This week Thom and I experienced a dramatic reminder of this truth—don’t take anyone for granted and share your love with those you love every single day. While most all of us would agree that this is an important part of SMART Living, everyone—me included, can use a reminder
Our “lesson” in this regard came this past Monday evening. There was nothing special about the day—nothing bad, but nothing amazingly wonderful either. We’d finished dinner and Thom was in the kitchen doing dishes. I could see that the sun had finally set so I knew it would be getting cooler outside. Our small mixed-terrier dog Kloe was watching me closely to see if it was time to go to the dog park before dark. But right before we did, Thom decided to take the garbage out to the trash bins with Kloe trailing behind.
Like I said, it seemed just like any other day. That was until just as Thom was coming back into the house and Kloe began to cough and gag. Within seconds, Kloe crumbled to the ground next to the sliding glass door. Thom scooped her into his arms and her eyes fluttered unconsciously. Holding her like a rag doll, we both called her name over and over, as we wondered what to do.
To make a long, very tense story shorter, we wrapped Kloe in a towel and drove her to the local pet hospital. Luckily, they took her in and immediately gave her fluids and treated her for anaphylactic shock. While not completely sure, we believe that a wasp or bee stung Kloe and she had a severe allergic reaction. If we hadn’t gotten her to the doctor, she would have died within the hour.
I suppose if you are not a dog person, this story might not be that traumatic. After all, lots of us have experienced loss, or near loss in our lives on a much bigger scale. But Kloe is a new addition to our family—we just adopted her in January and in the last short six months, she has completely captured our hearts. In those moments when I thought she died in front of my eyes, I felt my heart breaking.
After a short wait, the vet came out and told us that we could likely expect a full and fast recovery. Still, they wanted to keep her overnight at the hospital under observation. We said our goodbyes to our confused and trembling puppy before heading home to a restless night of sleep. Feeling both relieved and grateful at the same time, Thom turned to me and said, “Just another reminder to never take anything or anyone for granted.” I agree completely.
So, Kloe is home now and slowly recovering. Barely 12 hours after her collapse she was eating and playing with her toys. We, on the other hand, are watching her like hawks and monitoring her every sigh. Kloe is living in the now while we are attempting to leave the past behind and follow her lead.
As an optimist, I routinely strive to see the good everywhere and within everyone. However, when something precious is almost lost, it is tempting to focus on avoiding any possible future losses, rather than resting in the gift of the present. Almost losing Kloe reminds me that life is a precious thing, that love is the ultimate treasure, that anything can change in a moment, and that we should always share our love with those we love every moment that we can. Oh, and did I mention, “Never take anyone or anything for granted!”
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. ~Thornton Wilder