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Posts: 219
I spoke of some of this on the discusssion list and did a note to Georgeann--telling her we were sisters of the heart--but my girl deserves her own post and her own tribute.

On June 13, 2008, I had to let my beloved Havanese, Layla, go. She was 13 1/2, but if she had been 20 it would still have torn the same massive aching hole that her loss has left in my heart and soul. I need her. I want her back--and I know that is impossible. She was my soul mate. When I first saw her in the litter I knew she was mine the moment our eyes met--and she knew it, too. I wouldn't take the little guy the breeder thought was a good match for me--I said "That little girl...She's my dog." Eventually the breeder saw the bond and Layla went home with me a few weeks later.

It was a good thing. It turned out that she had a liver shunt--we were given a 50-50 chance that she would live through the surgery at the University (regular vets didn't do what she needed), but our little four month old baby made it. She was always fragile--we spent many thousands in vet bills throughout her life, but I don't regret one penny. She was worth all I had.

I have had many fur-children--I have some now--but twice in my life I have had one that was a part of me like no other. Layla was one of those two. She followed me from room to room, slept at my feet, fussed at me if I was late with a meal or she wanted a bite of whatever I was eating. She was dainty, loving, sweet and never met a stranger although she was mommy's girl. We went everywhere together, and she pouted whenever she saw the suitcases come out. Sometimes we went places she could go, and she always wanted to ride even if it was just to the fast food window (of course, she always ordered chicken nuggets or a hamburger for herself...) I  feel like there is a huge raw spot in my soul that will never heal--as if I am broken and can't be mended. I tried writing Monday and lost it--I cried at least 10 times that day and I don't know why it was so bad. It wasn't an anniversary. I just couldn't keep the pain at bay. The ache never stops but some days the tears won't stop either.

It's been a hard two years. In June 06 my only sibling was diagnosed with lung cancer; he died on Easter 07. I was diagnosed with metastatic carcinoid cancer, which isn't curable but can be managed for quite some time, on July 13, 2006. My mother died Jan. 08.  Only people here may understand that the hardest thing to bear for me has been the loss of my Layla, my child. I don't have any family left except for a wonderful husband who also misses her. Losing Layla is much more painful than any other loss I've had to bear. I would gladly have exchanged two years of my life to have her another two years, healthy and happy, but you can't bargain with God.  Believe me, I tried.

Layla had an enlarged left atrium of her heart and a murmur--due to age--according to the cardiologist vet we used. It was irritating her trachae and making her cough constantly. The drugs they used for her heart were damaging to her kidneys and her BUN and creatinine went skyhigh. We pulled back on the heart drugs, but damage was done. Her appetite--which had been hearty--had to be coached. I bought anything she might eat from Arby's roast beef, to vanilla ice cream, roasted and boiled chickens, got baby foods, yogurts, soft cheeses, anything I could think of. Eventually she wanted none of it and I knew it was time.  For three weeks before we pts we gave her sub-q Ringers and an injection of a narcotic twice a day that was to subdue the cough and for any pain. She was only 10 1/2 lb and it was hard to stick her because she screamed each time--she'd always screamed when she thought you were going to hurt her, but I knew the bigger needle really did. She was tired and weak, and I had prayed for two nights before she left that she would die in my arms, but it didn't happen.

We finally had to take her to the vet who let me hold her for a long time before they put the IV in, then let me hold her again. Finally we spread her soft blue blanket on the table, put her special baby next to her, and her dad and I held her and loved her and kissed her while they gave the shot to make her sleep. It was given slowly, with gentle care. When they gave the final injection she didn't even flinch--didn't feel it, thank God.  Then they gave us time alone with her. I pinned a note to her "baby" with an angel to be cremated with her, and we finally left. I bought the most beautiful blue and white cloisonne urn you can imagine, and it now sits in my secretary, waiting for my ashes. I want hers poured into my urn and the two of us to be scattered to the winds together.

There is no way that I can tell you how much I loved this child of mine. She was different. She was one of a kind. She was a part of me that I'm never going to stop missing.  The breeder once said when we visited, "There will never be another Layla" and she was right. I have three other Havanese, all wonderful little fur-children, but she was my angel. I know she can never be replaced--but I will look for her everywhere I go, in every dark pair of eyes that meet mine, hoping. If life is a circle, maybe she will find her way back to me someday. We'll both know. If not, we'll meet on the Rainbow Bridge. I just don't know how I'm going to survive the time that passes between today and that day we meet again without her.  So much of the joy has gone out of my life since that day--even though I knew her time had come and I had no choice, it's so hard. I'm grateful for the people here who have had the same kind of love for their dog or cat, etc since so many others see our heart-children as only a "pet."  She was never a pet--she was probably the boss, at least of my heart. Love and kisses, Layla; I miss you more than words can say. I hurt more than I've ever hurt in my life. The emptiness is just there, never to be filled. Your Mommy

Posts: 657

Gyspsymagic, I am crying as I read your post because you pretty well said it all for me.  I am so very sorry for your many losses, and the most devastating loss of your Layla.  I have lost my parents, sister, and my sister's daughter and they were all devastating, but none can compare to the loss of my dog.  It is beyond anything I have ever encountered.  I have a thread on here I think it is Just Wanted to Know.  It is about how much more profound the loss of our babies is than any we have ever known.


Posts: 1,288

Everything you are feeling at this 4 week mark I have been feeling for just over 15 months now and I too don't think that this will ever end. They are your kids, your family and how do you ever get over that. I have been crying just about all morning today, as I do most days. Your post struck a strong cord with me as it is so true, those emotions. I find myself crying for your little Layla, such a pretty name for, I am sure, a perfect lady. 

I am sorry that you have had to go through so many sad family events and know how difficult that is. If you are like me you expected Layla to be with you during your own ordeal, as I expected Chancey and Digby to be with me during mine. Even though we knew they wouldn't be with us we always hoped that it could be so.

I'm sorry, I am having a hard time writing this and I hope it makes sense, I have been crying so much. Your story just breaks my heart. I can put my Chancey and Digby in your story and it would be the same, the same emotions and pain. They were the perfect pair for me as your Layla was for you and your husband. They are our children, our hearts and when they are gone how are we to continue? I wish I knew. 

All my best to you today and always,

Posts: 438
A million tears ago.  What a powerful statement.  It seems like a lifetime, but it's not for me, for you or the rest of our petloss family.  There is no number large enough for all the tears we have collectively cried. 

I am so sorry for your losses, I lost my parents, my brother, my sister in law, and my best earth friend, and the devastating losses of Scruffy and Gimli. 

There is no consoling, only friendship and listening.  You are in my prayers dear friend.  We don't know what's next because we are only human, but one day we will be reunited and it will be a day of joy.

Scruffysmom forever
Greiving Gimli

Posts: 22
Dear Gypsymagic,

I wish I knew what to say to ease some of your pain.  My heart aches for you.  A million tears...yes, that says it all. 

Layla was a very brave little girl, she bore a lot.  Sometimes, the only thing that helps me is to think how brave Peanut was all those months and that I should try to be more like her and bravely carry my pain just the way she did.  It's not easy, though, as you well know.  Wish I could give you a hug, you've been through so much, too much.  Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Take care my dear friend,
Peanut's Mommy


Posts: 5,100
Dear GypsyMagic,

I think I missed your thread as it was posted on my beloved Betsy's 6th month bridgeday and I was a mess on that date. 

Your post touched my heart.  It is such a loving tribute to your beloved Layla.  She was so clearly your "heart" dog and such a blessing in your life.  I am so very sorry she has passed.   Your connection with her reminds me of mine with Betsy.   

You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Betsy's forever grateful mom

Posts: 2,245
Dear Rhonda:
I am sitting her trying to type through the tears.  I cannot believe how much your story is like mine.  i do believe that we are sisters of the heart.  I am so sorry for your loss of Layla.  Her pictures are adorable.  Your pain is so new and mine is almost 16 months old, but the pain, believe me, is the same.  I anticipate that you will be in the same situation I am 15 months from now.  It is so hard for people to understand that special once in a lifetime bond.  It is a spiritual type of bond that lasts Forever.  I too have had many fur children and loved them all, but my bond with Christopher was different.  He was part of my soul and he took my soul with him when he left.  I am sure you understand that well.  This pain is overwhelming and on-going.  I have never felt pain like this in my life. 

I have tried everything to heal and nothing has worked.  I have now accepted that I will live this life of pain forever.   I too bargained with God but like you, it did not work.  I would have done anything and paid anything to save Christopher.  When I finally had to let him go I had no choice.  He was in pain and he did not deserve to suffer.  Now we must both find a way to go on until our time comes to leave this earth.  At least all of us on this site have each other.  I have given up discussing my pain with anyone other than those on this site as no one understands.  Most think that I have lost my mind.  And I will always look forward to the day that Christopher is once again safe in my arms. 

You and Layla are in my Prayers.  I am always here when you need me. 


Sending Prayers and Big Hugs Your Way
Georgeann and Christopher

My Precious Angel
Take Really Good Care of
Layla For Her Mommy
You Are My Man And I Love You

Posts: 2,285

I have been saying the exact same thing. Of course many of the people I say it to just don't understand. It doesn't matter how old they were or even that you knew it was coming, when it comes, you just can't believe it. I still don't fully believe that Mandy is gone. I look at her bed every night and think to myself, she's really not here! And when someone asks me how I'm feeling, I say I'm okay but I still want her back!

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