Play hard, Lila

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When I saw this little black smashed face dog for adoption on Petfinder, I thought it was great because of her coloring, and that I should go out to meet her. She was at Forget-Me-Not Pekingese Rescue out in California. I was living in Phoenix, ran it by my boyfriend, and then took my ex with me on a road trip for a few hours to California.

When I got there the place had at least 14 different smash faced dogs all crowding around the baby gate, having run up from the rest of her open facility. At the back of the group was Lila, not understanding what was going on, but trying to keep up with everyone else. There were better dogs there than Lila. Confident, outgoing dogs just waiting to get past that baby gate.

I had the owner bring her out and we took her to the sitting area and I sat on the floor as she sat on the sofa. It didn’t take long, while trying to get to know her, for her to just hop down off the couch and sit quietly in my lap. She still didn’t really know what was going on, didn’t show the doggie tongues of affection, but kind of just simply asked me if we could leave. For $200 I took her home, because this one needed a home.

She was a good dog, but didn’t quite know how to Dog. She never barked. She was a finicky eater. I groomed her every 2-3 months and always took her outside in her harness and went on walks. I tried to take her on a long walk once. No. I had to start carrying her. I took her to the dog park too. She just walked up to a random human and decided to sit with them while the other dogs partied in the yard.

I brought home a cat once during one of our walks, and I noticed within a few weeks the cat started running by the dog and popping her in the head. I thought to myself “hey that’s not very nice. maybe you need a cat of your own.”
And I found My Tommy for adoption. Tommy was a very good brother to Lila. She was the only animal that he’d snuggle up with. He’d steal her bed and sometimes he would let her have it back, and sometimes he didn’t and they would cuddle up together. They’d be butt to butt on the sofa. Lila taught him to growl when someone tries to take an item from you that makes you happy. My cat was growling. It was great. She did a very good job being a cat and getting along with her brother.

So we had her for a few years and three different residences. Somewhere between Gilbert and Chandler she started to develop this habit of eating cat biscuits out of the litter box. She’d make herself very ill, have to get treatment from the vet, get crated for a week, and she’d do it again. I ended up putting a Pawz Away Pet Barrier up so that when she got within 3 feet of the litter box, she would get a little electric reminder to walk away. I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the way it felt for me. I didn’t like doing aversion therapy. I just wanted her to stop getting sick.

So when my parents visited me from Iowa and met my dog and they got along, I asked if I could take her shock collar off and she could go home with them. They agreed. This was almost 4 years ago.

Over the past year she’s been falling apart. She’s been going senile, harder to feed, harder to keep her bowels moving because of the lack of food, falling asleep in places other than her bed, had a seizure, and then today she had a lot of heavy breathing going on so my parents took her to the vet.

They said with her tiny frame and the breathing it was likely an issue with her heart trying to keep up and it was decided to put her down. I’ve cried this evening quite a bit. I remember my dog before she fell apart. I remember her as a part of my family; my little dog I brought over state lines and had her grow up with cats. She was a good cat as far as dogs go. Dad said he was there with her during the procedure and that he’s going to bury her in a nice place along the land they live on along with her bed I bought her six years ago.

I no longer have a doggy. I wonder if Tommy remembers he had another sister.
She was only about 11 years old.

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