For years I wanted a puppy, never having had one of my own.  And I wanted a puppy that was going to grow into a big dog, preferably black.

This was amazing in itself because large black dogs were the things of my childhood
nightmares … literally.  When I was
growing up, I had a recurring dream of being attacked by a pack of large black
dogs.  The ensuing fear this instilled
in me stayed with me into my early twenties, to the point that I would not get
out of the car if there was a black dog within sight.

I love Black Labs, Golden Retrievers, St. Bernards, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and
Huskies.  Like I said…big Dogs.

One day my husband informed me that someone he knew had puppies that were almost
old enough to leave their mother.  The mom was a Golden Retriever; the dad was a St. Bernard.  We found out from this woman that when a
Golden mates outside the breed, the puppies will be black.

To me, this was perfect.  Bill made the arrangements to go to the
woman’s house so I could pick one out.

It was at the beginning of December when we made the drive to Marge’s house.  A light snow was falling, giving the
darkening world an old-fashioned feeling of Christmas.

I am a great believer in prayer and the knowledge that if we leave things in
God’s hands He will work it out in the best way possible.  I had been praying, since the day Bill first told me about the puppies, that God would take a hand in this and get the
‘right’ puppy for me.  I was so excited
at the thought of finally having a dog to call my own.

I am one to back the underdog in any fight, always wanting a fair, even playing
field.  I love the small, helpless
creatures that need the care and love of someone else.  I guess that is why I fall in love with
every baby that I see.

So, I had already decided I would probably favor the runt of the litter; but I
wanted desperately for her to ‘pick’ me.
I prayed for a connection between us, a definitive bonding that left no
question as to whether she was mine.

When we arrived, Marge led us down the hall to the bathroom and opened the door.
Immediately, eight tiny black bundles of fur came running and tumbling out into
the hallway.  I knelt on the floor and
picked one up and tried to cuddle it; but she squirmed and cried to be set
down.  I picked up a second one, which
did the same.

As I was trying to find that connection I wanted, Marge went into the bathroom and
picked up the lone puppy that still lay there, sound asleep on the
blanket.  She was so tiny, so sweet.

Marge set her down on the floor and said, “She is the runt of the litter.”

I set the puppy that I held down on the floor and picked up this little
baby.  She immediately tried to cuddle
into my neck.  I held her for a second
or so, and then set her down to pick up another one.  As the one that I held began to squirm to be put down, the ‘runt’
was trying to crawl up my knees and into my lap.

I gently set the squirming one down and picked up the littlest one.  She again tried to cuddle into my neck.  When I set her back down to turn my
attention to one of the other ones, she tried to climb up into my lap
again.  This happened two more times,
until I finally picked her up and felt a love so strong it brought tears to my

Bill looked at me, smiling, and said, “I take it you are picking her.”

“No,” I said, “She has picked me.”

That was in 1999.  Bill brought her home to
me two days before Christmas … my Christmas present.

Through the following years, Kayla and I were almost inseparable.  She loved to ride in the car with me, and to
walk down the road to go swimming in the lake.
She loved to go to McDonald’s for French fries, and the local ice cream
stand for a doggie cup of vanilla topped with a dog biscuit.  She was my protector, my friend, my “Baby Girl”.

April of last year we began to notice that she was not moving as freely as she had
been.  We chalked it up to old age and
maybe a little arthritis.  When we took
her in for her checkup, my world shattered.

I watched as the vet began the exam, watching her face as she ran her hands over
Kayla’s neck and shoulders.  I watched
her face change, saw the concern and distress take away the impersonal
detachment that had been there.  When
she looked at me, I knew there was something terribly wrong.

Kayla had lymphoma; with only weeks left, maybe a few months at most.

I still remember sitting in that cold, sterile room as if it were yesterday.  I looked at the vet, unable to believe what
she was telling me; but I could see my pain reflected in her eyes.  My own eyes filled with tears as I reached out
and dug my hands into that black fur, as if by holding onto her, I could keep
her with me longer.

The vet murmured something and stood up to leave the room.  I reached for Kayla and pulled her against
me, sobbing into her neck.  As always,
when I was upset, she leaned her head against my shoulder as if to comfort me
with a hug.

We were given medications to take the swelling down and to make her more
comfortable for the time she had left.
We took her home and prepared to wait it out.

A few weeks later, she woke one morning and fell when she tried to stand on her
back legs.  We went back to the vet and
were told that arthritis had fused her spine together and that the nerves to
her back legs were pinched.

We waited a few days, praying that God would step in and do something to help
her.  By the following weekend, she did
not want to move; and had bitten both Bill and I when we tried to help
her.  She lay on the rug in the living
room, not eating, not being able to get up and go outside.  That Saturday I was forced to make the most
difficult decision of my life when I called to make arrangements with the vet
to come to our house.

I firmly believe that God directed her to make that
connection with me all those years ago.
There is too much evidence for me to think anything different.  I thank Him every day for those years I had
with her, knowing she was the one He had chosen for me.

It has been just over a year, and I miss her as if it were
only yesterday that I lost her.

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2011



  1. My beautiful Loving Drusilla, so gentle and compassionate, how I wish we could hold each other and just cry a little for our faithful little ones we have lost. I had another special dog called Bruce Allosious not my name for him to be sure, I wanted to call him Ollie short for Oliver Twist because I found him on the street, but was out voted, he was so tiny and yet bravely following a girl with a Pizza, I said to her, what a cute puppy you have and she replied … He is not mine, I don’t want him, you can have him …and so Bruce the most naughtiest dog I ever had, came to live with us.

    But I loved Bruce as naughty as he was and yet not in the same way as Petal, but I have come to realise that each Pet we love touches our lives in different ways, maybe they meet a need that often is not even expressed and so it was with Bruce, but like you with Kayla we had to choose to put him down for the same reason and it hurt real bad, Bruce was 13 at the time. Someone sent me a poem but it was not till later that it touched my heart and comforted me.I will post it on my Blog in the near future when I share more about Bruce,

    Thinking of you Drusilla, with Love and compassion in my heart for you – Anne


    • Thanks, Annie. I’m wondering if the poem you mentioned is about a place called Rainbow Bridge? We got a sympathy card from our vet with a card in it that had the story of Rainbow Bridge on it. It is not scriptural, but I really wish there was such a place. It makes me cry everytime I read it. Love and prayers back to you as well.


      • Hi Drusilla, no it’s not Rainbow bridge but yes I was sent that one too and it is beautiful, I will share the other one with you now and another poem that is close to my heart I will put on my blog later, it’s very long because it also has a postscript. Both although sad have a wonderful message but to be honest they still bring tears but also comfort, who ever wrote them has experienced what we have with our little ones and what many others have felt too, I hope you will be as blessed by them as I was.

        IF IT SHOULD BE…

        If it should be that I grow frail and weak,
        And pain should keep me from my sleep,
        Then will you do what must be done,
        For this — the last battle — needs to be won.

        You will be sad I know, but don’t let grief then stay
        your hand, for this pain I do not understand and I
        need to rest, even though your love and friendship
        will be put to the test.

        We have had so many happy years,
        You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
        When the time comes, please, let me go.
        Take me to where my needs they’ll tend,

        Only, stay with me till the end, and hold me firm
        and speak to me until my eyes no longer see, I know
        in time you will agree, it is a kindness you do to me,
        Because unlike you I do not know the reason why
        I suffer so, or the place I will go.

        Although my tail its last has waved,
        From pain and suffering I have been saved.
        I don’t understand why I must die, or why my time
        must come to an end, but don’t grieve that it must
        be you, who has to decide this thing to do;

        We’ve been so close we two, so don’t let
        your heart hold any tears,
        But remember the joy of our years.

        Author Unknown

        Love Anne


  2. Thank you Annie. The tears are here now. I have to tell you that Kayla seemed to be reassuring me that it was okay. She always knew when I was upset about something, and would come and sit beside me and nudge me with her big head. She did that a lot after we found out she was sick, and just before I made my decision. It made me wonder if the Lord used her to tell me it was what I was supposed to do.


  3. Pingback: THE LITTLEST PUPPY – A Short Children’s Story | Drusilla Mott

  4. Morning Drusilla
    We had a golden lab for 18 years named Muggsy Margolis
    We also got Muggsy when he was just weaned even BK (before kids)
    Our children grew up with him and he was their friend and protector
    We had to put Muggs down at 16 years old because of the hip displacia (sp?)
    We still think of him and laugh at everything he did
    I’ve written some memories about him – I guess I need to repost some
    God Bless


  5. I can relate to your story Drusilla….I had a beautiful black lab named Cody…but I had a stroke, and could no longer take care of him so we gave him to a good home……..thank you for relating your story to us!


  6. Gulp….that is hard, dog or cat, or whatever pet it may be. We had to put down one of our cats not even a year ago. That still hurts. I miss her…
    She would literally sneak slowly into your lap, I kid you not…she moved so slowly she looked like she was moving in slow motion. She would be on the couch next to you, and next thing you know she was in your lap, and you did not notice! Or she would be in your lap, and she would kneed you with her paws…which actually felt good!


  7. Pingback: GOODBYE LEAH | On Faith and Writing

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