GOOD-BYE MY SWEET LITTLE GIRL CLEOPATRA "CLEO" |
It was one year ago today, Wednesday, December 21, 2016, in the very early hours of the morning at approximately 2:35 am, we lost our sweet little and beautiful Basenji girl, "Cleopatra" or as we always called her "CLEO" to Rainbow Bridge. I remember that night and the days that lead up to it so very well; Cleo had started to get sick a few days before, and we thought maybe she had eaten her food a little too fast or that she had gotten into something that she shouldn't have eaten outside or maybe some chocolate that made her tummy upset. We tried a couple of things but they didn't seem to work so I called the vet to make an appointment. The night before the appointment Cleo went outside with Bella as usual, it was cold and very snowy but they always liked to go outside and play in the snow a little bit but not too long after she went outside, she had a horrible seizure; we picked her up and brought her inside and placed her by the fire to warm her up, she became quiet and very calm.
Early Saturday morning we went to the vet in a really bad snow storm. When we got there they ran some blood work on Cleo; it seemed like it took forever and when they came back we knew something was wrong, and they gave us the worst news ever! Our little girl was very sick and the prognosis was not good; they were amazed that she was still alive. I couldn't believe it how she could have been so sick as to not have shown any symptoms until now. That morning the vet gave us all of our options but we decided to bring her home after they treated her for some of the problems that she was having at this point. I remember looking at Cleo's face and into those beautiful-almond colored eyes of hers; these eyes were definitely the windows to her soul which could tell you a story without saying a word, they could express just about anything. As we were getting ready to go home; she looked at me as if we're just going to leave her behind. She looked worried and scared but I told her we're going home sweetie. I picked her up and put her in the car and she was fine. There was no way we were going to leave her there; we knew she didn't have much time left so we wanted her to spend it with her family. The last couple of days she was a little tired and very weak, she lifted her head when we called her and she made every effort to still be a part of the family. Everyone that loved her came to see her that weekend and to say "Good-Bye to her one last time...it was so very sad and heartbreaking. After a while she became weaker though she continued to try to drink a bit and walk from the couch to the rug in front of the fire place but things were getting progressively worse; she continued to fight because she did not want leave us but I knew in my heart that her life was coming to an end so instead of returning her to the vet that night I made the decision to have a vet come to our house the next day to put her sleep in her favorite spot in front of the fireplace. I stayed up with her that night and we watched an "old" movie together about a "Basenji" dog and a young boy called "Good-bye, My Lady", a half an hour or so into the movie she went into another seizure where she died in my arms; I held her one last time that night as she took her last and final breath...I cried continuously for hours as I held her knowing that she would never wake up again. I take comfort in knowing that she died on her own and that I did not have to put her to sleep the next day. I don't really know if they truly understand what is going on at that moment, I wish I could have explained it to her and tell her that we will always love her no matter what happens.
Cleo is and will always be very special to us. She came into our lives about 10 years ago when she was only 3 1/2 years old. We adopted her from the animal shelter in our Town. We found out later that we were to become her third home during her short life. We had never seen or heard of a Basenji until then and didn't know quite what to expect when we brought her home but she ultimately surprised us all with her special unique qualities and characteristics; and her incredible pretty smile, wrinkled little forehead along those beautiful almond colored eyes, she melted our hearts. She didn't know it yet but she had found her forever home with us. We couldn't imagine anyone wanting to give her up; not just once but twice. Now when I look back to that day we found her, I realize that we were the lucky ones to have found such an incredible little girl, simply because "the others" couldn't have seen what a treasure she really was...a diamond in the ruff. Cleo's love was truly something very special and wondrous to have shared with her throughout her life. She never pointed out our flaws, though we surely had them; and she "definitely" had hers but that's what made her so unique and loveable. She always had a good heart even to the very end, teaching us by example and never, ever giving up hope. She touched our lives with so much love, laughter, joy and her mischievous little ways.
We love and miss her so much and deeply...not a day goes by that we don't think about or remember something that she did that makes us smile or just say that was "Cleo". There have been many times since then that I still catch myself calling "Cleo and Bella" together...my heart breaks every time.