One of the finest, sweetest dogs to ever come into my life was Cerbie.
I used to say Cerbie should have been born human and beach bum- she should have spent her days watching the ocean, and her nights by a bonfire and she would have always been smiling and making friends with travelers to her beach from all over the world.
Instead, Cerbie was born a Mastiff/Retriever and she spent her days playing Mom our cats who came into our lives as kittens. She would follow me from room to room wagging her tail with this light just shining from her eyes.
She still followed me from room to room with that light even when her arthritis was so bad it took her minutes instead of seconds to follow me down the hallway.
The day Cerbie died, my soul just broke- I didn’t think it was possible to feel that after I had lost my cat Wolfie a few years before (He lived to be 17. Cerbie only made it to 10 years)
But I was so wrong. There was plenty left to hurt as I discovered.
I always called Cerbie my Little Girl- she was younger then my dog Domino and Wolfie. But Cerbie was a very big dog and weighed a solid 85 pounds.
She didn’t have an once of fat on her. It was all sweetness and muscle.
Cerbie was her nickname.
The thing of it is, her name was (is) Cerberus and I did name her after the three headed dog that guarded the gates to Hades.
When Cerberus was in the yard with my nieces ( who were toddlers at the time ) or with her cats, or I was walking her she was all business.
She was kind, but she wouldn’t let anybody stand too close ( she’s sort of worked her way between me and whoever she viewed as a ‘stranger’). She’d only move if the person moved back.
I let her do that. I mean, if my dog didn’t trust you, why should I? Right?
I’m proud to say Cerbie lived up to that name when she was in guard dog mode.
One day I heard my two nieces consoling ” Cerbie ” as they called her.
” It’s okay Cerbie, maybe your other two heads will grow in when you get older. Don’t worry. We won’t let the other Cerbies laugh at you.”
I’m not so sure why Hell Hound On My Trail by Robert Johnson pops into my head when I think of Cerbie. I’m sure it’s not for the obvious reason- that she was named Cerberus.
I think it’s this line:
And the days keeps on worryin’ me,
there’s a hellhound1 on my trail,
hellhound on my trail, hellhound on my trail
Unlike the man in the song, I didn’t fear the hellhound on my trail.
When she was alive Cerbie had a distinctive walk as she aged and her arthritis started to settle in.
Sometimes I think I can hear her following me and I hope she is.
I hope she always does.