Ayla

Quick Facts:

  • Breed: Yellow Lab/Great Pyrenees mix
  • Gender: Female, spayed
  • Age: 6-8 years young
  • Size: 80 pounds
  • Good with…
    • Dogs? YES!
    • Cats? YES!
    • Kids? YES! 6 and over please!

Hi! I am Ayla (it means “moonlight”), and I am adorable, sweet, and loving!

History

I am one of the lucky ones, because even though I’ve had a number of very sad losses, and also a lot of physical discomfort, I had a lot of love in my former life in rural KY. I was found as a stray puppy by a really sweet guy who lived on a farm. He kept me, loved me, and I had a fine life roaming around the farm with him all day long. Tragically, he died unexpectedly, which left me orphaned.

His parents were able to bring me to live with them on their nearby farm, and they took good care of me for several years. Then the dad died, leaving the mom with bills that she couldn’t pay and a farm that she couldn’t run.

After exploring all options, her only choice was to sell the farm, move in with a relative, and find new homes for all of us beloved animals. She tried to find me a new home through everyone she knew, but no one could take me. She held out as long as she could, until the night before she had to move, but with nowhere for me to go, she took me to the vet to have me put to sleep. She was crying so hard at the vet that the vet called a rescue person he knew, explained the situation, and miraculously I was saved!

That rescue person took me home, got me basic medical care, and then transported me all the way to NY so that I could join the Cayuga Dog Rescue foster program! I am so grateful and overjoyed to be in a loving, sweet, fun foster home while I wait for what they tell me will be a fantastic new forever home!

Personality

I am a very sweet loving girl, with a gentle and affectionate nature. I truly and deeply love and enjoy people. I of course especially love “my” people–the folks with whom I live or get to see regularly– and am also quite delighted to meet new folks (human, dog, or feline)! I have a sweet curiosity, and a lovely, friendly, interested, mature demeanor. I’m always so very happy to meet you, but am not jumpy or hyper or spazzy about it at all!

I love to be near you and will keep an eye on you as you move about the house. I love when you sit near me so I can lay at your feet, and love it even more when I can lay next to you on the couch and put my head in your lap (my foster mom knows that secretly I want to be a lap dog)! I love it when you pet my face and give me belly rubs, and extra love it when you do this while telling me that you love me and what a good girl I am. That makes my heart so full. I am utterly content when I can snuggle in next to you.

I also love being outdoors! I love going for short walks (see medical section re: my mobility), I love sniffing the ground and the air, I love getting to meet people and their dogs, and I would be over the moon to have a fenced yard in which to amble about off-leash! I also love squirrels, chipmunks and other outdoor critters…love to chase after them, that is,, haha! The rescue folks are amazed that I didn’t get lost during my “farm dog” days chasing after these critters, and luckily I am now kept on a leash when outside. I see critter chasing as one of my main jobs while another is giving a big strong bark when someone knocks at the door. My most important job of all though is soaking up your love and giving you mine. I’m incredible at that one!
In my former farm life, I had no toys, but am learning to play a little bit now, which I am told is insanely cute to watch. I don’t yet “get” what to do with stuffed animals (they don’t run, they just sit there!), but I am absolutely enjoying playing around with the soft rope toy I’ve been given. I hold it in my mouth, shake it around gently, and show it to my foster parents. I seem very proud of it! I am a smart girl, and have learned some basic things like Come, Sit, and Lay Down. I will do these for treats, but prefer to have hand-delivered treats for free! And since I have some joint pain (see medical section), I shouldn’t be asked to Sit or Lay Down too much as it puts a strain on my joints, but once in a while is just fine!

I love people food, and I love tasty dog treats! My former family in KY would take me on their daily trips for fast food breakfast sandwiches and burgers which unfortunately left me with a weight issue and a palette for fast food, both of which we are in the process of remedying. The rescue folks have tried out various dog food options for me, and thus far I like raw dehydrated dog food best (which is quite healthy for me), so that is mostly what I am eating currently.

I spend a lot of time looking out of the big window to the backyard (aka, “Squirrel TV”), sitting next to my foster parents, enjoying all the new aspects of being an indoor dog for the first time in my life, and getting loads of beauty sleep on these magically soft dog beds!

Cohabitation

I love every person that I have met and seem happy and respectful around children. Due to my joint pain and mobility issues, it would not be good for me to be around very young children whom I could trip over or who could tug on or fall on me. Kids over 6 should be fine!

I really like other dogs! I am very happy to meet and be around other dogs, which means while I would be perfectly happy to be your only dog, I would also be happy to have doggy companions in the home. If you have other dogs though, I hope they are on the mellow, calm side. Again, due to my mobility issues, a hyper bouncy dog who wanted to play all the time or who liked to jump all over me wouldn’t be a good match for me.

I am currently in a home with 2 cats and am perfectly fine with them, which is to say that I pretty much ignore them!

Favorite Activities

  • Cuddling next to you! Getting kisses! Getting belly rubs! Getting face petting!
  • Getting your attention! Hearing that you love me! Hearing your joyful laughter!
  • Sniffing in the yard! Smelling the fresh air! Looking out the window into the yard!
  • Going for short walks on leash! Meeting new people and other dogs! Learning new things!
  • Food and treats!!!!!!! And SOFT BEDS!!!!!

Medical

Though I had plenty of love during my KY life, I don’t seem to have had much medical care. When I arrived, I had a load of medical issues that were probably causing me a lot of suffering. The rescue, my foster parents, and the great local vets are working to help me get super healthy and feel super great! Here is a list of my issues and where we are at with them now (in mid-October):

1— Like lots of dogs, I am hypothyroid, which means I don’t make enough thyroid hormone. This is partly why I am so overweight (plus all the fast food!), and also is likely part of why my joints hurt so much when I arrived. I am on a good dose of daily thyroid medication (which is not expensive), and am doing much better already!

2— I arrived with very, very poor mobility. I seemed in great pain even on the shortest walks, and struggled to stand up and lie down. As my thyroid levels improve, my weight comes down, and the medicines and supplements I am getting have had enough time to take effect, things are SO SO much better, and I am SO SO much happier! In addition to my thyroid medicine, I am on a low dose pain medicine (Vetprofen, which helps immensely!), Dasquin (a joint building supplement) and fish oil (great for joints). I am also doing really fun daily exercises at home which were recommended by Cornell Sports Medicine folks which are building my strength and flexibility! And they involve treats, so win-win! Now I enjoy going for short walks several times a day and don’t struggle nearly as much getting up and laying down. I still need a little boost to get in the car, and I can’t do a large flight of stairs, though a few steps to get in or out of the house is fine.

3— I came with severely infected elbow hygromas, which are gnarly, painful, infection-filled callouses on my elbows. Hygromas are most likely due to laying on very hard surfaces, like concrete, so this must have been my habit on the farm. I am on a long course of oral antibiotics as well as daily topical antibiotic cream to cure the infection, have a number of super soft dog beds to provide cushioning when I lay, and special fancy elbow pad protectors that will help my elbows to heal. The healing will take quite a while, but the pain is already significantly lessened! Once the infections are all cleared up, i get to start doing some underwater treadmill sessions at Cornell Sports Medicine to build even more strength. I hear it is so much fun, I can’t wait!

4— Lastly, I have some little cysts on my eyelids (called meibomian eye cysts) that were evaluated by the Cornell Opthalmology doctors.  They say that surgery is NOT indicated, that the cysts are harmless, and since they aren’t bothering me, there is no issue with them.  I’ve decided that they are a sign of good luck and of marvelous things to come.  😊

Summary

I have the sweetest, friendliest nature possible! And despite the many tragic losses of my previous life and the great discomfort that I was in due to various untreated medical conditions, I am an incredibly optimistic, cheerful, deeply happy, grateful, and loving girl. I can’t wait to find my wonderful forever person or forever family, because I know we are going to have a joyful wonderful life together!

If you are interested in adopting me, please fill out an online adoption application and live close to Ithaca , Syracuse, Binghamton, Rochester, or Elmira. We do home visits on every applicant, and can’t do home visits where we don’t have local volunteers.

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