Fearful stray given hope, healing and fairy tale ending

Michael Kitkoski

(Rockwall) June 11, 2013 – I love advocating for No Kill shelters, because nearly every story has a happy ending.

Beautiful dogs like Delilah, who were previously put down with nary a thought at area animal shelters, now have a chance at their own fairy tale life. But because it involved some dark days, Delilah’s story seemed like it was a well-crafted fable by the Brothers Grimm.

This is Delilah on March 19 at Ponderosa Pet Resort. The stump of her right front leg is plainly visible as is the fear in her eyes.

Delilah on March 19 at Ponderosa Pet Resort. The stump of her right front leg is plainly visible as is the fear in her eyes.

This was Delilah on the day before her surgery, April 8. The stump of her leg was about to be amputated, but there was much less fear in her eyes.

I first became aware of Delilah around the first of March, when she was captured as a stray and taken to the Rowlett animal shelter. Due to the rough treatment, she was nearly frantic with fear. Owing to her behavior, and the fact that she had a stump of a right front leg, the shelter began looking for someone to rescue her.

By May 7, Delilah was happily going for walks through the neighborhood.

My organization, Rockwall Pets, quickly stepped forward. The beautiful German Shepherd was so traumatized that she had to be tranquilized before she could be taken to our vet, Dr. Keith Webb at Pet Doctor. Following a series of x-rays, Dr. Webb decided that a prosthetic leg would be unstable. He advised amputation for Delilah’s deformed leg to make her walk more erect. (She tried to walk using the stump, which caused her head to be near the ground constantly.)

Now it became a matter of preparing her for the surgery. She was staying at Ponderosa Pet Resort in Royse City, so I began making daily visits to gain her trust. It took nearly two weeks for me to approach Delilah without her running away to cower in a far corner. After that amount of time, I knew she was going to be a very special dog. Her fear was masking her playfulness and her intelligence.

By May 7, Delilah was happily going for walks through the neighborhood.

Delilah’s leg was amputated by a specialist, Dr. Brian Mountain, on April 9. The surgery was uneventful, and Delilah rode home with me that evening for many weeks of rehabilitation. It wasn’t long before we began walking around the neighborhood. Delilah loved every minute of it, and she quickly became socialized with all my walking neighbors and their dogs.

Delilah played with Daisy, another three-legged dog who's available for adoption, outside the Rockwall Petco during a Rockwall Pets adoption event.

It was time. She began going to Rockwall Pets adoption events at the Rockwall Farmers Market and the Rockwall Petco. As I suspected, most people ignored her missing leg and instead focused on her inner and outer beauty.

Delilah’s fairy tale ending came true on June 9, when she was adopted by the Lewis family and their three-year-old golden retriever Chloe.

And just like a fairy tale, her happy ending came true on June 9. Shannon Lewis brought her three-year-old golden retriever named Chloe to meet Delilah at Petco. After Delilah gave Chloe a few kisses, Shannon drove off to pull her husband away from his job. Less than an hour later, we all cried tears of joy as Delilah left for her dream home. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a dog so happy.

Delilah's fairy tale ending came true on June 9, when she was adopted by the Lewis family and their three-year-old golden retriever Chloe.

That’s why I love doing what I do. And that’s why all the volunteers at Rockwall Pets love it too. Just when the world seems irredeemably cynical and overwhelmingly negative, dreams are still coming true in Rockwall, Texas. Just ask Delilah.

Story and photos by Michael Kitkoski. For more info, visit RockwallPets.com.

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