Kayla, My Candle in the Wind

by Suzanne Schultz
(Iverington AL)

Kayla was a long hair chia mix. She came into my life at the age of 6 weeks, in 1994. Little did I know she would prove to be more than a pet. I got her for my son who had HDD. I thought she would help him by giving him something all his own to love. She did help him, but she was so small that sometimes he got too rough with her.

She soon became mine. She became my best friend and my seizure doctor. I started having seizures in 1993 so by the time Kayla came along, I was used to them. Kayla learned to bark like crazy when I had one. Trying to get me help. If no one was home, she would sit on me and bark until I came out of it. Finally I got them under control.

Kayla moved on to be the captain or at least the co-captain of a crab boat. She never did care for the crabs, but loved to ride the bayous. She also became a favorite at the local flea market. She would sit proud in her stroller and just enjoy the crowd.

My son grew up and moved away. Katrina hit and we lost everything. Kayla was so confused. She would look at what was left of our home and then look at me so pitifully. Time moved on.

In 2007, Kayla woke me up, making a funny sound. I thought she had fallen between the bed and the wall. If only that had been the case. Kayla was in the middle of her own seizure. The little dog who had stood by me so many times now needed me. I cried and held her.

The seizures became a regular thing. Her lungs and heart became weak. The vet put her on meds and for a while they worked. Then her teeth started to abscess. The day finally came when I knew that I had to let her go. She had just turned 15.

The vet told me he could give her more meds for her teeth. I looked at Kayla, and as much as I wanted her to stay, I knew I could not put her through any more. The seizures were slowly killing her.

The last thing I told her was that I loved her and that I would see her in Heaven. I could not stay with her because if I had I would not have been able to go through with it. There is not a day that goes by that I do not regret that.

Kayla died on August 5th 2009. Since then I have had several visits from her. So I know she is at peace because I feel that from her.

I can be thinking about her and there will be a rainbow on tv or in the sky. Sometime I can hear the soft click of her toenails on the tile floor. And for a very brief second, I get a glimpse of her in the hall.

She was my candle in the wind. Her candle blew out long before her memory ever will.

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