A year ago today, I lost Layla..
Seems like yesterday and not a year. The morning started typically.. I sent the girls off to school and began my last few hours with my beloved 14 year old lab, Layla. She ate well- of course...
She and I, struggled together getting her into the car.. I hadn't realized she barely had any strength left in her back legs at the end. Together, her pulling with her paws on the fabric of backseat of my Honda, and me pushing and lifting, managed to get her in the car.
Now covered in her hair, and sobbing seemingly endlessly we drove the 20 mis to the vet.
Once there, one vet and two techs were waiting for us in a small room with muted glass doors. They explained what was going to occur once they inject her with the drugs. Honestly, I wasn't hearing anything, I was lost in the last few minutes with her and the finality of her life, in the moment.
Always a good girl, Layla was so patient with them as they missed her vain not once but twice. It took my entire rational brain to stay there and not flee with her, convinced that this was a sign that it wasn't her time.
I stayed focused on her rapid decline since November, peeing in the house, which she never did... unable to walk down any stairs and pained look in her eyes all the time..
Finally the drugs were in.... I continued to sob.. as I sat on the floor with her. In her last gesture, she picked her head up off the floor and laid it my lap.. with a final whimper she took her last breath... The vet listened for a heartbeat.. and let me know when it no longer beat.
I felt like I couldn't breath, like I was being choked with grief. I glanced up at the vet, a seasoned woman, who was crying, as were the two female techs. They told me I could stay as long as I liked... but I needed to leave...
I gave Layla one last kiss and headed out.. I glanced back at the muted glass doors and saw all three women on the floor still holding my dog..as if they were watching her soul leave her body.. I just could stay any longer.. I couldn't breath.. and my heart was broken...
I came home and posted Layla's last morning here on Flickr. Within in minutes I was overwhelmed with love from friends, contacts, and strangers. People who had just ran across the image and words and felt compelled to reach out. I knew in a heart beat how special this community was.. I sought refuge in your words... I felt embraced by your own stories of losing beloved pets..
I felt like with every word, arms wrapped me and told me... it was okay.. I did the right thing... she was 14!!... All of your words were wisdom and comfort to my aching heart.
On this day that I lost her one year ago, I pause and pay special tribute to her and thank all of you that took the time to reach out, re-live your own sorrows, and provide much needed support..
I miss and love you so much, everyday, sweet girl...!! RIP.