Layla and I bonded during the birth of her puppies. I had never been through anything like that with an animal, and I was proud and excited to be a part of it. The miracle of life! And the puppies were beautiful. So much fun… and so much poop. It was a crazy summer. Thank goodness I had gotten my teaching job and we were off for the summer to dedicate more time to them!
The babies grew, and grew, and grew some more. I am pretty sure, as I am writing this, that all four of them outweigh their mother by now, and they aren’t even six months old yet. I love when the center gets an update on one of them. Abraham’s new family sent a photo of him yesterday, and he is HUGE and beautiful!
The puppies created quite a stir on social media. They were four handsome boys, and we think the father was Great Pyrenees, so they will probably all end up being more than 100-pounders. Poor Layla, at only around 50 pounds… no wonder she was acting so crazy when we first got her! And then when they kept trying to nurse while all four were around 20 pounds, it was a hard time for her. We were sad to see the pups go, but after they were all adopted and out of the house, anyone could see that Layla was relieved to have some time to herself.
While the puppies were still around, Layla had to go stay with two different families when I went on trips in July. She acted so happy when we got her back, and we missed her! We really wanted to keep her, but I was still not planning to adopt another dog, or at least not anytime soon. Also, in the middle of all of this, she tried to burn my house down. She apparently was trying to get some pizza off the stovetop and turned on a burner, which then melted and caught a plastic pitcher on fire. The kids and I came home to a house full of black smoke and the smoke alarms going off.
Long story short, I put out the fire and sent all eight animals we had at the time (Ella, Olive, Hatter, Layla, and the four puppies) out the front door for the kids to collect them. We chose to be grateful rather than sad about the fire, as we came home in time, and everyone was safe! And it really wasn’t Layla’s fault. She was starving due to nursing those giant puppies! Plus, we got to live in a hotel suite for two weeks while our house got painted and fixed up.
Anyway, we thought another family was going to adopt Layla, and although we were sad, we knew it was a wonderful home and were happy for her. The kids and I talked it over as a family many times, and agreed that we could let Layla go, as we knew she would be happy and well-cared-for. As luck would have it, she ended up coming back to us, and we are honored that we get to be her forever family. She had her leg surgery, and she is healing well. She is happy and SO much a different dog than when we first met her. We are thankful for her, and grateful to Misty Eyes for everything they have done for her, and for bringing her into our lives!
That brings us up to four pets of our own now – two dogs and two cats – but we started fostering cats again in July as well. We have had up to five at a time (three right now). The litter boxes aren’t so much fun, but otherwise, fostering brings us a whole lot of pleasure. Many people seem to think we are crazy, or they wonder what it is that we get out of it.
Some common questions we get…
We have also decided to spend more time volunteering with Misty Eyes Animal Center. I am the new “outreach program lead,” and feel fortunate to be a part of the great things this growing organization is doing. Everyone involved in the rescue is a volunteer, and there are plenty of people who put in a whole lot more hours than I do.
Questions or comments? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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News Writer: Lucy Perry