Goodbye Layla my friend

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Well-known member
Mar 29, 2012
Berry, Alabama
I still remember that day some 12 years ago when my wife brought her home. I had already got a warning that she was coming home with another dog, something we didn't really need. We already had 3 others in the house, but being the dog lover she is, couldn't turn down another Boston Terrier, especially a free one. The story goes, she was a woman's dog, wouldn't have anything to do with a man. A friend couple of ours had bought her in TN, kept her about a month, and had to get rid of her, she was too destructive, so they gave her to another friend couple of ours. They kept her a couple of months, decided the same thing, and offered her to my wife, who couldn't say no. My computer desk sits in the bedroom, behind a wall just to the right as you walk in the front door. I heard the car pull into the drive, I was at the computer, I turned around in my chair to meet my wife at the door, I wasn't having another dog. Before I got out of my seat, she put her down on the floor just inside the door, she never being in this house before, immediately ran in, turned right into the bedroom, and jumped up in my lap, loving on me like she had always been there! Woman's dog my big old butt! That started it all......

Yeah, she was rambunctious, she liked to chew stuff, but she was still a pup. She always minded me better, so after about a year, it was decided she was going to ride with me in the truck. It was a little rocky at first, she destroyed a couple of seat arm rests before I figured out she didn't like being left alone when I had to get out, so I put one of those travel kennels in the closet and would have her go it it when I had to get out for anything. I soon found out, not only was she great company, she was a good judge of character, too. If she didn't like you, I wouldn't either. I remember more than once she put somebody out of the window because she didn't like them, one was a SC State Trooper! I didn't like him either! We rode probably a half a million miles together from Texas to the Carolinas. She slept in my bed, snuggled up tight to me, watching over me. We played ball going down the road, I'd toss it back in the sleeper and she'd run and get it and bring it right back, always ready for more. Sometimes she was content to just ride laying in my lap, head resting on my arm, looking out the window. I always wondered what she was thinking. But all good things come to an end, and she had to stop riding with me. I got the steady haul with shorter trips that I've been doing several years now, and they at the time made us shut the trucks down in the loading docks. It was OK until the hot Alabama summer kicked in, but it got too hot for her to have to sit in the truck without AC, so the decision was made to let her stay home again. She was always happy to see me when I got home, and always until recently still slept with me until she got to where she couldn't get up on the bed anymore.

She was the youngest, so she outlived the other girls. I sadly watched as they passed on, knowing her time was coming one day, but hoping it was far in the future. One by one they went, two one year, one the next, until she was the only one left. She grew fat with all the extra food and attention we gave her. She was no longer the rambunctious pup, but a graying old lady who loved to nap more and more. She was still the protector, even before he was born, she would lay with the Grandson's mom when she was pregnant and living with us. And after he was born, she also became his dog, she shared her attention with him and me. He loved her, but his illness also made him be cruel to her sometimes. She took it with stride and would always go back and love on him, knowing he couldn't help himself.

Sometime early this year after I had what I think was Covid, she started having breathing problems. Maybe she caught it from me , I dunno. We took her to the vet, she gave her some meds, but they didn't really help much. I knew it was only a matter of time. The breathing attacks just kept getting worse and worse, then when she got over them, she'd be her herself again, although much slower. Finally, Friday night about 9PM, she went to sleep for the last time.

A 61 year old man shouldn't be this attached, but I am. My loving best friend, who never asked for more than some food, water and attention, has left me feeling empty. I'll always remember her, we had a bond from first sight, something I've never had with a dog before, and probably will never have again. Goodbye Layla my friend, there's something in my eye and I can't write anymore......

100_1539 by Bobby Atkins, on Flickr
100_1538 by Bobby Atkins, on Flickr
You have written the best love story I have read in a long, long time. It is true, a man's best friend is his dog. You wrote so lovingly about Layla that a Kleenex was needed.
Sorry for the loss of your best friend.
I'm a 63 year old man and I am attached to all of our pets.It's never easy when you loose one.
My condolences to you and your wife , Bama.
Sorry for your loss. Very touching story. My eyes are all wet too. I was reminded of a song by Curtis Salgado and Alan Hagar called I want my dog to live longer.
Read enough books and one can recognize natural writing style. Anyone can write but Bam you have an outstanding talent for expression. What a pleasant read this is even knowing the sad end is coming. Sorry for your loss bud.


It's like losing a family member, I feel your pain and sorry for your loss..
brother so sorry to hear this. them fur babies are not pets they are family.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...
I agree with earthman, you have a gift for writing.

26Troadster, I have heard about the rainbow bridge but never saw such a sensitive essay about it. Thanks for posting it.

My old boy seems to be drawn toward that rainbow bridge. We don't want to let him go.

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