I am just so glad she got to experience the beach. She was so happy there, running with the other dogs, exploring the water's edge. Happy with her whole body, smiling in her face.
She had come a long way- spending the first two years of her life caged up in a laundry room by day- until her owner decided that was no life for a dog, and gave her to us. She came into our lives with a nasty barking habit, and a desire to run if let out of the yard. But slowly, in our home, she decided she had nothing to bark about and nothing to run from because life with us was pretty good.
In our home she had plenty of playmates, my two sons who doted on and loved her immediately, along with our yellow lab Logan, who has also since passed. But this story isn't so much about what we did for her, but what she did for us.
She showed us how to really love. With her sweet disposition, and ready hugs, she was always there- both when we were at our best and also at our worst. She loved us unconditionally. She always got up to greet us when we walked into the door from being away. When we were at home she followed us throughout the house, from room to room, letting us know being with us was the most important thing in the world to her. If only I could be as good to those I love.
She has been our faithful companion hiking beside us through the foothills of the Appalachians in Georgia, the prairies of Illinois, and the beaches of Long Island Sound. She had a good life and so have we because of what she brought into our lives.
We feel her absense everywhere. A void. We no longer have a dog to walk, to feed, to greet, to hug. Nobody for my son to sleep with. Nobody to eat the scraps of food off the floor. The house is way too quiet...
Last night at dinner my son called to Layla, offering her a scrap of food from his plate, before he caught himself and remembered that she was gone. While it will take awhile to come to terms with our loss, we feel honored to have had her in our lives. Our beautiful Layla girl, she had a great run. May we love better because of her and may the little things in life bring us great joy.