Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cleo, the new face of Nobody Important

Some of you may have noticed a change in my avatar. Yes, another technical disaster. I am so prone to these things, but they are usually due to my own stupidity. This one I think was due to my own naivety rather than stupidity. In my first days of blogging I think I linked my profile photo to an image on the web, rather than saving it to my hard drive, although I saved it later. So of course the image has disappeared from the web and consequently from my profile photo and all those little Westie images that I scattered all over the internet in comments are now reduced to little rectangles, even on my own blog. And what's more when I loaded the new image into the profile, it didn't fix the old comments. I don't know why the clever people didn't think of that.

Anyway, when I noticed it finally, who knows how much later, I decided to find a photo of Cleo, the Westie I owned until three years ago. I wrote about her and the choice of my avatar in my third post here, but I just know you are not going to click over so I am including some text about her from that post.

Well, back to Westies. I've had four dogs in my lifetime, all different breeds, and I couldn't have loved them more. But the last one we had, Cleo, the Westie, was by far the best. We got her when she was five months old, via a "for sale" ad in the newspaper. I didn't want a puppy again and I had always wanted a cairn terrier, but each time we were looking for a dog, there were no cairns around. So when I saw the ad for a young Westie, I thought to myself, ahah, a "white" cairn, it's fate. We had her for 14 1/2 years and she was a delight for every minute of them. She weighed less than 20 lbs, was very low to the ground (every night we had to help her up onto the bed, where she slept with us) but every inch and every ounce of her was an alpha dog. She was incredibly stubborn and we had to repeat dog obedience several times --no hardship for her, she loved other dogs. Dog obedience night was the highlight of her week! She loved children and I never had to worry about them when she was with them. We had to put her down just over a year ago. She had a huge mass in her abdominal cavity which we didn't find until she stopped eating. I held her in my arms while the vet injected her, one of the worst moments of my life.

The profile photo was cropped from this photo when she was six years old, all spoofed up and sitting with my daughter in her wedding dress. Scanned from a not so high quality print. I still miss her and her lambskin bed still sits in our family room.

So farewell to this image which has served me so well and frankly this dog looked so much like Cleo that I would swear this was a photo of her sitting on the lawn in my back garden. In fact when I went to pick her up from the doggie wash it was lucky that she knew me, because often I would not have been able to pick her out from the other Westies, so similar were they with their new spiffy haircuts.

Before I go, I must tell you about my big worry. As you all know from obsessively checking your stats, a blog receives many visitors via google image searches. Mine is no different. In fact I know that those wonderful numbers in my stats were dependent on people looking for this Westie image. So I am most concerned that my stats will be reduced by the 80% who came looking for Westies. I do hope that the real Cleo will be just as eagerly sought after, but I'm already noticing the drop in numbers. Well it was good for the ego while it lasted. And you know what? I think I like the new real Cleo image better than the old one. Thank you Gledwood for being the only one who commented on it.


Josie said...

JMB, I noticed something had happened to your avatar as well, but I thought you had just decided to change it. I like the new one. It's a close-up.

I love Westies. We always had Scotties, but I always wanted a Westie. My favorite Scottie was Maggie, and she was definitely an alpha dog as well. She guarded our house.

Eurodog said...

welcome to the new picture. Looks good.
I thought you might want to look at the front page of a Belgian magazine called Muzoo: and scroll down.

ipanema said...

I noticed the change but I told myself it's not another dog. It is one and the same. Though this one is zoomed and that I thought it was a sepia effect. So only now I know it's scanned.

I'm getting used to the new one jmb. Your blog is well read I can see from the comment section. It will climb up again. :)

Happy Sunday! :)

Vijay said...

Hello JMB.
I agree. Cleo's photo is far better than the older Westie avatar. I don't know if you saw my light bulb moment message on Pownce some days back. I had just realized that Tintin's dog Snowy was a Westie. Now I realize that was wrong too. It seems he is a white 'Wire-haired Fox Terrier.'

Hootin'Anni said...

Yes, I DID notice your new avatar, and it's precious. Even more so now that I know Cleo is one of yours.

Just wanted you to know that I dropped by to tell you you have a HALLOWEEN TREAT at my blog waiting for's on my Sunday issue.

Sir Philip Johnston-Higham said...

I like both of them and wonder if you could run a combined avatar?

ThunderDragon said...

That's a really cute photo!

sally in norfolk said...

yep love the new photo..I have been told to change mine too !!

Janice Thomson said...

I love your avatar Jmb. How wonderful to see Cleo every time you open your blog. She is a very sweet looking dog. I too thought you had just tired of the old pic.
I always wanted a Westie too but none could be found here so I settled for a fluffy white Spitz (that would be a Miniature American Eskimo dog for we westerners) that has given me such joy 24-7. He's about 17 lbs and his antics keep me laughing the entire day.
Don't think you have to worry much about your numbers Jmb - your blog is well-loved by all.

jams o donnell said...

I love the new avatar. She was a beautiful dog.

Ellee said...

I love you new picture, and please don't worry about your stats, it's the content that counts. And that's the reason we like visiting your site so much.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Aah, jmb. Cleo looks lovely and I remember your earlier post about her. Sorry you have had all this trouble with photos, though. Don't worry - your blog will be as well read as ever, I am sure!

Carver said...


I'm glad you explained about the new image because I hadn't discovered your blog when you wrote about Cleo. I was glad to read the story and I'm sorry you had to go through that loss. I love the real Cleo shot and also knowing it was cropped from a picture of her sitting with your daughter in her wedding dress. I've changed my profile pic so many times it's nuts. I had one of me at 3 then at 16 and finally went, what the heck, I'll go for me in my sun hat in the present day. Take care, Carver

MedStudentWife said...

I agree with everyone - Cleo's picture is much prettier :)

What beautiful eyes !!

I've never had a dog, but Fidel has. We're looking forward to getting a place (someday) where we can have one. I think I'd like a German Shepherd as well as a Finkie

Lee said...

What a little beautie she was. I can understand completely how you must still miss her.

Medblog Addict said...

I'm supposed to be working on my Dr. October calendar post, but I had to come right over here to see what the deal was with the new dog avatar. I like it, and I love reading about Cleo.

leslie said...

Like everyone else who's already commented, I noticed the change but just thought you took another photo. I always assumed it was your dog - do you HAVE a dog now? My sister has had 2 Westies, Wesley who passed on some years back and now Angus who is 5 now. They're so cute.

jmb said...

Hi Josie,
Well I'm not sorry I changed it although I liked the other one too. Scotties, the other dog for the Black and White Label.

Hi Eurodog,
I'm glad you like the new look. I checked out the cover. Isn't he/she so cute and jumping his/her little heart out. Westies are just the most wonderful dogs.

Hi ipanema,
No my real dog, not just a look-alike.
I'm afraid the stats are definitely affected but they weren't real anyway.

Hi Vijay,
She looks so earnest looking out doesn't she? I didn't remember Tintin's dog as a Westie so I'm glad I'm not wrong.

Hi Anni,
Thanks Anni and thanks for the treat.

Hi James,
I'm afraid that would be a bit technical for me, but I like them both too. They are just different.

Hi Thunderdragon,
Thank you, she was so cute and loving.

Hi Sally,
Thanks. What do they want you to change to? Do you have a nice one than the one there now.

Hi Janice,
I hadn't thought of that, I see her every day now. I don't know the Spitz but he sounds a great dog and a perfect size.

Hi Jams,
Thanks, she was lovely and she has a nice expression on her face here.

Hi Ellee,
Thanks. I know the stat thing is crazy but it was so amazing when I looked at the graphs. Big change now. I'll keep on keeping on.

Yes the technical difficulties continue. Sent to make us humble I always say.

Hi Carver,
I probably wouldn't have changed the avatar willingly but I like the new photo.

Her eyes were lovely when we could see them after she had her haircut! I hope you get you dog someday, when you are both together finally.

Hi Lee,
A very handsome Miss indeed. I think I will always miss her because she was such a personality.

Nice to see you here, Cleo welcomes you too. But get back to Dr October, time is running out and we'll be over to hastle you soon.

Hi Leslie,
The old avatar looked very much like Cleo which was why I chose it long ago. No dog now, sadly. Your sister is lucky to have one of these lovely dogs.

Thanks to all of you for visiting and commenting

Liz said...

The real one is much lovelier! I don't think she looks hypnotised at all! Gledwood must have been a bit glazed himself when he wrote that!

jmb said...

Thanks Liz,I think Cleo looks relaxed but alert. Just like me. LOL. I'll forgive Gledwood because normally he's sweet.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

I had noticed, but I'm afraid I've been a poor blogger of late.

Cleo is cute.

jmb said...

Hi Crushed, you are in a bit of a stew, but thanks for saying she's cute for she surely was.

Chrysalis Angel said...

I never stop in for the avatar. I stop in for the author. I'm just sorry I can't get to all that I'd like to more often.:) Love your Cleo. I'm sorry for the loss of her. I know how that feels.

Gledwood said...

This is me!

I hope they don't withdraw this from the internet as I don't have a harddrive and have to rely on their url to keep it there. But it's very poggy & furry while it lasts

Ian said...

Hi jmb,
Oops, better late than never. Your picture of Cleo is great for your avatar.
I've only just caught up with your post and as your MyBlogLog avatar hasn't changed, I hadn't noticed.
I'd imagine most of your traffic is from people coming to see what you've posted, but I'm sure Cleo will statisfy those looking for westie pictures as well.

Mauigirl said...

Ah, JMB, I know what you mean. I used to use a picture of a Hawaiian girl from the web as my avatar and found that Google searches for her image brought up my blog for many. But I felt a bit uncomfortable about it so switched to a real picture of me on a beach in Maui. I didn't notice a huge difference in visitors but then again, my blog traffic is not very high to begin with!

At any rate, I love your new avatar of your real dog, Cleo. Thanks for the explanation!