I have had dogs all my life yet I have never met a dog like Layla our Springer Spaniel. She came into our life in such a strange way. Our eldest son, I have mentioned before, cannot help but find animals in need. I could literally write a book about his animal escapades. What ever country he travels to on holiday he will have some animal drama. If he sees a dog tied up in a yard in miserable circumstances he can't just walk by. When he rented a yard for his buses next to a travellers site he spent as much time sneaking around with food and water as he did working! It was one of the many reasons he gave the place up and moved to his present one and even then within weeks he had found a stray cat as a companion for my Dad.
Nearly three years ago a friend of his mentioned that he knew someone who was getting rid of a four month old Springer Spaniel as they couldn't manage it. He knew eldest son was an animal lover, did he know of anyone who could take her as they were so desperate they were going to put her on Preloved for a very cheap price to make sure she was gone by the weekend. Eldest son was horrified and said that it was such a dangerous thing to do to a dog. It could end up anywhere. He went to the tiny bedsit in Lewisham, South London and paid the price for the little Springer Spaniel that was locked in a cage.
He phoned and asked could we take her for the weekend and he would take to Springer Spaniel Rescue on the Monday. So Layla arrived. She had all her documents and a pile of equipment. Someone had really wanted her at some point but I suppose the reality of an energetic puppy had been just too much. I phoned the microchip company to make sure she hadn't been reported as stolen and she hadn't been. I think the saddest thing on her inoculation certificate was all the crossings out of her name as she had been passed from person to person.
That weekend we took her to the park with our dogs, who she she stuck to like glue. I could see her distress as she scanned all the people's faces in the park for someone who looked familiar, it broke my heart. Tom and I looked at each other as we got home and said someone has to commit to this dog. We decided that was that, it stops here.
She has definitely not been the easiest of dogs. Her early experiences have had an enormous, lasting affect on her but I know she is happy. She has terrible trouble focusing and concentrating for more than a few seconds but as I say to my four very individual children, don't conform just be yourself. She is our dog with all her funny little ways. She would never win an obedience class and definitely never win a prize for walking in a straight line for some reason but who cares. She has brought us so much happiness and when I look at this video of her in the park yesterday I can see her life has brought her the same.