Losing your Furry Best Friend

I’m sure you are familiar with the statement that a dog is “man’s best friend”. This statement could not be more accurate. I have always grown up with dogs. They are the most sincere and loyal creatures.

In many ways, they can even help combat depression and eliminate loneliness. The best companions are often dogs. They can keep you company if you live alone, especially at night when the world around you is winding down. In this crazy world that we live in, we have an increased need to feel safe. Dogs can accomplish this, especially if they are more of a protective type.

If you have been following me on any of type of social media, you will have realized that I just lost my dog Cleo to oral cancer. Cancer is the worst disease and it does not care who it is affecting. While this was a heartbreaking piece of news when we first found out about it, I was relieved to know that I would have at least a few more weeks to a month left to spend with her.

The saying you only live once does not only apply to us as humans but to our furry friends as well. It was my mission to spoil her in her final days. I would say I did an awesome and more than proficient job! Of course, she had to be on antibiotics to help with the infections that were stemming from the tumor. Ordinarily, we would give her medication in a piece of Velveeta cheese, her unbiased favorite. Well, she was not a dumb dog. She eventually learned that if you came at her with a piece of favorite cheese, it meant that her medicine was wrapped up in her favorite treat. She began refusing the cheese.

The medicine for her at this point was a must so I had to come up with a different approach. I began feeding her ice cream to bribe her to take her treats. She loved it and normally, I would have never have fed her a dairy product as rich as ice cream. It was her final days, though. She deserved to live like it was her last day. I guess this goes without saying, but she loved the ice cream!

I had always given her plenty of love, but I felt like this was an opportunity to give her more love than she ever had received. She would love when I would cuddle her. She would end up putting her head near my messed-up knee. Dogs usually have awesome intuition when it comes to pain. It warmed my heart to know she was doing her best to comfort me, when in fact, she needed the comfort as well.

Cleo was my best friend. She was the reason I could rise above the many difficult times that arose because of living with chronic pain. No matter how much pain I was in, she never failed to make me smile. She was so cute and so gentle! You could not help but smile being around her.  I miss her more than you can imagine. Her leaving and making it across the rainbow bridge left a huge hole in my heart that will perhaps never be patched up. However, I do feel relief in knowing that she is no longer in pain from cancer that relentlessly attacked her. I know she is in a better place and free to run like she did when she was younger.

I consider myself very fortunate to have found such a faithful and unrelenting companion in her. Those who say dogs are just dogs simply do not understand how dogs can positively impact your overall well-being and how dramatically they can change your life for the better. In the coming months, I will have a new dog that I will begin to bond with, and as excited as I am to have it, Cleo will always have a special place that is forever etched in my heart.

Karla Culbertson

Karla is a 33 year old independent writer. She is wheelchair dependent due to Cerebral Palsy, chronic pain, and hip dysplasia, but she does not let that stop her from enjoying life. It is Karla's goal in life to inspire and uplift others. She loves writing positive blog posts that may have the potential of inspiring others and bettering their lives.

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