The word serendipity doesn’t get a lot of use but in some instances it’s the word you need to use.  

As many of you know, we lost our French bulldog, Stitch, to IVDD earlier this year. It was a very sad and frustrating situation that led to the decision to say goodbye to our wonderful little dog rather than condemn her to a life of pain and suffering. I was lucky enough to meet the incredible Dr. Pol after, and he reassured my wife and I that "Quality of life is more important than quantity of life," and that we had made the proper decision for Stitch, and we’d see her again.  

Leia is a French bulldog who has found a new home with columnist Jeff McFarlane and his wife, Jackie, thanks to Jenn’s Furry Friends animal rescue.

Leia is a French bulldog who has found a new home with columnist Jeff McFarlane and his wife, Jackie, thanks to Jenn’s Furry Friends animal rescue.

After going through that, we had decided we wanted a different type of dog next time, one without the underlying conditions that are common to dogs like Frenchies.

A yellow Lab, a big, goofy wannabe lap-dog — that’s the ticket. A dog that can run forever, in any weather, that we don’t have to worry so much about.

And then Jenn came into the store. She runs Jenn’s Furry Friends, a non-profit rescue for just about any animal. She has an active Facebook page, as well as a website —  

Jenn has been a customer for quite a while, buying supplies from us that she can’t get donated from elsewhere. Because she deals with a wide variety of animals, her needs can be quite diverse.

So, as we were shooting the breeze, discussing how to make raw food affordable enough for her big dogs as well as her little ones, and how it would benefit her cats, she saw the photo of Stitch on one of the freezers.  A few tears and a story later she mentioned Layla, a French bulldog she had in foster.

Layla had been found in a box, on the side of the road. Because she is a purebred dog, Jenn was worried she would get adoption requests from people who may be more interested in the fancy breed than the actual dog, and might not be versed in the needs of a brachycephalic dog (bulldogs, pugs, dog with "shortened heads").  

Seeing that we were aware of the care, and had a space "open", she asked if we wanted to meet Layla.

I knew there was a huge chance that Jackie would fall in love with Layla, so I had to broach the idea the right way. We had decided on a Lab, there was no consideration of another Frenchie.

But Layla needed a home that could give her the love she’d obviously missed out on in her early life. So, I told Jackie  and asked if she wanted to meet Layla.  
No. Yes. Maybe. Yes. We didn’t want another Frenchie. She was found in a box? Yes. No. When can we see her?

It was a literal roller coaster of emotions, but I knew which one would win out. So we made a date to visit Layla at Jenn’s home just south of the city. Her home is a literal zoo, with two big dogs, three smaller dogs, two cats, a parrot, guinea pigs (currently up for adoption) and rats, a demonstration of her love for the fur babies. It’s quite the menagerie, and the crowd allowed Layla to show us her personality.

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