Layla’s Journey

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