A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself

All the love you ever gave is waiting for you there at Rainbow Bridge

Delilah Macon 12/10/2006 to 6/29/2019

Our Pet of the Month for August is Delilah. Her mom wrote this beautiful story of Delilah's life, her final days, & opening their hearts to find love again.....

"Have you ever opened the blinds in the morning and let the bright rays hit you? Feels AMAZING, doesn’t it? When I tear back those blinds and let the sun hit me – it hits me right in the heart and soul. I feel the warmth of the sun and my heart smiles. My passions are ignited, and my goals are within my grasp when that sun hits me. However, back in 2012, I was an undergrad studying at UF where I didn’t feel that slap of awesome from the sun. There I was sitting in my chair next to a pair of French doors. The sun was radiating in and my skin was warm to the touch, but my soul was like a wet fuse. I didn’t know what could give me the spark I was desperate to find. I felt the urge to look up adoptable dogs at the Alachua Humane Society. I saw a mantle Great Dane was up for adoption. So, what did I do… I jumped in my truck and sped down there. When I walked up to her kennel I found a dog that was emaciated, tail broken in half, and her skin was riddled with scars and cigarette burns. She was removed from her kennel and put into a small play area, where her and I played for quite a few minutes. I noticed her goofy attitude and clumsiness, but would stood out to me so much…the life and happiness she still had left. I decided right there and then she was coming home (without telling my parents). I would have to pick her up in the morning because I needed the night to prepare. I went to PetSmart and bought everything new for her. I then went home and cleaned my condo and set it up for her. The next morning, I was anxiously standing in the lobby with treat in both pockets and new collar and leash in hand. The man walked out with Charlie and let her go. She ran right to me. Man: “Her intake name was Charlie, but we call her Delilah. Do you want her old collar and leash?” I looked down at her and she had the biggest grin on her face. Me: “I will call her Delilah. Delilah Dee Macon. She doesn’t need that collar, she has a brand new one.” I used the middle name Dee after my grandmother, who is always there to take care of me."

"When we reached the parking lot, she started jumping straight up and down. I opened the door to my truck and she sailed in like she had done it a million times before. We started driving home and I called my mom and told her the good news. She was a smidge mad at first, but then she met her a couple weeks later and fell in love with her. Sitting at a red light, she put her head on my shoulder. I patted her head and I told her, “You take care of me, and I will take care of you.” I felt complete with Delilah in my life. I looked forward to getting up in the morning and taking her for a walk. She was a breath of fresh air…the air you breath in the mountains in North Carolina. She was my sunshine. She was those morning rays hitting my heart and making it smile again.

Let’s pick up the speed… Delilah has her issues. She has horrible gastrointestinal issues and anxiety. She is a frequent flyer at the vet, but that doesn’t bother me. Her favorite thing to do is roll around in some tall green grass and lay in the sun. Delilah greeted me at the condo door after I graduated from UF. She witnessed my excitement when she found out that I was going to graduate school. We moved to Tennessee to start our new adventure. She helped me explore Murfreesboro and meet new friends. She went hiking and jogging with me on the battlefield and even stayed calm when a cannon fired, and I hit the dirt screaming like a banshee. She saw me stress and write my thesis. She watched when I graduated MTSU. She watched me pace my townhouse when I was waiting to hear if I was going to UK for my PhD. She jumped up and down when I came running into the townhouse because I told her we were moving to Lexington. My parents helped us get settled in Lexington, but when they left… we were sad to be alone again. The next morning, we woke up and walked to the kitchen for breakfast. We passed the sliding glass doors, which allowed the sun to come into our apartment. Delilah stood there, nose held high and eyes squinting in the bright sunlight. She turned around and looked at me. Me: “Are you trying to tell me it’s going to be okay?” She turned back to the glass and continued to look out. Me: “I will take that as a yes. We’ve done this before. We’ve got this because we have each other!” 

"Coming home to this big goof was the best part of my day. When I opened the back door, she would be waiting, with a toy in her mouth and squinting at the sun’s rays. Her numb would wag back and forth and she would make her “happy noises.” She did this every single day, even yesterday. For a few weeks now, Delilah hasn’t been eating and has been lethargic. After numerous tests, the doctors found that Delilah had tumors in her spleen, liver, and gallbladder. I knew she was dying. She was put on medication to take the pain away. 

The morning of June 29th, Delilah grabbed her favorite duck and tried playing with it. I questioned my decision to end her suffering in that moment. She showed me that she still had life, but I knew that she was just telling me that, that’s how she wanted me to remember her. I loaded her up and I took her to the farm. She ran around in the grass with that goofy grin. I set a blanket in the tall grass and had treats in my hand. She wouldn’t lay on the blanket. She plopped right down in that grass and started rolling. I tried to feed her treats, but she wouldn’t eat any. Tears rolling down my face I said, “Thank you, Big Girl, for sharing your life with me. Thank you for helping me through 3 states and 5 moves. Thank you for always being my friend, my counselor, and my confidant.” I tried picking her up and putting her back in the car, but she proudly wanted to get in on her own one last time. We sat in the car and I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw her looking in it. I knew the next time I would look in that mirror, she wouldn’t be there. I reached back and grabbed her paw and cried into my other hand. 

We walked into the back door of the vet hospital where the tech took Delilah’s leash from me and took her to the back to place a catheter. I sat on the floor in the exam room waiting for her to come back to me. My ears ached to hear her footsteps come down the hallway one last time…and then I heard them. She walked right in and laid down in front of me on top of the blanket. I held her head in my arms and said, “I told you I would take care of you and this is the last thing I need to do for you.” I begged Delilah all morning to give me a sign that I was doing the right thing…and then it happened. She looked at me and then put her head down on the floor and sighed. That was it, she was ready. The vet walked backed in and pushed the sedative. Delilah’s head fell in my lap. In a desperate voice I said, “You are the BEST girl. Thank you for everything you did for me. You are so loved.” By the time I finished praising her she breathed her last breath."

" Staggering to the car…I felt nothing. My heart was broken, the air inside my lungs was gone. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. Arriving at the house, I opened the back door. There was no goofy girl squinting at me, just some corgis. For an hour, I sat outside looking into the backyard at her favorite spot. Unrealistically, I was hoping that I would blink, and she would appear. I went inside, and it was dark. I saw Delilah’s bed empty and lonely. I pictured her running to it and jumping inside of it, but nothing happened. I went to the front door… I opened it and let the light in. I felt Delilah hit me and make me smile for just a moment. I was reminded of every memory I ever had with her… the warmth hit my heart. I cried even more. Every time I open that door or feel sunlight hit my face I will be reminded of my friend, Lilah. I will remember that even after being abused and left to die…she bounced back to help me get through so many milestones in my life. I feel so lucky, blessed and honored to have had that dog in my life. I always thought she was one of “my kids.” Today, I realized she wasn’t a kid at all…I was her kid. I love you Lilah"

The Rainbow to their cloud...

Meet Charlie

"One morning I was out at the research farm conducting a study, a farm crew member asked me when I was going to get another Great Dane. I shrugged my shoulders saying, “I’m not sure. I’m still pretty broken up about Delilah.” Once I was out in the field with the horses, I had a text come across my phone saying, “I have a friend that needs a Great Dane puppy rescued.” I wanted to help this puppy, but all I could do was think about Delilah… and then it hit me. This is Delilah’s last gift. She sent us this puppy because she wanted another abused Dane to get the same love and care that she received.

So, Cara and I picked up a 6-month old Great Dane puppy that was thin, but full of energy! Her name was Lola, but in honor of Delilah…we named her Charlie."