5.06.2012

Hey There, Delilah

About a month ago, I was working outside at Lucky Dog, when the Mississippi heat got the best of me.

All of a sudden... I went from fine and dandy... to lightheaded and weak.
I needed a break.
I needed to sit.
And I needed something to drink... stat.

Of course, as luck would have it, there was nothing drinkable in my fridge.
So, I decided to drive over to the Chevron for a Gatorade.

I pulled up at the store, walked inside, and grabbed the biggest Gatorade they had. Before I even made the purchase, I cracked that baby open, and chugged at least half the bottle.

As I walked toward the register, I saw that my favorite gas station buddy was working behind the counter.

Every time he's there, I stop for a minute, just to talk to him. He's a really sweet man, with a super-cool accent, and he calls me "Miss Ashley."

He said: "Working hard again today, Miss Ashley?"
I said: "Damn. What gave me away? The sweat? Or the dirt?"
We both laughed.

Then, we had our usual chat, and I turned to leave.

Delilah, as a Lucky Dog
But as I walked out the door... I stopped dead in my tracks.
There was a Pit Bull... just standing there... right next to my car.
I thought: "You gotta be kiddin' me."

The dog was in awful condition. She looked broken and pitiful... underweight and malnourished... with scars covering her body. She was also wearing this massive, terrible collar around her neck, with these huge metal clasps... that had clearly been used to chain her.

As I slowly moved toward her, she didn't try to run away. She didn't even move. She just stood there, looking up at me.
I bent down, offered my hand, and asked:
"Who did this to you, baby?"

That's when I looked over, and saw my gas station buddy, watching us through the window. He was smiling... because he already knew what was about to happen. This wasn't my first "rescue rodeo" at the Chevron.

So, I re-opened the door, and asked: "Know anything about her?"
He shook his head: "It's the first time I've seen her. She just showed up, right as you walked in."
I replied: "Of course she did."

He chuckled and said: "You taking her with you, Miss Ashley?"
I smiled: "You know me too well..."

Without another thought... I turned, picked her up, and loaded her in the car.
Then, I waved goodbye to my buddy... as we drove away.

I named her Delilah.

From the moment I saw her, I knew that Delilah was sick.
But it wouldn't be long... before I'd find out just how sick she really was...

Shortly thereafter, Delilah went to the vet for her spay, rabies, and heartworm test. Of course, as I already anticipated: she's heartworm positive.

Sadly, heartworm disease is alive and well around here. This is Mississippi. Nearly every neglected dog in Mississippi has heartworms. That's just the sad reality for many rescue dogs in the South.

So... as the story goes with most heartworm treatments, I started Delilah on doxycycline, and scheduled an appointment to bring her back to the vet in 30 days, to start official treatment.

In the meantime, Delilah was doing great here. Sure... she was a sick girl, but you'd never would've known it. She was loving her new life... always smiling and happy... outgoing and fun.

Her favorite activity? Making a massive, ridiculous, unnecessary (yet, funny) mess in her kennel. It was kinda "her thing." She liked to spill food, tip bowls, potty and then step in it... all with this big, mischievous smile on her face.

While her kennel etiquette had slowly improved, she still enjoyed a good mess every now and then. She seemed to really have fun with it, which made all the extra-cleaning on my part... totally worth the effort.

But this past Friday... all of that changed.

That morning, it took just one glance at Delilah's kennel... for me to realize that something was very, very wrong that day.
There was a massive mess, of course... but not the usual kind...

Instead, I saw vomit... and large puddles of blood, which came from her urine.
Then, I saw my sweet Delilah... far-removed from her usual smiling, happy self.
She was weak. She was hurting. She was very, very sick.

Immediately, I called the vet, loaded Delilah in the car, and headed toward the clinic. When I got there, I explained the situation, and they asked me to leave her for a bit, while they ran some lab work, etc.

An hour later, I got a call from the vet tech.
She said: "Hey Ash. Hold on for a second. Doc needs to talk to you."

Hearing those words... my heart stopped.
I get lots of calls from the vet...
But the words: "Doc needs to talk to you" almost always mean: "It's bad."

I said: "Oh my God, Amy! Is she okay???"
She replied: "I'll let him tell you about it. Here's Doc."

Then, I heard the devastating news... the news that would change Delilah's future:
Delilah has entered the most severe, life-threatening stage of heartworm disease. She's in critical condition, due to multiple complications from advanced heartworm disease, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and organ malfunction. Basically... her body is shutting down, and much of the damage... is irreversible.

He said: "We're doing everything we can, but I just want you to be prepared. There's a chance she may not make it. And even if she does... she doesn't have much time left."

Suddenly, tears were streaming down my face. I could honestly feel my heart... breaking within my chest.

I knew what he was saying. I've heard this many times before. He was basically saying: Prepare yourself. Your baby is dying.

And in that moment, I wanted to scream: "Nooooo!!!!!"

Instead, I choked out the words: "Can she at least come home... for the weekend?"
He said: "We've given her 2 injections today, and we're keeping her as comfortable as we can. I'll be sending her home with several medications for the weekend, and we'll just plan to reevaluate on Monday. Then, you'll probably have a decision to make..."

As I hung up the phone, I buried my face in my hands, and sobbed uncontrollably.

I cried for Delilah... for the sad life she'd been forced to live... for the torture she'd endured... and for the promising future... she'd likely never have.

I cried for the promises I'd made to her... for the life I'd wished to give her... and for the heartbreaking realization that those dreams may never come true for her.

I cried... because I knew the harsh reality within all of this:
Delilah has suffered through every day of her existence. Before me, she'd only known unimaginable abuse, neglect, and life on a chain.

But even now... and from now on...
There will never be another day... when Delilah doesn't suffer.
She will never be a healthy dog.
She will never have a heart that allows her to run and play.
She will never know a life without pain.

I cried... because "the decision" I'd have to make for her... was a life-or-death decision.

I cried... because no matter what decision I made... one way or another: Delilah will die from this.

I cried... because her heart has been wounded --in every possible way-- and now, a broken heart... has become her death sentence.

As I drove back to the vet, I was inconsolable. When I got there, I didn't want to walk inside. I didn't want to see anyone. I didn't want to face reality.

But... my baby was in there... and she needed me.
So, I wiped my tears, and walked inside... to take my little girl home.

The vet tech looked at me and said: "I'm so sorry, Ash. But please remember... no matter what happens... she needed you, and you saved her. That's all that matters."

I didn't want to cry again, but tears quickly filled my eyes. I said: "Thank you. But we both know... she deserved more."

Then, I paid the $400 vet bill I wasn't quite prepared for, helped Delilah into the car, and drove her home.

Delilah on the couch
This weekend, Delilah has required around-the-clock care from me. She's very weak, very sick, and very needy right now. Seeing her like this... well... it's beyond heartwrenching.

Initially... upon return, she wouldn't eat at all. But soon, I learned that "people food" was enough to entice her.

So... instead of dog food, she's been sharing people food with me. Actually... it's more accurate to say that I've simply been giving her all of my own food, and taking none for myself, which has honestly made me insanely happy. She needs it... much more than I do right now.

She's enjoyed our bedtime snuggles and her own naptime on the couch, but she's just not able to do much else. She's too weak to go for walks. She's too weak to play outside. Many times, she's too weak to even lift her head.

And honestly... today... it hit me, like a ton of bricks: Delilah is just too weak to go on.
When I look into her eyes, I can see... that my Delilah has given up.

In my heart... I know that she's ready for me to make the decision.
The decision that I'll never be "ready" to make...
The decision that will take her from me... forever.

But it's a decision that I'm willing to make... for her.
She needs me to make that decision... for her.
It's the right decision... for her...

Each time I rescue a dog, I intend to save their life... no matter what.
But there are certain times when saving a dog... means letting them go.
Times when it's all they need from you... and no matter how much it hurts... you owe them that much.

So today, I looked at Delilah, in her broken state, and simply said:
"Okay, baby girl. I'll do whatever you need me to do...
Even if that means breaking my own heart... so that yours doesn't have to hurt anymore.
Tonight, you get whatever you want.
Tomorrow... the pain is over. I promise."

As I said those words... the tears filled my eyes, and the pain overtook my soul...
And before I knew it, I was sobbing again...

But then... I stopped myself...

Tomorrow... I can cry all I want.
Today... is about Delilah.

And I'll be damned if I'll spend her last full day on Earth... crying because I couldn't save her.

Because in my heart... I can feel her saying: "You did."

Tomorrow's pain could never compare to the joy of today.
Because today... I still have... my Delilah...
If nothing more... than to share one last song...

Hey there, Delilah
What's it like in New York City?
I'm a thousand miles away
But girl, tonight you look so pretty
Yes you do
Times Square can't shine as bright as you
I swear it's true


Hey there, Delilah
Don't you worry about the distance
I'm right there if you get lonely
Give this song another listen
Close your eyes
Listen to my voice, it's my disguise
I'm by your side

Hey there Delilah
I know times are getting hard
But just believe me, girl
Someday I'll pay the bills with this guitar
We'll have it good
We'll have the life we knew we would


Hey there, Delilah
I've got so much left to say
If every simple song I wrote to you
Would take your breath away
I'd write it all


A thousand miles seems pretty far
But they've got planes and trains and cars
I'd walk to you if I had no other way
Our friends would all make fun of us
and we'll just laugh along because

We know that none of them have felt this way
Delilah I can promise you
That by the time we get through
The world will never, eve
r be the same

Hey there, Delilah
You be good and don't you miss me...
You know it's all because of you.
We can do whatever we want to.
Hey there, Delilah
Here's to you
This one's for you.

Delilah, Thank you for spending your last days with me. It's been truly amazing. If it were up to me, I'd never let you go. But since it's what you need from me... I will. Please give my love to all my babies in Heaven. Tell them I sent you.
Love,
-Mom


*Update: If you'd like to donate in memory of Delilah, please click below:

73 comments:

  1. ouch. You have a way with words miss ashley. I am so so happy that Delilah was able to spend her last days with you.

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    1. Ashley you gave that poor dog tender love that she never had in her entire life until her last few days. I am so grateful you found her because knowing that she at least knew love before she died is at least something. That dog died knowing love because of you and that makes you a Saint.

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  2. bless you for caring enough about that beautiful baby girl

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  3. Ashley, we are praying for you, Delilah, and all of the other dogs that find their way to you in MS. You are giving Deliah the best weekend of her life. Not many people would have opened thier, heart, home and purse strings like you. You are my hero.

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  4. My heart bleeds for you and Delilah. I feel every bit of pain and sorrow, yet know the feeling of wanting to truly give everything you have for Delilah. She knew when she saw you, that you would help her. It is uncanny how animals know this, yet they do.

    Maybe she knew in her own way that she didn't have long to live on our planet, yet knew you would give her every opportunity to embrace the moments of her making a mess and showing you that little grin of her being happy.

    Bless your heart and soul Miss Ashley, you gave her far more than anyone else ever had, and I know that Delilah knows that too. For she chose you to help make her days a happy and blessed time.

    Please give my love to Delilah and when she goes to the Bridge, if she could send my love to my babies Rizzo, Rusty, Mischief and Teo I would greatly appreciate it.

    Much love,

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  5. I can't say anything. My heart is both heavy and happy. Heavy, for the cruelty she lived and happy for knowing she knew what love was, even for such a short time.

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  6. Oh Ashley, I am so sorry. She chose you, you know. She had absolutely no reason to trust another human and she *chose you* because she knew that you would love her. Because she knew when they time came, that you would do this and help her not to suffer. She knew that even if this was the end your love would make it all better. And even though you can't feel it know, it did. For her, the chance to go comfortable, with someone who loves her is the best gift you could have given her. ♥

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  7. Ohhh... it breaks my heart!
    Rest In Peace, Sweet ^Delilah^.

    You are loved!
    Becky

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  8. Thank. God. For you.

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  9. Bless you Ashley for taking care of Delilah, she felt so much love from you.
    They were the best days of her life <3

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  10. This is heart-wrenching and beautiful at the same time. It is hard making a decision like this. She suffers no more. She is the sunshine and the breeze that blows by. Love Delilah

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  11. Ash,

    One of the things I've always remembered from the M*A*S*H TV show was an episode where Henry Blake was talking to Hawkeye and he told him this. "I learned two rules as a doctor. One, that soldiers die. And two, that doctor's can't change rule #1". You can't change what happened to Delilah & you can't change what is going to occur tomorrow. But what you did do (and what you always do) is to show them that they are loved. And as we all pass, that is the one things we want to know when we go. Delilah knows that now - thanks to you.

    Ritz

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  12. You truly gave your best to Delilah, and I am sure she knew it. You let her know that someone cared for her which was a gift she needed. I wish there were more people like you in the world that would do what you did. I will pray for you.

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  13. I've never read a blog post by you, but I must say that I WILL be back, the name of your blog so well fits this post, Lucky dog, because thats what Delilah is...she's a very lucky dog to have someone like you who will let her live out her last day in peace and like the spoiled baby she deserves to be. People like you are what makes even the darkest of days turn out okay. Bless you for all you do, bless you for what you did for Delilah...and may her journey to the bridge be ever-so peaceful. Give her a good ole' belly rub and ear scratch for me.

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  14. Oh my goodness this just broke my heart too. Thank you for giving her love in her last few days, I think she was sent to you so the rest of her time wouldn't have been hell. She knew love and peace in her last days

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  15. Thank you for sharing.It is the hardest decision to make to have to let one of our babies go. You really did save her and her last time on earth was full of good memories. Delilah will always remember the good times and the love you gave her. Take care Ashley! <3

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  16. Thank you Ms Ashley...you gave your heart... to a living being that would have none the less been cared for as you did. There are so many babies out there that would love to have the attention for just 5 minutes. You are an Angel...keep up the good work...no matter how much it hurts. You give the babies one last chance at happiness. You are my hero also!

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  17. Such a heart touching story! I shed a few tears as I read and had my sweet dog at my feet!

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  18. Ashley you are truly a Godsend! Deliah loves you more than you will ever imagine! I'm sitting here with tears flowing as I'm writing this to you. We all know how very hard it is to let go, we don't ever want to, but we don't want our furbabies to suffer anymore than they have to. Deliah will live through you, she WILL ALWAYS be with you! May God bless you for the wonderful job you do....caring for those who needed you and trusted in you to love, and care for them....Please give Deliah a kiss for me and tell her how much she is loved!

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  19. I can't even comment ... I'm crying to hard!! Reminds me of my best bud, Buster, when I had to "let him go" ... I still miss him and cry just thinking of him, much less talking about him! :(

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  20. Ms Ashley, you truly are an earth-bound angel for the animals, and I believe Delilah knew this. I cried as I read this story, but at least lovely Delilah knew love,tenderness, and a little happiness before passing over, thanks to you. Bless you and all you do.

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  21. Ashley, I don't really know what to say...except that I admire and respect you...and I Thank You for Caring for Beautiful Delilah during her last days..I also had a Delilah..I also used to sing that song to her,I also had to make the same decision as you,to let her go...I promise she will be waiting at The Rainbow Bridge for your Beautiful Delilah,she'll show her around,take her to get the best food,and show her the best squirrels to chase... I know that she will..they will play together,and enjoy the Bridge till we get there..
    Godspeed Beautiful Delilah
    May Dog Bless You Ashley..

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  22. jennifer - maineMay 6, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    if god only delivers to you what you are strong enough to handle, he must think you are one tough bitch...prayers and loving thoughts from maine!! RIP Delilah...run free..you were loved <3

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  23. Ashley I'm glad Delialah picked you to save her. Yes her passing tomorrow will be a sad day but remember the happy days that you were able to give her.

    Sending many hugs your way. Remember YOU were there for her when nobody else was.

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  24. Thank you for the great work that you do, Ashley. And for the moving way that you share the stories of the beautiful souls that pass through Lucky Dog Rescue. Delilah needed a very special person to give her, in her last days, the love that she never had during far too many days, and she found that person in you.

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  25. This story absolutely broke my heart to the core but also brought me great joy to know that if you hadnt been at that gas station on that day at that exact time you might have missed out on such a special girl. Miss Ashley Im know Delilah will forever be grateful to you. You and Delilah will be in my thought and prayers as you go through this extremely difficult time. We all need to cherish the time that we have with our fur babies as you never know when God will be calling them across the Rainbow Bridge. Even though Ive never met you Delilah you have touched my heart.

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  26. I'm so glad Delilah spent her last days with you, I wish I had some money to help, but I also take in pet and I know how the vet bills can pile up, sometimes I wonder where the money in going to come from, but God always help me find a way. I have 7 dogs here and 1 I,m babysitting for and 3 are my dogs and 3 are rescues. I have had up to 9 at one time, but because of old age and sickness, I let 5 go in the last year and 1/2 but the number never stay down for long and I have more to take in and love as long as I can. May God bless you in your work and many more help you with your cause. The dogs lady from michigan :)

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  27. You gave Delilah what she needed--she knew the bliss of being loved. You are an angel Ashley--I know your heart is broken--but it means you have even more love to give. Sending hugs and tears and I will hold you and your Delilah in my heart. xoxoxo, Michelle

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  28. At least she knew love with you.

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  29. Good lord, my heart is broken. You gave her the most love she's ever had, you made her last days bearable, and she knows that.

    God will give you the strength and take comfort in knowing that in her final days she was treated the way she deserved to be treated.

    I sing that song to my Delilah all the time. :-)

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  30. Ashley, your words are so beautifully written but heartbreaking all at the same time. I'm glad to know Delilah was able to know love before she goes. I often sit and think about all the animals who never got to know what love feels like, what laying on a couch feels like, what getting a meal every day feels like and I just cry and cry. I take in as many as I can to rehabilitate and rehome but it never feels like enough. Keep up the good work and Rest In Peace beautiful Delilah...

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  31. You are an amazing person. Period.

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  32. God Bless you Ashely for caring for Delilah. You are a
    very special person

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  33. Ashley...I don't know you and yet I feel as if I do. I am sending you love and light at this trying time. Please know you did her a kindness unlike any other by loving her...and she is in a different place now where Id like to think she is healthy and whole and playing with my Stella Blue who I know was waiting at the gates to meet her. Love her in your memories until you meet again. I as well had to let Stella Blue go, the hardest decision I think I ever will have/had to make. I look at Prudence my new rescue girl and I like to think Stella Blue is smiling down at me and happy I rescued another lost soul. May Delilah always watch over you and may you find another soul in need of rescue.

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  34. Delilah is one lucky girl. She got what she really wanted out of life- someone who loved and cared for her. She got to snuggle on a bed with someone who loved her, and got to eat people food. And then when it was time to ease her pain, you did that. Her early life was full of pain and cruelty, but dogs don't dwell on the past. They live in the moment, and so for her, her final days were full of comfort and she knew she was loved. Thank God for people like you. Her pain has gone, but yours is still with you. Sending you hugs and good thoughts.

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  35. Thank you for showing this precious soul that there is love and kindness in this world. Thank you for holding Delilah and for being there for her! YOU ARE AWESOME!

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  36. I am so sorry about what Delilah is going through, but you should know that she was so lucky to have found you. You are right that she deserved so much more, but the love you have given her and continue to give her could not have been greater. My thoughts are with you.

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  37. Sitting here with tears streaming. I know your pain, I've been there myself more times than I like to remember. My husband and I live in Tate County (MS) and we rescue strays. We do everything in our power to save them, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. Every time we have to say goodbye it breaks our hearts...and hearts never completely heal. No matter how much it hurts we'll never turn our back on a dog or cat that needs us though. Right now we have 19 dogs and 9 cats. We always say we're at our limit, but when another one finds us we discover our limit hasn't been reached.

    Love has no limits...

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  38. Ashley you have such a wonderful way with words and such a beautiful soul! As a new vet tech, I can tell you that the experience wasn't easy for the doctors either. There was, and is, a reason why Delilah was there by your car when you walked out. God made you to rescue them, and to show them (if even for a short time) what love is, and that not all humans are mean and hateful. You are a saint to these animals and I know it hurts, trust me I KNOW it hurts, but you are one of the few here on Earth who have been entrusted with caring for the animals the way God cares for us. You do daily what I dream to do with my life. You are an inspiration and a true angel. As you cry tonight and tomorrow and many more times in the future, know you are not alone. I cry with you every time. Others cry with you. God cries with you but He knows He picked the right person for the job. Keep your head up, we're all here for you and you're doing a wonderful job.

    From one animal rescuer to another,
    Lauren

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  39. Ashley you gave Delilah what she needed. She found love and a friend. You let her know not everyone is mean that there are people that love babies like her. You gave her something she was searching for and you got to know a beautiful soul. GOD bless you Ashley and just think Delilah is running thru the fields and playing with other babies and getting all the love she needs

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  40. God bless you, Ashley for all the love, time, energy and money you give to these dogs! Whatever hardship they come from, you give them a chance at a real life...the ones that are too sick to stay on this earth are still blessed to be able to spend their last days with you. You know you'll see them again at The Rainbow Bridge....again, bless you. And thank you. I'm a Veterinary Assistant and I know the joy these animals bring to one's life, even with a sad outcome. I feel so lucky to have the love I do for animals.
    Best wishes for you & the animals you help!! Big hug.

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  41. Ashley, I've only just become acquainted with you and can see your heart "bleeds" for these animals. But you have to be a strong person to do what's best for the animal and you are. Remember you said she appeared out of no where? Do you ever think that somehow in their darkest hours, they find that person with a heartful of love like you? Without you she would have died in the streets, alone and suffering and never felt your love. You made such a difference in the end even tho you would have like to give her so much more. I'm a animal lover and have had many rescues that I would somehow ask myself now how did that one end up at my back door, or in my pathways that I travelled. Sometimes I just think an angel just leads the way to the one they need. Delilah reminded me of a cat that kept coming to my patio door, very scared and timid, but didn't look well and looked hungry. She wouldn't let me get too close, so I kept leaving food and water out for her and watching. Winter started coming around here on the east coast and I was just sitting in the family room and thinking of her. Then I felt someone looking at me, it was this sick little grey cat I had been feeding and wanting to help. Only this time she was staring at me thru the patio door. I was so surprised, when I opened the door she came right in like she was looking for refuge. I could see she was thin and obviously ill, so I held her, made up a bed, litter, food and water and set her in my daughter's bedroom. She curled up and never made a peep. I intended on taking her to my vet when I got up, but she looked so weak, I was afraid she might not make it thru the night. However to my surprise she was okay. My vet took one look at her and said she's dying, do you want me to just give her an injection? So of course, I wouldn't want to prolong it. So as my vet went into the other room for the injection, I just held her in my arms and talked to her so she would feel safe, and just in that few minutes she looked up at me and slowly shut her eyes and died right in my arms. And I thought of all the times she wouldn't let me get near her or come in, but when they have that instinct that they are dying, they somehow know where you are. And Delilah knew there was a sweet soul like you right there waiting to help her thru and you saw her thru so tenderly. So you gave her peace and love in the end and that's very loving. So thank you Ashley not only for having a warm heart, but a strong heart. Regina Sellers

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  42. God Bless you Miss Ashley

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  43. My heart breaks for you. You have a good heart and you DID show her happiness. God bless you. Laurie

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  44. God brought her to you when she needed you most and He will take care of her till you meet again on the other side of Rainbow Bridge. God bless you for caring!

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  45. My heart is breaking for you and that sweet baby. God bless you Ashley. I am praying for you and everyone you work with. You are truly amazing.

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  46. I have to congratulate you on your choices to help helpless animals. It is a shame how many people buy dogs just to tie them up on a chain and leave them outside for their entire lives. I have no idea why these type of people are allowed to get dogs. There should be some sort of a law, where people must take a test before getting a animal. I sincerely appreciate everything you do for these animals. It's been my dream all through my entire life, to open a hugh ranch and take in all abandoned, abused and homeless dogs but unfortunately I have never been lucky enough to make that kind of money. So when I saw what you have done for Delilah, I was so overwhelmed when I read your story I could barely read through the tears. Thank you for loving Delilah and all of the other animals you get to love. We all love you Delilah and all the other lost souls. God bless Ashley

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  47. Thank you, Ashley. Thank you for being a hero. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for all the sacrifices you have made and will make to improve the lives of animals who need YOU. Most of all thank you for being so strong and so brave to love through the heartache of moments like these. Thank you for showing Delilah love, perhaps when she needed it the most. You and Delilah are in the deepest sense of the word, inspiring. May God and all the beautiful animals in heaven watch over you.

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  48. Thank you for reminding me that not all people suck and that some of them are quite wonderful.

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  49. I have always done rescue. I started rehabilitating wildlife at age 11. I also do cat rescue. Since I moved 10 years ago, I have been specializing in turtle shell repair and feral/domestic cat rescue. The last one I 'let go' was 4 weeks ago. As I sat in my car and sobbed afterward, I asked God "why do you send them to me, if I am going to lose them any way?" In my heart a voice said 'Because it is your job.' God makes sure that no matter the outcome, His creations get to where they need to be. Sometimes it's with us. I believe that no matter the outcome, the most important gift we can give them is love. And no sentient
    being should ever leave this world without knowing and feeling what it is like to be loved. Not everyone can do our 'job' and willingly take on the pain we feel. It is who we are. It is what God made us. I pray you feel His loving arms around you tomorrow, the strength He gives you to get through 'doing the right thing', and how proud He is of you. My prayers and positive thoughts and strength are sent to you too. God bless you Ash.

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  50. ((((((((((((((((HUG))))))))))))))) Because I can't find the right words!!!!

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  51. *raise my glass* to Delilah, who wanted so much to stay and love you but who's little body wouldn't let her. Thank you for being so strong for her Ashley HUGS <3

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  52. Ashley, I'm SO happy the divine intervened so Delilah could know love. You are an angel on earth! God bless you Ashley.

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  53. I did nothing but sob uncontrollably this entire story. My heart hurts so bad for you because I have done this myself. I can't tell you it will get easier because it never does. She loves you and that's a love no one else but you will ever know. Keep doing what you are doing and even though your heart breaks every day just know that all the ones you had to let go are watching over you.

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  54. Ashley, u r a great compassionate human being.

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  55. RIP Delilah. Ashley, you are a truly kind and caring person and as many others have said Delilah knew she was finally loved. And yes, she will be watching over you.

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  56. God Bless u both,,, Ashley u were her angel,,, u helped her when she needed it most,,, u did save her and u showed her the love she needed and nevr had before

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  57. Ashley, I am so sorry for your loss. I was sobbing uncontrollable as i read your letter. Thank you for giving deliah a beautiful couple of days of her life. God bless you! it just breaks my heart to see all the suffering out there. thank you for all that you do!

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  58. So heartbreaking Ashley.............but I just know in heart that god led her to you. He knew that she needed you for those few special days, he knew you would take on the challenge because you always do. You are such a special person and he knows it..that's why he only gives you the best, he sends you the special one's and every time you come through. God bless you and your babies.

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  59. Ashley i am so very sorry...I'm so glad she got to know you..sweet dreams beautiful Delilah play in peace precious baby...

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  60. Once again, Ashley, your words have touched me deeply. Your love for your babies continues to amaze me. I am truly sorry your heart has been broken again but you gave your sweet girl more love in a couple of days than she had known in a lifetime. Such a gift! Run free, sweet Delilah! Say hello to my Buzby.

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  61. This was a beautiful story. Not the passing of delilah, but the love your gave her. I have 33 dogs that I have rescued over the last 2 year. One of my Chihuahuas passed away about 2 month ago. I was devastated, I still cry every time I look at dickey pictures.

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  62. This was a beautiful story. Not the passing of delilah, but the love your gave her. I have 33 dogs that I have rescued over the last 2 year. One of my Chihuahuas passed away about 2 month ago. I was devastated, I still cry every time I look at dickey pictures.

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  63. Was she put down or is still going to be treated? Was thinking of donating to her care.

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  64. You are very passionate at what you do Ashley. way to go! - pet medications online

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  65. This was a tough post to read but I'm sure much harder to write not to mention live. I'm glad Delilah had someone to care for her and really show her love at the end of her life. You are a wonderful person for what you do.

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  66. You are awesome!! You did the best thing in Delilah's whole life, you loved her unconditionally.

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  67. I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby girl. Bless you for giving her, and others like her the chance to
    experience unconditional love. Even though I lost my Brewster over 20 years ago, I still miss him like crazy.

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  68. So sorry for your loss. There are no words to describe losing a sweet companion! Run free Delilah and watch over Ashley and her kind heart!

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  69. So Sorry Ashley! Your just a great person! I wish I could do just as much as your doing for animal rescue right now! I'm hoping when I graduate HS i'll have the time and meet all the age limits too!

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