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Delilah Arrives

May 31, 2011

Delilah was actually adopted last October, so has been with me for seven months.  And she is the poster girl for not judging a book by its cover!  She was at the local shelter, and was so anxious that she had to be kept in a special area.  During her first walk with a volunteer, she did not take one step, but did manage to throw up.  That’s how nervous she was.  Kudos to the staff and volunteers, though, who continued to nurture and socialize her.  By the time I met her, she was curled up tight in her kennel but was able to go on a walk, albeit a cautious one.  Right afterward, I went to the front counter and filled out the adoption paperwork.

I think a lot of people tend to pick the animals who appear to be most needy at shelters, while those who don’t stand out in some way may wait around longer for their new homes.  And I landed in this category myself.  This little chihuahua certainly appeared to be in desperate need of comfort, and indeed, probably was.  However, within a day of being at her new home she was running and playing like she’d been there forever.  Within a week, Delilah seemed very acclimated, as opposed to taking months which is not uncommon.

Although I picked Delilah because I have experience with dogs, and she seemed like she needed some extra help, I think she has rescued me far more than the reverse.  Don’t get me wrong, Delilah has had some challenges, both physical and emotional, but she has been able to overcome them and go on to become very confident!  She was even the superstar of her first training class (according to the instructor, of course, who told me on the sly!  You know, so as not to effect the self-esteem of all those other dogs). 

I guess the lesson here is that animals experience the stress and anxiety that any of us would when placed in new and strange surroundings, like a shelter.  New people, peers, smells, sounds, and past experiences all take their toll.  When visiting a shelter, you rarely see the entire gem that is lying underneath the exterior because of these factors and more, but I can assure you there is a sparkling heart waiting for you.

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