Police are still investigating how two large dogs escaped their yard and killed an elderly woman and her dog in a northwest Oklahoma City neighborhood Thursday afternoon.
The flowers left at the site of the tragic attack are a testament to 82-year-old Cecille Short's impact on her community. Her daughters told News 9 she loved her neighborhood, and they are striving to remember better days.
“If it was a nice day, she was all around here,” said her daughter Lisa Carlile. “She would walk everywhere.”
At 82 years old, the former aerobics instructor was still a very active lady. Daughters Melinda and Lisa told News 9 she worked out at the YMCA three times a week, and she walked her Papillon at least once a day. That is how she got to know just about everyone who lived around her.
“She’s seen the kids in the neighborhood grow up. She’s kind of adopted several of them,” said daughter Melinda Clonts.
But the place she felt safest changed in an instant, after a neighbor's two large dogs charged her in broad daylight, killing Cecille and her dog Taylor, who her daughters say was her best friend.
Melinda said, “It is very fitting that they’re together. He was her little buddy.”
Now, instead of focusing on tragedy, Melinda and Lisa are just trying to live their lives the way Cecille taught them, caring about everyone.
Lisa said, “It doesn’t matter your first impression, you want to get to know that person and to value the people that are around you and that you meet in your community.”
And they know that her joyful spirit will be smiling down on them forever.
“She is with her Savior and very, very happy right now,” said Melinda.
Police shot both of the dogs during the attack. One died, and the other is being treated at animal welfare while their owner is out of town. Police have not yet decided what charges he may face.
News 9 also spoke with Oklahoma City Animal Welfare and while they say it's doubtful Cecille could have done anything to fend off the brutal attack, they say there are things anyone can do to better the odds: