Writing usually heals. Sometimes it hurts. It’s been a lot longer than I wanted it to be before I introduced Layla onto my site. I have plenty of photos to share. They’ve been stacking up, and each time I take one and post it on Insta or Facebook, I fall farther and farther behind in bringing her light to Live Vitale.
Losing Bella was devastating. My friends and family have caught all my tears. They know. And I guess you could say I’m one of those people that go out right away and find another pup to love, to cuddle with, to walk around everywhere holding her as if she’s now a permanence on my arm, to put my nose onto her neck and take in her Yorkie smell, all of these things a reminder of my beautiful Bella Ball. I need no time to heal or wait or sit in sadness and ponder memories because all of these wonderful puppy quirks of mine bring happiness. All of this Layla loveliness brings healing. It is she that sparks all of those sentimental Bella reminders: handing down her collar, that bark, that rabbit run and that proud walk, those eyes that know you, that mind that’s too smart for her own good, and those kisses. Oh, those darn kisses. That is what clouds the tragedy and overcomes my heart with a love so big I cry.
So exactly four days later Layla enters our lives. I found her online from a loving private party, and she left behind two playful sisters. Her mom was feisty and gorgeous, her half-sister as well. She looks like her handsome daddy. I chose her for her smallness, her quietness, and a momma’s gut feelin’.
Well, Layla is definitely small, weighing three pounds at almost 15 weeks, but she is no doubt my wild child. She is my “lee-lee,” my Layla Lu, my Layla Love. She is my crated-at-bedside alarm clock in the morning at 7, 8, or 9, depending upon when it’s time to start the summer day. She joins my other nap buddies after an afternoon of “Where has Layla gone to now?” She is our TV watching sidekick in the evenings when the day is really just too long for tiny things. She is the delicate reason for my anxiety, my constant worry that I will turn my head and lose my amazing gift.
Gentle giant Jack has found his playmate for life, someone to wallow in his incredible patience for puppy biting, even though he usually is the one who instigates playfulness. He can now fulfill his daddy instincts as she sits still between his arms for his lick baths. He has a best friend. Darby now has the opportunity to show who is boss with her I-have-no-interest-in-you growls. Of course when Jack’s not looking, she’s the first to start an “I chase you; you chase me” session, which will go on for hours unless I say otherwise. Sweetie has found her tormentor, and I’m not sure if she secretly enjoys the attention or if Sweetie is just darn so perfect that her patience shines during Layla’s ambushes.
And me, well, I have found another love of my life. I have fallen hard for this prancing princess. She loves back big. She lives fast. She barks life. She sees everything. And she eats ice, just like me.
Here’s to, I pray, many, many years of Layla. Here’s to, I pray, many, many memories a’ makin’ with my gracious pup pack of four. Love you guys to pieces. Thanks for the greatness you bring to my life…always, every day.
This post is dedicated to that itty bitty girl whose beauty and love will never ever ever be forgotten.