Sunday, May 8, 2011

Delilah - Great Dane

Delilah is the very special dog that is so rare and special that the only term that fits is 'heart dog'.

Photo by Jennifer Goodlet
Delilah is a black Great Dane, and she is approximately 11 years old now.

Photo from Polk County Animal Control
On March 24, 2008, a few weeks after my husband and I moved into our new house, I was looking for a Great Dane. I applied to a rescue as a foster home - I wasn't sure what I was looking for, but I was sure that fostering would be a good place to start. Then, a co-worker came across the above photo on our local Animal Control's website, and sent me a link.

Her page said only that she was 8 years old and female, and the above photo. I had no idea what she would be like, but decided to go visit her over my lunch break. Cozmo was older, she was older and female - I figured they would get along well enough. I knew Great Danes didn't live long from my research, but she looked so sad in that photo.

Well, a few of my co-workers went with me to the pound to see her. She had the most wonderful demeanor, she was a tad shy, but after a few minutes of talking to her gently she was leaning on me, and even gave me the very first kiss (of many to come!). I was sold.

I filled out the paperwork for her that day, was told I could pick her up in a few days after her spay, and I went back to work on cloud nine.

I started thinking of names, and a Dane-friend of mine suggested the name, 'Delilah'. I loved the name, it was so pretty! I talked it over with my husband, but we weren't sure. We wanted to see her personality more, first.

I went home, and my husband and I did everything we could to prepare for her. Set up her bed, purchased an elevated feeding stand, and moved furniture around. Because we were planning to foster, we had nearly everything we needed already.

Cozmo, enjoying Delilah's new bed
She came home with me April 2, 2008. I went to the pound to pick her up and paid her $75 adoption fee (what a steal!). We took off the collar she was wearing and placed a nice, new purple one one her and walked her out on her shiny new leash. We were not sure how she would taking getting into the car, but she climbed in slowly, still a little groggy from the spay.

She wasn't sure what to do in the car, though, so she stood there quietly in the back seat. My husband and I were so excited to have her, and the radio was playing quietly in the background. We were chatting back and forth to each other, when suddenly - the radio began playing 'Hey There, Delilah' by the Plain White T's, and that was that. She was Delilah, officially.

Now of course, there is much, much more to this dog then who she is and where she came from.

She is the reason I joined IPOC, and the reason I keep going. She is the reason I've become interested in dog sports, and while Danes have always been my favorite breed - she's the reason I will keep owning them.

Delilah has her Canine Good Citizen and Rally Novice title - and two legs towards her Rally Advanced, but her show career has been cut short when she was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma.

She was a therapy dog for a few years, mostly through IPOC but also was certified through Therapy Dogs, International (until I let the registration lapse). She was the most wonderful Therapy dog I could have asked for, too.

Delilah on a Therapy visit.

She's a beach dog, a love bug, a bed hog and a messy eater. One day I'll write a book about her, because I can't tell you how amazing she is in one post.

She turned 11 this year, and I'm sure I'm going to lose her soon.. but until then, we'll keep on going and loving her, and I hope that from reading about her, you'll love her too.

Photo taken May 7, 2011

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