Layla’s Journey

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Hi Friends,

As some of you know Layla crossed the Rainbow Bridge last Saturday 4 May at 12.00 noon. I decided today to share our journey of life together from the day she arrived from the shelter to the day she crossed over. It has been a long journey, and I am very blessed to have had her for about 14 years.

In January 2011 I was looking to rescue a fur kid after Baby passed away in November 2010. I went to the rescues in my area and did not find what I wanted so started searching on Petfinder and PetHarbor. A friend of mine was going to LA, and he said to me if I found one online that I wanted he had a friend who was a rescuer and she would get her for me. So, for about 4 days I sat online every moment I had till I saw Layla sitting in a cage at the Carson Shelter and knew in my heart she was the one. Cindy went on Saturday to the shelter to pull her, called me from there and said to me she had a smelly matted mess on her lap licking her and that sealed the deal. Layla arrived in San Francisco the following night, and I fell in love with her and never ever regretted it.

I gave her the name Layla which means Night in Hebrew as she was black and had arrived at night and I was a Hebrew Teacher.

From that day on our life began together. I was teaching during the week but came weekends I made sure we had fun and was out and about. From visiting different dog parks to meeting up with friends and more.

Layla was a quirky girl, in her younger days she was full of life, her tail with its white tip like a feather wagging a mile a minute, a happy girl and ready to go all the time. I got her a backpack which was safer for public transport, and she loved riding the buses and trams. If she had her own way, we could do it all day.

https://youtu.be/BQieLDipx1E?si=l4NKieM4KmC4c8g1

Like everything in life, she started aging slowly, I home cooked for her from day one, got new supplements when necessary and the adventures carried on. We went to lakes in the Oakland hills, different seaside towns, did the AIDS walk one year, went on a ferry to Angel Island, to fundraising galas at night and the list can go on and on she was a social butterfly. I love dog events and fairs so we would go to those also and wherever I went excluding teaching, she came with me.

Fund raiser gala for PAWS

When Covid started with the lockdown is when our lives came to a standstill, I would still walk her and take her to the dog park not far from our house but that was all we did as nothing was happening. It was at that time that I noticed she was slowing down, starting to struggle to sit in her backpack and ailments started. She was losing her sight from cataracts and the vet and I agreed no surgery because of her age but losing her sight she started becoming withdrawn also, so I looked for solutions to keep her busy like snuffle toys filled with treats which kept her happy and busy, but she was sleeping more, not wagging her tail that much and I realized that she was aging and every day was to become a memory and blessing. We were now using the stroller more as she was slowing down with walking although when she wanted to potty, she would stand in the stroller to let me know.

I knew her life was coming to an end when about 3 weeks ago I took her to the vet who found she had a colon infection and from that moment she deteriorated, and I felt she was losing her quality in life. We did DogFest which was the last time she ate, mainly treats but was happy she was eating, she was drinking and vomiting a lot of it, I tried Entyce which did not help, spoke to the vet who said she might be nauseous and offered me medication for that but in my heart, I knew it would not help. I cooked her favorite meals; bought everything I thought might interest her, but she wanted nothing. The last real meal of gizzards she ate was on the Tuesday before she passed away.  I once again on Thursday called her vet and she told me that the time had come to set Layla free. She had lost a lot of weight, was falling when walking and in the park would just stand and stare into space. She had lost all interest in her snuffle toys, did not bark anymore but just lay in her bed sleeping.

zzzzzz

Last day in the park with Dash and Storm

Layla and I cuddling in the park on Friday 3 May

I called PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support) an organization I am a client of, spoke to one of the people in charge and from that moment got the ball rolling to get a vet to come to my house to help her pass, I did not want in a clinic. On Friday morning Ariel called me and told me that the first appointment would be on Saturday at noon and I said yes without hesitation. On Friday morning I took her to her to the park to spend time with one of her favorite Uncles and his dogs, she did not even know he or Dash and Storm where there, which broke my heart and I wanted to cry. We came home and I put her in bed, and she went to sleep. That afternoon I had a Skype meeting the animal communicator (see my link page for more information) and Billie worked with her, and she suddenly started howling. I freaked out and immediately gave her something to calm her down, but she brought it up and that is when my nightmare started. Why I am calling it my nightmare is she howled all Friday night, I held her in my arms on my bed and she did not relax, I gave her everything I could think of to calm her down but nothing stayed in her and I found the only thing that was helping was rolling around in her stroller so every half hour I took her out for a roll plus kept her in it in the house rocking it every time she cried. I was also dog sitting Gidget my friend’s dog and poor Gidget did not know what to do, it was heartbreaking. In the morning, I called Act of Love (their link is on my links page) to see if the vet could come earlier but unfortunately she could not so I tried once again to give her something to relax her and she finally fell asleep. Layla was exhausted, ready to go and had no more energy. I decided to take her for one last roll in her stroller and as I picked her, she had a massive seizure and collapsed in my arms, so I immediately put her in her bed and counted the minutes for the vet to arrive. Dr Christine Metzger arrived at 12 noon, I explained to her everything and I bent down to pick Layla out of her bed, I feel she was already nearly gone and did not make a sound or move. I laid her on my knees, sang to her, while Dr Metzger gave her a relaxing shot, and then the final shot and within seconds she had stopped breathing. I sat hugging her, kissing her and then Dr. Metzger helped me make a paw print, I had already cut the fur I wanted, so she picked Layla up and laid her in the basket she had brought with her. I stood there numb, crying as she picked the basket up and started walking to the door, she stopped, I bent down and kissed Layla goodbye and as Dr Metzger said she is at peace and crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Before she left, she told that she would bring me personally her ashes as they do not trust the US mail, phew.

Singing to Layla as she passed over to the Rainbow Bridge

 

Layla in the basket the vet brought with her to take Layla away

Today is Thursday, 5 days since Layla crossed the Rainbow Bridge, my house is quiet and empty, I keep thinking I am hearing her moan to go outside, my life is lonely without her. Our life together was so perfect in so many ways, I learnt so much from her, unconditional love is the first on the list. This is the card I got from Dr Metzger in the mail today

The card I got from Dr Metzger today

I was blessed to have had her in my life for 14 years, never a dull moment with her quirkiness and now it is time for me to take care of me, something I have to relearn as the past 3 years I have been looking after her as she aged. Hindy from Grey Paws and All Blog wrote an amazing blog about self-care which I am now going to study and learn to do.

I want to say a special thank you to Real Mushrooms for their Mushroom Supplements, Myos for the joint and muscle supplements, The treat companies that helped keeping her snuffle toys full, Mr Peanuts for his stroller which I am donating to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, Vetericyn for their senior dog supplement and everyone else that supported me through our journey of life. All links are on my link page.

Others I owe a big thanks are Act of Love for their kindness and understanding and Ann for helping me with my graphics this week.

This is my link page : https://laylaswoof.com/?page_id=19

Since I announced that Layla has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, my phone has not stopped ringing, the emails are coming in, the notifications on social media are overwhelming and many are asking what I plan to do. My plan is to carry on with Layla’s Legacy speaking out for the voiceless, against abuse, Domestic Violence and so much more and as a friend of mine emailed me which says it all, thank you Hagar :

In Judaism it is customary to not say kaddish(prayer for the dead)  for an animal as we are told they do not have souls. Layla is an exception. Her soul shined so bright and beautiful because of the amazing care and love you gave her. You survived past traumas because of, and for Layla. Her heartbeat was in sync with yours and her job was to remind you of your incredible self-worth and importance in this world. She was a deep soul.

In the darkness of the night, there is a star shining bright, following me named Layla.

Run Free my love without pain and suffering, eat lots of chicken jerky, say hi to Lucy, Yogi, Zachari, Zelda, the Five Sibes and all your friends

Mommy loves and misses you xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

73 Replies to “Layla’s Journey”

  1. I’m so sad that dear Layla had to depart this world. There are so many sweet friends we’ve never met but we feel like we know them. Layla was one of those. I’m most thankful that the two of you found our Thankful Thursday Blog Hop and shared so many thankfuls with us all. Layla touched my heart and will always be remember. Love and hugs from all of us at Brian’s Home Blog.

  2. May your beautiful girl now rest peacefully ~ eyes wide open to see her heavenly home and
    may you be blessed by the memories of your times together and all your shared.

      • Rochelle such a touching beautiful tribute for your sweet girl. I know i will miss her very very much. You both have always been close to my heart its so very hard saying goodbye and also comforting knowing they are no longer in pain but whole again. And i can see your precious layla frolicking in the green grass with all the other precious furbabies much love light and hugs my friend ❤

        • Cheryl thank you so much and you are so correct, she is not suffering anymore but running happily with all her friends, getting lots of treats and is happy and healthy again. Big hugs from me xxx

  3. I am so sorry to hear that Layla had to go to the Rainbow Bridge. You allowed so many of us to know your sweet girl through your blog -Alastronia the Cats and Dogs

  4. I was so sorry to learn of Layla’s passing on X. Hands down you are the BEST dog momma I know and gave both Baby and Layla a wonderful life. They helped you in your time of need and you returned the same above and beyond for Layla. My first cat Precious passed in my lap at home and was glad she was able to crossover to Rainbow Bridge at home like Layla. Sending you prayers of comfort during this super difficult time. I understand how much your heart breaks. And yes, definitely time to take care of YOU. Sending you nothing but love and positive energy your way. May Layla’s legacy live on and inspire others now and forever more. xoxo

    • Kamira thanks so much for your kind words, I am so relieved she passed at home in my arms like Precious did with you, it is a blessing that we are able to do that as they are at peace and so are we although there is a space in heart which is empty. Layla’s legacy will carry on as there are so many that need homes, that are abused and we cannot be silent as they do not have voices. Big hugs xxx

  5. I cried my way through this post. What a beautiful tribute to a special girl, and I’m glad to hear (of course I had no doubt) you will be continuing with your mission of speaking out against domestic violence and animal cruelty. I know how much your life was wrapped up in Layla’s, the joy she brought you and the adventures you shared. I’m happy to hear so many people are reaching out, showing their love and support and keeping you busy. Her legacy will live on as you continue to help so many others.

    • Hindy thank you so so much and I owe you for helping me when I need a shoulder to cry on, her legacy will carry on as we cannot be silent and I am so blessed to have had such a wonderful life with her, please take care with big hugs

  6. Layla was blessed to have a mom like you, she had a full life if adventures and love. Take care of yourself, remember all the good times the two of you had.
    Sending you lots of love and hugs my friend.

  7. I’m so sorry I didn’t know your precious Layla. Your tribute post was so touching and while the tears are streaming down my checks (I too have lost a couple of beloved pets myself and the heartache you’re experiencing), I loved that you shared the world with your sweet girl. May God hold you in his hands and provide you with all the comfort you need to care for yourself. Sending you gentle thoughts of peace. I’m sure my Angels Norman and Sam greeted your girl graciously and they along with all the pups of Blogville are romping through dog parks and sniffing upn a storm chasing one another pain free. Hugs and tail wags, Monika, Elsa & Wilson

    • I am praying also that she is happy and free from her suffering, running around, barking at all and playing with Norman and Sam, thank you so much for your kind words

  8. Please accept my condolences for your loss. No matter how long we have them it’s just never, ever going to be long enough.

  9. Once again, I’m so sorry for your loss. Layla was such a special little dog. Think of her running through the fields at the Rainbow Bridge chasing butterflies and surrounded by all her friends. I have a special poem that I will send you through Messenger on Facebook. Someone sent it to my when my Amber passed away in 2020. The blog that Amber shared with her brother, Max, (DaWeenies of Florida) has gone quiet now since Max passed away in 2022. Keep all the wonderful memories of your time with Layla safely tucked away in your heart.

    • Thank you for your kind words and sharing the poem with me, I am holding on to memories as much as I can. I am so sorry Amber and Max passed away, I hope they are running free over the Rainbow Bridge.

  10. Your blog is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your journey with Layla. I know you miss her. Much of what you said took me back to my Caleigh, Sadie, and Rachel…their last few days here were similar to what you described with precious Layla. Sending so much love to you. ❤️

    • Thank you Roberta, I was very blessed and I miss her terribly but am at peace she is not suffering anymore. Caleigh, Sadie and Rachel were so blessed to have you as their Mom as you were wonderful. Sending you a big hug

  11. We are all so very sad and sorry to hear about Layla. What a life she had and a long one too. She will be missed by so many but especially you. GBGV hugs to you in this very sad time.

    • Melissa thank you so much and she had a good life and is now at peace. I love following your family on your blog they always make me smile, sending you big hugs

  12. When a soul leaves its mortal body, it is lifted by the wind unseen by adult human eyes, which have been cleared of the ability to experience magic. The soul floats to the nearest river, then rides the current until it enters the River of Life, which gently carries the soul to Rainbow Bridge. The new angel emerges from the water, having discarded all the pain and sorrow of mortal life (often transferred to those mortals nearest to them,). The soul then crosses the River of Life via the Rainbow Bridge and is reunited with their predecessors who loved them while they were mortal; then, a glorious reunion takes place. Their predecessors teach the new angel how to dream visit, to inhibit the bodies of furry and winged creatures so the angel can watch over their loved ones. So, if you see a bird or little animal watching you, or wake up from a dream feeling light of heart, know your angel has been with you. Death is not the end, it’s a temporary separation, and if you never stop loving the angel, you will be together again in a place called Rainbow Bridge

  13. Oh, we are so sad for you but so happy for your years with possibly the cutest doggie we have met in our lives! Mama lost me recently and Layla and I and so many others know well how much we are missed. But we can still be around…..in hearts and spirits. Love to you, Layla’s mama.

  14. Layla and Shelley were destined to find one another and they did. They shared a magnificent love and time together. They were so lucky to have each other, truly a gift.
    It’s painful to think Layla is more than a hand reach away, but comforting to know she will always be with us, all you have to do its think of her little smiling face. We are grateful for your time with us, sweet girl.

    • Cindy thank you so much and I owe you a big thanks for rescuing her for me, she will be sorely missed but I am so blessed to have had her in my life and so grateful to you for helping me get her, sending love xxx

  15. So much love. I do know that dogs have souls, and she definitely is living on. And, she will always be with you. And she’ll always have a piece of your heart. ❤️ Hugs.

    • Thank you Beverly for your kind words and celebrating her birthday with us in February, she is sorely missed but at peace not suffering. Her soul was pure and filled with unconditional love which is one of the many things I learnt from her. Big hugs

  16. You have me start crying and screaming again. WHY! Layla had the most beautiful life. I still not have removed the pen and crate Harley slept in while she was going thru cancer treatments. I am not sure I will ever wash the pants sge peed on after she passed. Like you, I held her while she passed. I have so many regrets though. I never gave her enough time. I think you handled Layla’s final days better than I did with Harley. I hate myself for not advocating enough for her. I told my vet, etc something was wrong almost a yr ago. No one would listen. I should have been more forceful. Never again. Layla was special, so very special. She was waiting for you to be her Mom and she will always be waiting for you. Always in your heart, til the end of time. Layla did not want to leave you, she fought so hard to always be your baby girl. What I would not give for 1 more day, then I would want another and another. You have such wonderful memories, pictures, videos, to always remember Layla . I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby girl, Layla. Both of you were blessed to have one another.

    • Sandy we can kick ourselves, feel guilty but you did your best for Harley, more than many Dog Moms would have done and she was blessed to have you as her Mom. I also have guilt feelings but I am trying to focus on the positive and that is why I shared this blog which was very hard to write. I was very blessed to have beautiful cute funny Layla with me in my life but towards the end it was hard, I felt guilty I could not do more, she fought to stay with me but her body could not fight anymore and so I am at peace knowing she is not suffering anymore and you must try to feel the same. I also do not want to wash the clothes I wore when she went to sleep, I do not want to put her things away, but I know in my heart she would not want me to be miserable but happy and at peace and that is what I am trying to do. Sending you big hugs xxxx

  17. I’m shedding tears for beautiful Layla. I will miss seeing her and following along on her daily fun adventures; riding the train, attending events, going to the park, and visiting in your friend’s garden. You are an amazing Dog Mom. Layla had the best life ever. Yes, now you must take care of You. Sending you love & prayers for strength to get you through this time.

    • Cathy thank you so much and you are an incredible Dog Mom also, I was very blessed, have wonderful memories and I agree with you it is time for me to look after me again which is something I have to learn. I will miss sharing her life with everyone but we have the memories to share still <3

  18. I will always remember your Layla as a bundle of bossy energy and fun. ‘Mom! time for the dog park”, “Mom I’m hungry”,” Mom I love my snuffle mat”.

    THIS is the Layla I remember, This livewire who took me on trips to dog parks, went to festivals, and loved her stroller and meeting her friends.

    She enjoyed the good life. She had YOU. No dog could want more more and she lived life to the full. Layla is remembered in lovely photographs and beautiful memorial images.

    • Marjorie you have described her perfectly and I am missing her terribly, I enjoyed my life so much because of her and am lost now. Thank you so much for description of her, be safe

  19. What an absolutely beautiful tribute to your precious girl. My eyes are full of tears. I felt as if I’d personally known her through your loving posts of her visiting parks and festivals, looking at SF murals, playing with her snuffle ball, and who can forget her birthday party just a short while ago. Such beautiful memories you documented so well. You two were a perfect match. She was waiting for you to find her. I couldn’t agree more that your hearts were in sync. And there is no doubt in my mind that Layla has a beautiful soul. I can imagine her barking orders over the rainbow bridge wanting more treats. I know for certain that you’ll always be in her heart just as she will with you. Henry and I are sending you lots of love and hugs.

    • Terri thank you so much for your kind words, I was really blessed to have her in my life and finding it hard without her but am peace that she is not suffering anymore. We had a wonderful life together and yes I am also sure she is barking orders over the Rainbow Bridge. Sending you and Henry lots of hugs and love xxx

  20. I am in tears reading this…although it was clearly her time, I have chills from the howls, and tears just flowing looking at the photo of you holding her. You gave her such a wonderful adventure and loved filled life, and then you sent her on her journey to the Rainbow Bridge wrapped in love. Her legacy will live on, and she will always be in your heart. I believe dogs do have souls (and not too long ago, in my religion, they changed their stance and now say dogs do have souls and go to Heaven. I love that. I mean, just looking into their eyes, you know they do!) She is at peace now and always with you. That photo of you and her from Friday snuggling is precious. We will always remember dear Miss Layla…sending you huge, huge hugs. xoxo

    • Dorothy thank you so so much for your kind words, support through these hard times and opening my eyes to her legacy, you are just amazing and I am blessed to call you a friend. She will be missed by many, my heart is broken but I know she would not want me to sit and cry and carry on with love, her unconditional love taught me that. Thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart. Her memories will live on

  21. Sending you big hugs and nosebonks from Little Miss Titch and myself for your sad loss xx Rachel and Little Miss Titch

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