Friday, May 1, 2009

All Dogs Go To Heaven

Today will be the saddest post I have ever written. Last night I found our sweet Delilah peacefully "asleep" in the grass in the backyard. We will never fully know what took her from us, but she seemed to have fallen asleep only to not wake up. Instead of dwelling on why or how, I want to focus on the "who." This sweet dog brought a lot of love into our lives. Here's her story.

Nearly 5 years ago, Dave and I went to the pet supply store to find some fish food or something when we saw a picture of several lab Puppies and a phone number. Since I was about to graduate from college and go by myself to Nashville, and since Dave was a broke college junior who couldn't afford much more, he got me Delilah as a graduation present. Oh, what a gift! She was the best dog you'd ever meet! My girl and I moved to Nashville in a tiny, 600 sq ft apartment and she lived the good life. I would take her on a walk after work and she would fall asleep next to me in the bed every night. Us girls took many road trips to T-Town together that year. Like two peas in a pod!

When Dave and I finally got married, I'll never forget the first night when we were getting ready for bed. Delilah was in bed next to me (of course, where else should she be). The look she gave Dave when he approached the bed was hilarious. It was like she was saying, "Hey buddy. Where are you going to sleep?" Us three became a family. I still remember the night I undercooked the green beans. When one of them fell off the plate and on to the floor, Delilah sniffed it and walked away. Dave looked at me as if to ask, "If the dog won't even eat it, do I have to?" For the next year she was the queen of the castle, until February of 2006 when her king arrived. We adopted Samson from the farm; at the time a 9 year old English Chocolate Lab. Already one year past his breed's life expectancy, Delilah gave Sam new life. He chased her around the yard like a young pup. Delilah and Sam even helped us plant our first garden (aka. dug up every plant as soon as I had it in the ground).

When it was time to move to Memphis, Dave was sure Sam would not survive another move. I mean, we didn't expect him to make the transition from the farm to the Spring Hill house a year prior. Delilah, of course, road shot gun with me on my final drive from Nashville to Memphis, with boxes in the backseat. You could tell she was excited for what was ahead. She was my running buddy and helped me train for my first half-marathon. She was our first "baby." When I was preparing the nursery for Emily, Delilah would often wander in there, look out the window and lay down like she was on lookout. When Emily arrived, she didn't seem jealous or angry. She acted like a guardian.

Delilah was the first thing Dave and I ever shared; the first thing we ever loved together. She was a happy, loving, easy-going dog. We were so excited to see her and Emily start to play together and become friends. But, I know in a way, it was a good thing that Emily is too young to know what she missed. Delilah united Dave and I as a family. She was our child before we had a human child. It seems as though she knew that now that Emily was here, her job was done. She will be missed dearly. Rest in peace my sweet Delilah!