Learning to live without your dog.

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Hi friends,

It is nearly a month since Layla passed, and I am having to learn to live without her which is not easy. She is constantly in my thoughts; I keep questioning myself did I do enough for her and driving myself nuts.

For the past three years with NO regret, I gave up everything to look after her as she aged, did everything possible to keep her healthy and happy and honestly, I was afraid to leave her alone just in case there was an earthquake or some other disaster in my building. I did not sleep at night as I was checking on her plus taking her out when she wanted to go out, so my life was topsy turvy.

I now am having to relearn so much about me and catch up on medical issues and so much more. Yes, it is easy but overwhelming as such as I still mentally worry about her, so I am afraid to go out.

I have packed her bed and blankets away, the strollers are ready for donation to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, her toy basket with all the toys are still in the same place, her box where she used to love hiding from me LOL is still standing next to the desk, the last of her treats I am giving to a friend this week and going through her things I am sure another rescue will get.

This I made from a wooden fruit box into an indoor kennel which she loved

Last weekend I did not blog as I needed to rethink my life, what I am going to do and how to move forward, so I went to a Carnival, stayed maybe an hour, and came home but I need to do this as I cannot just stay in the house. I have also gone to see the sea lions at Pier 39 but each time I go out I feel empty without her stroller and her, so it is not easy for me but am pushing myself.

I am also learning about people around me, one person asked me where Layla was one day and when I told him she had passed away his reply was OH I thought I smelt death on her the last time I saw her, I was mortified that a person can say something like that but from that second I do not even greet him but walk right past him like he does not exist. Another person with a dog asked me where Layla was, I told him, he had tears in his eyes and said I am so sorry, she was my celebrity in a stroller that I so loved seeing each day, that brought a smile to my face that she had made that impact. I am also so overwhelmed with all the messages I have received, comments on my blog about her, it has made me smile with tears to know she was so loved by so many in real life and on social media. I have been spoiled with wonderful gifts from Kamira Gayle, you can see her items in her store


I am drinking from her coffee mug all the time, using her tote bag and am going to put the picture of the Rainbow Bridge with the poem on my wall this weekend. A close friend of mine brought me flowers, and another bless him brought me lots of chicken soup with matza balls to make sure I eat, I cannot thank them and others enough for all they have done for me, including the donation to the JNF to have a tree planted in her name plus a donation to PAWS in her name. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

I was surprised yesterday to see this on a FB group owned by Cherokee Billie the animal communicator, Ralph had written the below which brought tears to my eyes:

Dear Mom,

This marks over three weeks since I left your side

In the basket, I departed, with a peaceful pride

No more suffering, no more pain

Just eternal rest, and a love that remains

I know you miss me, and it’s hard to bear

But remember, I’m with you, always there

In the darkness of night, a star shines bright

That’s me, Layla, guiding you with all my might

I was with you for 14 years, and oh so dear

We shared laughter, tears, and memories so clear

Though my physical body is gone, my spirit stays near

Watching over you, with a love that casts out fear

Don’t be sad, dear mom, for I am at peace

No more suffering, just eternal release

My house may be empty, but your heart is full

Of memories we made, and a love that stands tall

In the darkness of night, look up to the sky

And you’ll see my star shining bright, and I’ll be nigh

Forever with you, in spirit and in heart

Your loving Layla, never to depart.”

By Ralph Poulette

I always loved this facial expression as if to say another photo leave me alone


With lots of thought, love from everyone, I am tomorrow, Friday taking Layla on her last adventure with her aunt whom we did so many adventures with, to a lake where there are ducks, turtles and so much more and we are going to spread her ashes so that she can fly in the wind and be free from her box. I feel that is what she would want is that total freedom and I am giving it to her tomorrow, Alice and I are going to have a picnic next to the lake and set her free so she can dance in the wind, fly like a butterfly and be in the place that she loved. A place on earth I call heaven.

Where do I go from here, to keep Layla’s legacy going on her blog, speaking against animal abuse, Domestic Violence, breeders, overcrowded shelters and so much more as we must be the voice for the voiceless and never keep quiet.

People have asked me if I plan to get a new fur kid, once I have healed I will open my heart to another rescue as my home is empty, my heart is empty and Layla would want that from me.

Please hug your fur kids tonight, make memories as tomorrow is never promised.

With peace, love, and light.

Layla’s Mom

26 Replies to “Learning to live without your dog.”

  1. You did everything possible for Layla and were there for her night and day. Your commitment to let her cross the rainbow bridge let her free to be in peace from her body. Like the poem, she is with you, and now Layla will want her mom to put her energy to what you’re doing now, finding your way to care for yourself, take deep breaths and embrace all you did and will continue to do. Sending a hug.

    • Diana thank you so much I needed to hear this as I question myself daily and driving myself nuts. I am learning to take care of myself and it is not easy. Sending you a big hug

  2. Oh my gosh dear rochelle where to begin, as i type with tears rolling down my cheeks remembering your sweet sassy boss girl layla and what a truly wonderful blessed life yall shared together. I will forever love and miss your darling girl you gave her so much love and tender care snd were the best mommy to her. I look st back at her videos and photos and all the adventures you took together. My heart and my thoughts are with you today as you set your sweet layla free amongst the angels love never ever dies and forever she will stand by your side always

    • Cheryl thank you so much and I know I was blessed. we had a wonderful life together but learning to live without her is hard and empty as such. I am also relieved to be able to set her free today to fly like a butterfly and hopefully it will give me some peace of mind too, big hugs

  3. Dear Rochelle,
    I understand the loss and hope you can get past the pain soon.
    I know that no rescue has ever enjoyed the love and care that you gave Layla.
    Have a peaceful moment releasing the ashes of your loved, precious pooch that knew how much she was lived and cared for.
    Love you, kiddo.

    • Ron, thank you for your words of encouragement as you knew Layla personally in life and she was blessed to have you as her Uncle plus you have gone through it also and it is not easy. I promise I am taking each day as it comes, looking forward to releasing her which is so important for me and loving and remembering all her memories. Love you too and sending lots of hugs xxx

  4. You couldn’t possibly have done more for Layla, and it breaks my heart to think you’re second guessing yourself. It is definitely an adjustment without them, especially when most or all of our time was spent caring for them. It’s hard getting used to being able to pick up and go whenever we want, and tough to get through the days with no one to care for. You’re right to take this time to figure out your life, what you want, and to catch up on things that got left on the back burner. I can’t wait to hear what you discover, and to see where this journey takes you.

    • Hindy thank you so much for understanding me as you have gone through this also and I am watching your journey and learning so much. I am taking each day as it comes and seeing where it will lead. I need to take care of myself which is so true and thanks to your blog you have opened my eyes also. Big hugs

  5. Never, ever doubt yourself and your care for sweet Layla. You were an incredible Mom to her and she loved you completely for all that you gave. It really is so hard and an empty house is awful. I do believe that Layla would want you to share the love and help another. That seems so like her. Lots of love and hugs from all of us and thanks for joining Angel Brian’s Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

    • Terry thank you so much I need to hear this as it helps ease the guilt and I agree Layla would want me to open my heart to another which I will do in the near future. Big hugs to all of you and please look after yourself xxx PS Thank you for your Thankful Thursday Blog Hop as always

  6. You were the BEST mom to Layla! I don’t question that at all. I know the only regret she has is that she’s left you. But she’s still with you – in your heart, memories, and those times you swear you hear her. You do. She’s there. I know it. You do as well.

    Please, take care of yourself. Layla needs you to be strong and push forward. We are all here for you and sending you love and hugs.

    I’m glad Alice is going with you to that most spectacular lake. It does sound like heaven on earth. Setting her free is a lovely idea.

    Many hugs!

    • Terri thank you so much for your kind words as always, I am at peace now after setting her free at the lake, I think that is what I needed to do. There will always be that niggling in my mind but it is something I have to learn to let go and hopefully will do in time. Thanks so much for being there for me and big hugs to Henry from me.

  7. You did everything you could have for Layla. She had a marvelous life and you are honoring her with a marvelous final adventure. You will find your way and the right next pet will find you when the time is right. Give yourself peace as well as Layla – she would want that for you.

    • Emilia I am learning slowly to do that but it is not easy as I miss her all the time when I am doing things but you are right she would not want me to stop my life because she is gone, sending you hugs

  8. You left a link on Feline Friday, and I’m so glad you did, feel free to do so whenever you want.

    I am so very sorry for your loss. One thing about grief is the pain doesn’t so much go away as get easier to live with.

    • Thank you so much and I will for definite. thank you for your condolences and I feel you are so right, she will always be in my heart and part of me as life goes on.

  9. You were a fantastic mom to Layla. I am so glad that you have local friends that are supporting you. I am sure Layla, with her Angel Wings will visit you and is always watching over you. Do you think you should keep one of the strollers for when you are ready for a new baby? They are good to help you balance, and great to have when so you can put things in even when walking and shopping with a new baby. You are doing much better than I am. I have not really packed up anything. Harley is still in the morgue, waiting for me to decide what I want to put on her urn. All of my girls will be buried with me. My mom had the girl that I had in college, Rose, that my parents would not give back to me when I had to leave for my internship. She had it in her will and trust that Rose would be buried with her. I do not have the friends and support you have, you have very lucky. I still cry and scream everyday. Harley should not have died, no one listened to me. I will be looking into suing the vet school and am looking for a new vet. I think my vet knows she screwed up. My relationship with her is broken. I have been going to her for over 15 yrs. I feel responsible because I did not fight more for people listen to me. I have so many other problems now, it just makes it very hard to comprehend it all. My so called few friends just don’t understand the loss and devastation. Tressa will be 15 this month, 19th. She has lots of health issues but is not in any pain. I am done with this life after Tressa leaves me. I love seeing pictures and the videos of Layla. She was a perky little gal in her younger days. It is hard to get your life back. I took care of my mom for over 13 yrs plus. 24/7. I was like you, gave up my health and taking care of myself to care for my mother. My 3 much older siblings refused to help. Long story. I am so glad you you are taking care of yourself abd your friends are there for you. Layla was a local celebrity. I am sure many people have missed her presence.

    • Sandy thanks for your kind words and it is not easy, Harley would want you to put her things away and move on plus Tressa needs you. It is not easy but it has to be done as we cannot just sit, grieve and not enjoy life as our pups would not want that for us. Sending you big big hugs xxx

  10. It is so hard to find a new way of life after losing such a close furry friend and member of the family. Memories still bring tears at the same time as smiles to my eyes when I think of the pups we have lost. Thinking of you as you continue to wade and process through your grief.

  11. I know how hard this time is for you – there is such an emptiness. I still haven’t had the courage to write about Phoebe’s whole story, and how we lost her so unexpectedly. Don’t rush the process, take this time to gather your thoughts, your plans, and most importantly your strength. Sending you love and prayers.

    • Cathy thanks so much and that is what I am planning to do, I think one of the reasons I wrote this blog was to help me heal which it has done. I am sorry for what you went through with Phoebe and I understand how you feel. Big hugs

  12. I am sitting here reading this with tears in my eyes. You were an AMAZING momma to sweet Miss Layla. She knew she was so loved and so cared for…and oh, all those adventures you two would go on, me an armchair traveler, so enjoyed. She will always be missed by all, and know she is always with you in your heart and in spirit. It is so difficult to navigate life once our furbabies are no longer with us…this you know I know. And I so understand the going out and doing things to find yourself again, sans pup. Healthcare is a must, and she’d want you to put that first now. Whenever, if ever, you welcome another, that will be one very lucky pup. Sending you huge hugs, my dear friend. xo

    • Dorothy it is not easy and you are correct, I need to look after myself now which is a challenge but am determined to do it so that I can be healthy to be able to welcome a new furbaby into my life. I am sorry I brought tears to your eyes as you have been through so much with your Sibes and I admire you so much for what you do today in their memory, you were an incredible Mom to them. I was blessed to be able to do all with Layla and give her the great life she had. Sending you huge hugs xxxx

  13. Layla knew she had the best mom and you did the absolute best in caring for her. You two made a great team and I always enjoyed my visits to you two and I know she has left a huge gap.

    Layla’s blog will woof again, when the right dog steps up to take her place.

    • Marjorie thank you so much for your kind words, I am praying that I will find a new teammate in the near future and of course carry on with her legacy

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