I frequently say that my dogs are two of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. They are constant reminders that good things happen in my life when I believe in myself and follow my intuition. Case in point: them.
Recently, however, I had to accept that while both of them mean the world to me, they didn’t necessarily feel that way about each other. I had to hear what I didn’t want to: that Layla wanted a home of her own, one where she could be the centre of attention.
I started crying the moment this sank in. This was helped, I might add, by the her deciding to sit right against my head while I was lying down trying to do yoga.
Layla has been special to me from the moment she entered my life. She has taught me the meaning of confidence and self-belief in a whole new way, and taught me things about myself I wasn’t even aware I needed to learn. In particular, she helped me really come to grips with the idea that doing things that make you happy is important, even if those around you don’t really understand why. As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, all that matters is that it helps you be you, with a smile on your face!
I knew (and still know) that she wouldn’t have asked me to let her go if it weren’t in our mutual best interest. I had to assume that the timing was right. I had to have faith.
I don’t think things could have come together more smoothly. I made the decision earlier this week, and posted an ad that night which went live the next morning. The first call I received came in a few hours later. It was from a couple so keen on having my little girl that they arranged to drive 3 hours north from England to see her that evening, leaving shortly after their phone call. They were terrified that I would change my mind and they’d be let down, again.
I had a good feeling about them, so I spent the day fielding several other inquiries, spending time with both dogs and figuring out what to pack for her move.
The moment Layla laid eyes on them I could feel her excitement, but for once she seemed focused and calm. She seemed aware that these were her new people, and I couldn’t ignore that this was true as they cuddled and watched her interact with Dumbledore, her brother. Meanwhile I was talking about everything I could think of that they would need to know. I was so worried I would miss some vital piece of information and something would go wrong because they didn’t know everything.
So I bundled her off with everything I could think to give (food, toys, treats, vet records, jackets, her food dish …) and walked away with tears streaming down my face.
The next day I received a couple of truly beautiful texts. They let me know in no uncertain terms that she is settling in beautifully and that they and their children’s families could not be happier. I started to cry again but this time they were bittersweet/happy tears.
I feel like I’ve healed something in the world by placing her in their hands. Maybe I’ve broken a cycle or put something right? I don’t know, but I can’t deny it feels good.
I do know that I feel a hole in my life where she used to be, and I’m working already to understand the best way to fill that space.
Even if it was the last think I would have wanted. I’m glad I let myself hear what she had to say. And if I ever need a reminder in future that good things happen when I make my own choices and follow my gut, I can look back on this experience and the texts I’ve received from her new family, and smile.
I can also trust that I’ll now how to listen if it ever happens again.