In March 2020, my baby girl, Cleo, passed away due to liver failure. After her passing I reflected deeply on what I could have improved and most importantly, how Cleo changed my life. Before her I was stuck in an atrocious place and she was my angel sent from above. If you take anything away from this post it’s to treasure your loved ones while you still have them. Life is easily taken for granted and counting your blessings each day as if they were last, should be practiced routinely.
- Patience is vital
Growing up I let my emotions get the best of me. Once I got Cleo that all transformed. She taught me during tough situation (like when she chewed my books) you can’t act on your emotions. Lashing out isn’t going to fix any sort of situation.
2. Quality time, quality time, quality time
Her and I would cuddle up on the couch, one hand on my coffee mug and other hand on her soft fur; EVERY morning up until the day she died. It was guaranteed spent time together before the rush of a busy day. Looking back at our memories that was by far my favourite.
3. Pick up after yourself
When I first adopted Cleo she would chew everything. It was her way of releasing anxiety. Now before Cleo entered my home, I left stuff scattered all around. Fast forward to receiving Cleo, I quickly learned that way of living no longer served me.
4. Be the best version of yourself
No matter what happened during the day Cleo always acted herself. She was silly, playful, loveable, and out-going. None of that changed as she aged. She was always herself. That was my favourite characteristic of her.
5. Keep your spirit alive
She lit up the room. Her spirit was so pure and nothing put her down. Her spirit was more alive than more people I’ve met.
6. Importance of capturing memories
I never used to be “let’s take a picture” kind of women. When Cleo was around I always wanted to capture her essence and the fun times we shared. Since then, you can find me capturing photos of memorable moments.
7. What unconditional love really is
When I used to cry due to emotional sadness Cleo would lick my tears away. It was the cutest thing. She would lay there with me and just be there. Gazing at me with the purest form of love. No matter what mood I was in she would always be there. No judging, no remarks- present unconditionally.
8. Letting out excess energy
That dog was hyper and I’m not talking about one walk would rid her of it. I’m talking a walk, one trip to the dog park, and an hour car ride later could not release her bountiful energy. Just looking at her you could tell she was hyperactive. She required lots of exercise and love which got me out of the house… a l o t. Now people tend to say that their owners share certain personality traits, and this was one of them. If I eat sugar I’m aped for a couple hours after; I can workout and still have plenty of energy left. This has perks and downfalls. If I don’t release the excess energy I get anxious, as did Cleo. With her around I always had her to help relieve it, and now, I find ways around it. She made me realize that it’s okay to have pent up energy, but to release it when needed.
9. Family lifts you up on your worst days
As I said in number 6, Cleo would lick my tears away and be there for me, just her presence made my well-being calm.
10. Live in the moment
Live for today. Be present. You never know what may happen tomorrow. It may be the last time you see someone you love. Amor Meam, today. Count the blessings you have.