It's not a great picture but it captures the alertness of Cybele, my dog who today passed on with the grace and trust that great dogs have. She was at least 15 years old. Cybele was half Sharpei and half Basset Hound. She was difficult to handle at times but always was good spirited and stoic and very loyal and loving.
While she was in film school, my daughter, Cary, adopted Cybele from a kill pound in Los Angeles in 2004. After she graduated, Cary worked in Los Angeles and on the night she moved into a new apartment, a man broke in with the intention of attacking her. Cybele intervened and prevented any harm to Cary. Cary called us in Maryland in the middle of the night after the police had left and said she did not feel safe there. She and Cybele caught a plane that day to Maryland. At the time we had two Beagles, Blue and Dashiell. Blue was the alpha. When Cary brought Cybele into our house, she and Blue, who was half her size, squared off in the kitchen, and they engaged in ear biting. Blue won and ever after he and Cybele were in love. Cybele obeyed Blue's commands. If someone knocked at the door, Blue would bark and Cybele would run to the door.
Cybele hated cats. When Cary was living in Ventura, California, Cybele went through a plate glass window in her house to go after and kill a cat. When she lived with us in Maryland, she jumped our fence to chase neighborhood cats. Cary met her future husband while she was working on a movie in Bulgaria where he was in the Peace Corps. When he returned to the U.S. and got a job in Portland, she decided to join him. However, he had a cat he had brought with him from Bulgaria. Cybele could not live with them. So she stayed with us in Maryland. Later, she came with us when we moved to Oregon.
My late wife, Jan, and Cybele were very close. Cybele and I were with Jan when she died at our home in April, 2014, and I think it severely affected Cybele. She never was quite the same. I moved in October and shortly after that Cybele seemed to go into decline. It accelerated in the past several weeks. In human terms she probably was more than 100 years old. She had become a quiet and gentle companion and I will miss her very much.