad news Imogen. I always liked seeing her in videos and pics…..very sweet. Condolences to you and your family on the loss of such a loved family member.

  • Letting them go, before the pain gets too bad – that’s the last act of love we can give them. It never gets any easier, but we are so lucky to share our lives with dogs like Cleo. Hang on to the good memories.

  • So sorry for the loss of your fur baby. I’ve had to go thru this several times in recent years. Please enjoy this poem … I hope it helps in healing.

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge:
    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

  • So sorry to hear that you lost Cleo. I always feel so sad when someone loses their best furry friend. Deepest condoleances from the Netherlands.


  • I’m so sorry for your loss. When one of our Borzoi died 2 years ago, our oldest daughter said: it’s not leaving a hole, it made my soul and heart bigger. With a permanent space for our Borzoi, clearing the road for more love. I loved that.
    Take care <3

  • I’m so sorry you lost your fur baby Imogen. I know how hard it is as I lost mine 3 years ago. They leave a big paw print on our hearts that we will always remember and love them. My heart goes out to you.

  • This brought tears to my eyes. I am truly sorry for your loss, Imogen. Pets bring such pure love to our lives and it is always hard to say goodbye.

  • Imogen, I am so sorry for your heartbreak and loss of your little fur friend. They hold such a special place in our hearts. I’m glad you had so many wonderful times together.

  • So sorry to hear about your lovely dog, Imogen. They are such an important part of the family. She was lucky to be in yours.

  • Imogene, you have my sincere sympathy. Even though Cleo is no longer physically with you, she is always with you in spirit. Well done you, for “rescuing”. Perhaps Cleo stepped aside for another who needs your love.

  • Making the right decision isn’t easy, since giving the best for our fur-babies, leaves us bereft. I’m glad that you have so many wonderful memories of Cleo, and I’m sure she passed on so many skills to help when the time comes to add another family member. My thoughts are with you. Cathi

  • My deepest condolences. I lost my dog to cancer in December, and I know exactly how it feels to have lost your fuzzy shadow. You can and will always love her, and like you, I will get another when the time is right.

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