Life with Sampson and Delilah….The 411

Delilah’s Story

There are many stories about Delilah, that could be written down (and probably will) this is the story of the first day of the rest of Delilah’s life, it’s a great start! 

Chet and I had a wonderful time with Sampson; he is an incredible dog.  We sent him to daycare twice a week and hiked with him on the weekends but I began to feel very bad that he spent so much time alone.  About this time our friend Jo-Anne rescued a dog and I thought; that might be a really good idea; it would give Sampson a companion.

So the great dog hunt began again, only this time we didn’t run all over the state, I focused only on Petfinder.  I was very unsure about the whole process and extremely picky (because I didn’t want someone else’s mistakes) I sent e-mails to our girls and to Chet, “What do you think about this one?” I focused on Labrador puppies because I so love the look of the lab, and I really wanted a mix because I think mixed breeds tend to have less of the health issues that purebreds do.  To my way of thinking we raised Sampson and he turned out great, so why wouldn’t another puppy?  I applied for a couple of puppies but was turned down because someone wasn’t home all day with the dog. 

Then I was unsure about the sex, so I consulted with our trainer, do you think Sampson would like a male or female companion and she recommended female.  Now I started focusing on the females; still sending e-mails to Chet and the girls.  Finally on May 19, 2007, Lynn said, “Mom, why are you still doing this, you know you’re not going to choose a dog!”    I went on Petfinder and contacted the American Lab Rescue group and applied for three dogs.  I almost immediately got a phone call, inquiring as to why I applied for three dogs.  So I explained; that I had been applying for one dog at a time and getting rejected, so I thought I had a better shot at one, if I applied for three.  Makes sense, right?

After a brief phone call with Carrie, she recommended “Ginny” a lab mix who was 2 to 3 years old, weighed 67 pounds, and had already been spayed.  We agreed to a foster-to-adopt contract just in case the dog didn’t work out.  Chet agreed to this providing we would re-name her; Delilah.   The dog had been in a “high kill” shelter and was currently being fostered in Tennessee.   Ginny was scheduled to arrive the following weekend, which also happened to be Memorial Day Weekend, in our minds this was perfect because we had a whole three days at home with the dogs to help them with the adjustment. 

As it turned out, Chet had to help Lisa move a desk from Rhode Island to Connecticut on the Saturday Ginny was arriving, so it was up to me and Lynn to go and pick her up.

With much anticipation we arrived at the commuter lot in Glastonbury, which was the designated pick up spot.  If you have never done this before, there is nothing that will prepare you for it.  The commuter lot is very large, and there are a number of rescue groups who use the same transporter, so you need to find the correct rescue group, pay your fee, get your papers and line up with all the other people, and there were a LOT of people. 

Shortly after 9:00 am, a converted horse trailer pulled into the lot and the tension/excitement was palpable.  I could feel the anxiety building in my chest and I thought, “I have to get my dog off of there and quick!” So I finagled my way towards the front of the line and managed it so I was second. 

Imagine how many dogs are traveling in this trailer.

The first dog (a little white one) came off the trailer and was placed into a woman’s arms.  I will never forget the joy that dog expressed, lying on his back in her arms, licking her face, wiggling his little body.  People were sobbing and I was close to tears myself; thinking about my new dog and all the dogs that were being saved from death that day. Someone came to the front of the line and for some reason (I can’t remember) their dog came off next.  My turn came, I handed the woman my paperwork and leash, and she looked at the paperwork and shouted, “Ginny” and my dog came off the truck.

She looked so small.

From this point forward I will begin referring to her as Delilah because that is what we call her now.  She stunk like I don’t know what, I imagine after 24 hours on a transport it was her eliminations, maybe some other dog’s eliminations; fear, terror, despair; they had no idea what was in store for them.  She had a dirty, rusty, old red collar on. 

The nasty collar.

We had been instructed to bring some water and treats, to help us make friends with the dogs; and we were told when we were comfortable; we could leave.  We walked briefly around the parking lot, but I couldn’t wait to leave and so we stayed barely 10 minutes, then got in the car and headed straight to the pet store where we bought a new collar, bowls, bed, and leash.  Then we took her home to meet Sampson.

Walking around the parking lot.

We introduced them outside like we had been instructed to do and they didn’t seem to really care for each other, by this time I couldn’t bear the smell of her and needed to give her a bath.  Delilah HATES a bath; Lynn and I struggled to get her in the tub, then she shook and splashed and made such a ruckus, that I was completely soaked.  Finally enough of the smell was off her and she tore through the house, picking up every object she could find.  She was wild, crazy and out of control and I said to Lynn, “She will have to go back, I can’t handle her.”  Lynn got pissed off and left. 

The bath from hell.

Chet called and asked how it was going and I started crying, “She’s horrible I sobbed, I cannot do this;” he assured me that it would be ok and that he was on his way home. I went into the kitchen and sat on the floor, Sampson came and laid next to me with his head on my leg and I cried my heart out and told him how sorry I was, “What have I done?” I asked him.  I couldn’t believe I had taken such a perfect family the three of us had and destroyed it by adding another dog to the mix.  I felt bad for us and I felt worse for Delilah because I could only imagine what she had been through and here was one more person, letting her down. Sampson looked up at me with those beautiful eyes that said, I love you mom, you have me, and everything will be ok. 

Eventually Chet came home and Delilah settled down a little bit; the rescue organization said the dog may be tired when it comes off the transport, but I found the dog is exceptionally hyper. Imagine being confined in a crate for 24 hours.  They tell you that they stop every four hours and let the dogs out, but I do not believe this. 

The dogs basically ignored each other and I cried on and off the entire day;  I was sure she would have to go back because Sampson couldn’t stand her.  Dinner time rolled around and Chet was grilling; I was sitting on the back step and the dogs were outside with us.  They were still pretty much ignoring each other, when Delilah did some crazy little move and Sampson rolled over onto his back and the dogs started playing!  I said to Chet, “I have to go inside.” He said, “You’re going to cry again, aren’t you?”  “Yes” I sobbed and ran inside.

The first time they played.

After we had eaten dinner and fed the dogs, we sat in the kitchen just talking about the day; Delilah was finally exhausted, I’m sure not just physically but emotionally as well (I know I was!)   She was sitting up and her eyes were closing, her head would start to drop and then she would catch herself, to me it felt like she was afraid that if she fell asleep, she would wake up and it would have all been a dream.  So I sat down on the floor and I called her to me and I got her to lie down beside me, with her head against my leg; I stroked her until she finally fell asleep.

At last; peace.

Delilah is as opposite Sampson as any one dog could possibly be; and not just physically.  He is patient, easy-going, he listens well and does what he is told.  Delilah is impatient, demanding, she does things on her terms and in her own time. She is a challenge to us, but for all the challenge, she brings us joy and laughter and above all; love.

Comments on: "Delilah’s Story" (17)

  1. Perfect story Mom! I love how you said I got pissed – I was so upset that day! I couldn’t understand how you were so unsure because as soon as I saw her come off of that truck I loved her! Even with her nasty fritos smell! I was devastated that you were going to send her back – I’m so happy you came around because I love Delilah so much and I think she really made our family complete. 🙂

  2. Loved this story Jodi, so happy Delilah found her forever family with you. Wish we lived somewhere with a secure and safe yard so we could adopt another dog, you’ve inspired me. What a happy ending!

  3. Laura Horn said:

    OMG – Jodi – as I sit her with tears running down my eyes I find myself thinking that Delilah must think that she died and went to doggy heaven. I can’t EVEN imagine how you feel or what you think. What a GREAT story. I’m SOOOOOO impressed on how much your writing has improved . . . the emotion SO comes through. I’m sitting here shaking my head back and forth not knowing exactly what to say . . . suffice to say I’m impressed and YOU, my FB friend are a Saint!!! MUAH!!! xoxoxo

  4. I am at the obedience class Jodi goes to with Delilah and seeing that well behaved, attentive dog and reading about her beginning with Jodi and Chet, I simply can’t believe it’s the same dog. That goes to show what love, patience, discipline, and simply not giving up can do. More people should read this story to know there are so many more out there who deserve another chance. My dog is not as good as Delilah yet, but I see what Jodi and Chet have done with her and it gives me absolute hope. We will get there too.

  5. Oh my goodness, I am crying! I stumble across a comment of yours on another blog I read and thought I would take a quick look and I am still here. What a sad and wonderful story. I can’t imagine how awful Delilah’s life was before her new life with you and your family began. We have two German Shepard mixes, Rosy a humane society pup, and Dexter a once scruffy tick infected stray. They are 12 and 11 already. I believe they were most unpleased with our decision to have children (we did have two perfectly good furry ones, didn’t we?) but have been troopers. I love dogs and love your writting style. Can’t wait to read more about them.

    • Thanks Shoes, I’m glad you stopped by. Please feel free to leave me stories about your life too!

      I love that people are adopting from shelters and humane societies. Good for you! I had a German Shepard mix growing up, they are beautiful dogs.

      I keep hoping I can find another dog and just bring home and say, “Look what I found honey” but I bet he won’t let me get another. LOL

      Thanks for the comment!

  6. Just got around to reading this story. It is so touching. That picture of Delilah finally asleep tells it all. It choked me up.

  7. Crap, here I am a former deep sea diver, paratrooper and bouncer crying due to a story about a dog. Methinkes I have become a softie. Thanks for making me cry! 🙂

  8. I love this story, have read it a couple of times now. I totally relate to that feeling of disaster, hopelessness, and overwhelm when you’ve taken on a new dog who turns out to be a handful–that’s exactly how I felt the first day with Fozzie. I really spent those first few days crying too–and calling around to rescues, friends, and anyone i could think of who might take him.

    A year and a half later and he is transformed, and so are my relationship with him and my feelings about him.

    • I’m glad for you and Fozzie that you managed to get through that trying beginning.

      Since she was in a shelter we did not get any background information on her, so I can only imagine what she had been through. I think learning to trust a human again after having been failed must be very hard for them. As with people, some dogs adjust better to change than others.

      I am glad you hung in there, and I’m sure Fozzie is too. 🙂

  9. There is so much to comment on this story I don’t know where to start – except glad to say Delilah has found her home.

  10. Hi Jodi, thanks for stopping by my site and commenting. Have a great day! 🙂

  11. Just read this story, and it’s totally raining on my face right now. I totally understand how you felt…

  12. aawww. this is just so beautiful.

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