Goodbye, Delilah

*A follow-up to my previous post: Hey There, Delilah: http://luckydogrescueblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/hey-there-delilah.html

Today --Wednesday, May 9, 2012-- my Delilah went to Heaven.
She left the world in peace.
She left the world with love.

However... Monday was actually meant to be her last day on Earth.
I'd made a promise to her that it would be.
It was a decision I'd made... for her.

Yet... when Monday morning came, Delilah was doing a little bit better.
Not a lot better... but a little better.
And I'll be honest... it was just enough to give me a glimmer of false hope.

That morning, I took her to the vet for her follow-up appointment.
I told my vet what I was prepared to do for Delilah that day...
But first... I asked for his honest opinion.

Doc looked at her...
Then at me...
And said: "She's still got a little fight left in her, and I know how you are, Ashley. You want to give her every possible chance to make it, and you'll never forgive yourself if you don't. So, let's just give her a couple more days, and see how she does. If nothing else... she'll have a little more time with you."

Hearing those words, I have to be honest with you...
I felt a sense of selfish relief.
I'd always wanted to save her... I'd never wanted to end her life...

So... even though I knew better... I chose to see what I wanted to see in her.
Instead of the sick little girl that laid before me...
I saw a tiny fighter... who deserved the chance to fight.

Delilah & I
I didn't want to take that chance away from her.
I didn't want to give-up too soon.
I didn't want to believe that she couldn't pull through this.

But really...
If I'm being honest...
I just didn't want to let her go.

So... I rejected my gut instincts...
I abandoned my promises...
And I allowed myself to feel a sense of hope... that never really existed.

And so...  that day...
I took my Delilah home...
One more time...

Sure... for a little while... Delilah seemed a little stronger.
She seemed a little healthier.
She seemed a little happier.

Of course... that was never her reality.
She wasn't strong, or healthy, or happy.
And honestly... she wasn't even fighting for her...

She was fighting... for me.

She was smiling... for me.
She was stronger... for me.
She was living... for me.

Initially, I was blinded by hope...
Her "strength" gave me strength.
Her "fight" ignited my own fight.

But... in reality, my Delilah had all-but given up.
She didn't want to hurt anymore.
She didn't want to fight any longer.

And yet... she couldn't let go...
Not because she wasn't ready...
But because I wasn't ready. 

The truth is: She needed me, and I failed her.
I made a promise to her... and I broke it.
Not because I didn't love her... but simply because... I did.

Regardless, it was selfish of me.
It was wrong of me.
It was the wrong decision... for her.

And yesterday... I had to face reality...
Because any "fight" I'd seen in Delilah the day before...
Was gone.

Suddenly, I couldn't deny the truth: Delilah was never doing better...
She was never going to make it.
She had never rejoined the fight.

I'd only seen what I wanted to see.
I'd clung to a hope that just didn't exist.
I'd attempted to fight... because I'd wished to save us both.

And yet... I saved neither.
Delilah is gone...
And she took my heart with her.

But even still... before she left this earth...
Delilah's one wish in life... finally came true:
She was loved.

At the very least... I did something right...

Last night... on her last night here, 
I lifted Delilah into my bed...
And pulled her close to me under the covers...

Just before she fell asleep...
I whispered into her ear:

"Hey there, Delilah
I'm right here if you get lonely...
Close your eyes...
I'm by your side."

Then, this morning, I drove Delilah to the vet.
When Doc walked into the room...
He looked sick... when he saw my tear-stained face.

I nodded. He nodded.
It was our signal:
It's time.

I wiped my tears... and laid Delilah on the table.
Then, Doc looked at me, and asked: "Are you ready?"
 I replied: "Almost."

I leaned down... one last time...
And whispered into Delilah's ear:
"Remember: when you get there, ask for Rudy. He knows me."

Then, I said: "Okay. I'm ready."
I looked down at Delilah... s
he looked up at me...
I smiled... she smiled...

And just like that...
She was gone...

Today... for the very last time...
I took my Delilah home...

When I pulled back up at Lucky Dog... 
I saw Caycee digging Delilah's grave...
And my heart could barely take it.

As I got out of the car... I was sobbing uncontrollably.
That's when Caycee walked over...
And gave me the biggest hug... that 2 best friends have ever shared.

Then... we laid Delilah to rest.

Today... I honored my promise to her.
Today... her suffering ended.
Today... my Delilah went to Heaven.

Today... Delilah's pain is over.
And yet... it seems for me...
That the pain has just begun...

But even still...
In my heart... I know the truth:
Every bit of pain was worth it... for each moment here with you...

"Hey there, Delilah... You know it's all because of you... This one's for you..."

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


  1. Replies
    1. I love you, Pippa. Thank you for listening to me cry last night.

    2. All dogs do go to Heaven.Their hearts, their love is pure.

  2. You are a very special lady. Thank God Delilah had you for a short time. She really needed you and you gave her the love she never had. I cried reading both of your stories, they broke my heart too. God bless you Ashley Owen Hill! You're awesome! I wish (and hope) that there are more people just like you in this world. I know your heart is broken, but it will heal and you will go on doing your good work on this earth. Thank you!

  3. My prayers are with you!!! I am sorry for your loss :( You were both blessed to have each other!! God Bless!

  4. the most beautiful thing I have ever read I cried tears for both of you. God bless you and Delilah. God speed Delilah. When I can get some extra money I will send some you truly inspired me.

  5. I cried so much at the previous Delilah post and I am crying again. I so feel for you. You did the right thing and she knew love. Hold to that and be strong Ash. You have an army of love up in heaven at the rainbow bridge. And you have a ton of respect, love and appreciation for all you do from us out here in internetsville. Hugs to you!

  6. You did the right thing,been there myself with my dog Boo,it was the hardest thing to do,but you don't want to see them suffer.

  7. God bless you sweet angel. You still have your sweet Delilah, and your sweet Rudy, and all of the countless others. Just whisper their name, they hear you dear.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss...it's the most awful thing to go through!!! I will tell my Lucy to look for her at the bridge.

  9. Tears for you. Hope Delilah looks up my wonder mutt, Oscar, when she gets where she's going. He can show her around the yard & where the sunniest spots are. {{Hugs}}

  10. You gave Delilah more love in 2-3 days than she had in her whole life, Ashley. You loved her well and let her go with a smile on her face.

    Run free, sweet Delilah. The big goofy golden guy is Buzby. Tell him his mom still misses him.

  11. What a beautiful tribute to your dearest friend. Tears rolling, I read your story, and I found myself hoping that I will have your strength and compassion when the time comes. So very sorry for your loss. May your memories give you comfort that, with you, Delilah knew love. Run free and pain free, Delilah, with Rudy. God bless....

  12. I'm trying really hard not to cry after reading this post. You are a wonderful person and I'm so glad Delilah had you with her, thank you for all you do.

  13. love until it hurts then love more. keep doing what you are doing. it makes a difference to each dog.

  14. I love you for loving Delilah . Thank you for that . I felt your pain the whole time that I was reading your post and I cried the whole time . I two know how it feels to love a dog and then loose them . I tell myself that one day I will die and all my beloved pets will be waiting for me on the other side . Thats how Ive dealt with their deaths . Delilah passed on knowing that she was loved , thats the greatest gift that a human can give to a dog .

  15. im so sorry for your pain, ive been there . you will see here again, God bless you and Deililah is in a better place and always with you

  16. I am so sorry for your loss...it's the most awful thing to go through!!! I will tell my Lucy to look for her at the bridge.

  17. P.S. Ashley, I'm crying with you for Delilah. She's happy now and hanging out with Rudy. You are an angel.

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  19. Same happened to me with my dear Belle. I made the appointment for her to be PTS at home (she hated the vet so I asked for the procedure to be done at her home, where she always felt safe and loved. The day before I took her to another vet for one more opinion, I wanted hope, I couldn't bear to think I was not doing as much as I could. But that night she limped to my office while I was working, and I saw how hard she was trying to sit at my side, looking for a way to diinish her pain. Thats when I thought "no more, I understand, you need to rest my dear friend". I was being very selfish. Next day I asked for half the day off and my wife and I spent all morning with her in the garden. I put her on a comfy pillow and read to her while I scratched her head. I read to her the Dalai Lama thoughts about animals, compassion and happiness. She raised her head in attention before the vet's car parked outside the house, she knew. While the doctor and her helper administered the procedure I was with her and she looked at me like telling me everything was alright, that it was the right thing. I didn't want to cry, I wanted to be strong for her, but when she left this world I couldn't avoid crying like a little boy. After they took her for cremation I couldn't avoid to sense a lot of light in the area where my friend left this place. My wife noticed it too. My dog was telling she was finally at peace.

  20. God Bless you for giving Delilah what she needed for such a short time..a loving home...Your truly are a very special person...tears from your blog but happiness in my heart...Shirley

  21. You are an amazing woman.....tears rolling down my face!!! RIP Delilah...Annie

  22. like i say ur god gift to thease animals ,never have i known such a person as u,u lift my heart,u share so much love.my prayers for ur loss,my tears for delilah,god bless u for what u do.hugsss and love

  23. Im so sorry for your pain, Ashley...I had to let my Molly go a week ago Saturday and this really struck home, but you are right that their wish was fulfilled. Delilah and Molly were well-loved! Bless :)

    1. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I feel your pain, and my heart is with you.

  24. I too had a special dog named Karli "Q".
    She had been paralyzed twice and always recovered. This last time was different. Like you I went to the vet. And like you I took her home. Although I know I did the right thing for Karli "Q", I still miss her and wait for her to come running up to me. Everyone tells me she was my angel. RIP sweetie. And run and run and wag your tail!:)

  25. Reading all of your amazing comments... first of all... I want to say thank you.

    Thank you for your love, your support, and your understanding.

    Secondly, I'm always reminded of the things that many of us don't often discuss: the very real pain that affects each of us when we lose a special pet.

    And even after the fact... every time someone outside of us loses their own pet... we're each taken back to the very moment when we lost our own.
    We feel the same pain... the same loss... the same grief... that we did in the very moment it happened to our own baby.

    While I never want to take anyone back to that heartbreaking place... at the same time... there's a certain comfort there... in common understanding. We are each connected through that pain.

    So... to each of you who shared your stories with me... I'm so sorry for your loss. But just know... that I'm grieving right there with you.... and I understand what you're going through.

    Too often, we feel alone in our pain. And yet... someone, somewhere... understands us.

    So... if your grief has left you feeling alone today... just know... that some random chick in middle-of-nowhere Mississippi... understands you.
    Love, Ash

  26. I felt the same way when I lost my Maggie at 7 to cancer. So they are up there now with my other 4 legged kids - Scruffy, Lani, Sage, Namu & Maggie. Hugs & prayers for you.

  27. I am so very sorry Ashley...I have been there a few times myself so very hard to let go. I just loss my Ringo 5 weeks ago today..I am so happy you two found each other i know she went to the bridge feeling very loved and is there with Rudy waiting for their wonderful Ashley..Thank for everything you do for all the precious babies.sweet dreams beautiful Delilah rest easy baby....

  28. You have such a beautiful way of honoring and loving your babies. I cried through this because I have been there and my sweet young daughter, Kristye, is there almost today!! Her Stevie is fighting for her life....and for Kristye!! Please pray maybe for a miracle for Stevie!!

  29. I have 10 rescues that live with me, 7 cats and 3 dogs. I love them all very much. Right now, we have entered the "fight" for Justice, the little puppy that was burned alive by teens in Dallas. The one that did this horrible act is in jail right now with a 100,000 dollar bond. They are going to have a hearing to see about lowering his bail. We feel that the bail should not be lowered and that he receive the maximum sentence allowed by law. The message that we want to be sent is that we are sick and tired of animal abuse in our community. Since the poor animals can't speak, or defend themselves, we have to be their voice. Animal abuse is uncalled for at any time. You were a good momma to your little Delilah, but don't worry about her as she has some very special friends that all met her at the rainbow bridge when she crossed. We carry their footprints in our hearts always, never to be forgotten..

  30. (((sobbing))) It's a very hard thing to let a loved one go. I know you say you were selfish keeping Delilah alive, just a little longer, but I don't believe that at all. I went through a similar thing with my cat, Sylvester. You want to give them all the time and love you can, I don't think that is selfish at all. Delilah knew you loved her and knew you wanted her to have a chance. Just because you turned out to be wrong about her fight, it doesn't mean your selfish...it means you're human. :) I'm so sorry for your loss and pray your heart is healed soon! I know Delilah is looking down on you now saying "thank you and I love you! you gave me what I came here for....love. Don't cry any more tears for me...for I am HOME and I will see you again! Until then...."

  31. What a beautiful story! She brought you love, and you returned it. She will be watching over you and her friends from Heaven.

  32. Your story hits home so much with me. We let our beloved Angus go April 3rd. He was in rough shape 2 weeks earlier, and our trusted vet gave me 'the talk'. I took my boy home and he must have been listening to the doctor because he started to fight. He started to eat for the first time in ages. He fought for us. He fought for his my wife, his mommy. He knew we needed more time, he knew we weren't prepared. He gave us the time to say goodbye. He gave us the time to accept his fate. And when he couldn't fight any longer, he let us know. And we were ready. I built him the perfect casket. We made a beautiful grave. We put him in his favorite chair. His beloved doctor came to the house, and we gave him peace. We asked him to send a sign that he was ok, that we had done the right thing. That night in bed a commercial came on with the most beautiful song, and for just a flash, there was a puppy in a bed. A puppy that looked just like our Angus. Happy. And newborn again. It was at that moment we knew he made it to the rainbow bridge... Our condolences to you Ashley, you do so much good. Your dogs will never forget you, they will all be waiting for you at that bridge!

  33. You are one of god's finest angels. God Bless you for all you do, for giving those wonderful creatures the love they have so much desired and deserved. I know that they felt every ounce of it with you! My condolences to you. Just know they other than the love you have given them, they now know no greater love than what God is giving them forever. God Bless!

  34. Rest in peace sweet Delilah. <3

  35. Rest in peace, Delilah. I didn't know you but whenever I hear that song I will think of you. Thank you for sharing Delilah's story. Thank you for showing her love at last.

  36. Its so hard to lose a pet! However, Delilahs memory will live on with the amazing work that you and your organization are doing.

  37. I may not have known Delilah, but I loved her,too. Your descriptions and photos brought my heart to you both. God Speed, Delilah.

  38. It never gets easier even when you know it is the right thing to do.
    Hugs to you both.

  39. Ashley, I am crying after reading that. Your story touched my heart. I had to say goodbye to my sweet beautiful cat, Daisy, after 15 years of love with her. It was a horrible moment, and I,too, felt that I should have done it sooner, for her... but, I couldn't, I couldn't let her go... She also seemed to get "better" suddenly, and then not... the vet was so supportive, and gave her fluids to keep her going, for me. I finally accepted that it was too selfish for me to make her "live" longer, and my heart broke, when I had to say good-bye. I totally understand your pain, and I send you a big, big hug. You are not just "some" chick in Mississippi... you are one "AWESOME" chick in Mississippi!! <3

  40. Melinda, Monterey park CaMay 9, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Dear Ashley,,, my prayers and thoughts are of Delilah and you.... Im sooo sorry for your pain.... This is one of the hardest things we sometimes have to do for our furbabies.... Just know she finally felt and knew sooooo much love from you.... She is smiling down at you saying Thank You for Loving Me,,,, She's in the Lords Loving Arms now,,,, God Bless

  41. I cannot help but cry after reading your story Ashley. You are an amazing person and you are an angel to dogs on earth. I am so sorry for your loss, which reminded me of my baby who passed away last year. All our babies are watching over us and are pain-free. We will see them again someday. Thank you for all you do and for the unconditional love you have in your heart!

    Good night Delilah. Rest in peace.

  42. Sending prayers to you what a touching story.

  43. Ashley you simply amaze me. I see so much of you in me and I love you and what you do. Your an amazing soul and just a blessing to these babies. Delilah and her story will stay present in my mind always. She knew who to come to, who would fight for her and love her in her last moments. She needed you. I know the sadness will always remain and it never gets easier. Keep fighting, loving and saving it's what you do best. All my love,
    I hope Delilah gets to meet Ty,(our baby). He's a great dog and she'll have a forever friend. :)

  44. SO many tears for you right now...much love and light.
    Namaste <3

  45. So sorry to hear about Delilah, I think u are such an amazing person Ashley. I am sending lots of love and prayers to you. I hope Delilah meets my sisters puppy champ at the rainbow bridge, I know they will be great friends. Much love!!!!

  46. Btw - you did save her, and you wanted her to know a few more days of love...You cannot fault yourself for that. She knows and understands, and she thanks you for seeing what no one had seen in her before. That she was a dog. A dog worthy of love. Not just an "evil" pit bull. A dog that deserved love, a chance, and the feelings of comfort. You gave her peace.

    Give yourself THAT satisfaction, that you made that dog probably the happiest she has ever been in her entire life. In that short time. She is still, and will always be with you <3

  47. I will never again listen to that song Hey There Delilah without thinking of this girl. Thank you providing her with your unconditional Love I Hope that you will be rewarded in this life for all that you do for these animals your parent's must be so proud of you.

  48. you're a very strong woman, Ashley. i pray that if and when that day should come for my Sammie or Maddie, i am able to make the decision you had to make. God Bless you, Ashley. and r.i.p. Delilah, we must remember that she's out of her pain, running free, with Rudy :)

    Kimberly W, Alexandria, MN

  49. You gave her the love that she so badly needed. Yes, she has left you & I know that pain oh so well. But in reality, you gave sweet Delilah something no one else had given her in her whole life. You showed her love & kindness. She sensed that finally she had found what she had sought for so long. She will remain in your heart forever, and one day you will cross that rainbow bridge together. God bless!

  50. I feel your pain. This story is so moving and throughout i was crying as if it was my own pet being laid to rest. I hope your heart heals soon and praise you for the great things you do. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

  51. For me, it was my cat, Midnight. 18 years, he was my best friend, my baby. I always told people that he was with me before the husband and kids, and that he had seniority :)

    When Midnight was around 12 or 13, I started telling him that he had to live FOREVER, because I couldn't imagine my life without him.

    I knew for about a week that I was losing him. He wasn't eating, I was trying to force feed him a little and was keeping him hydrated a few drops of water at a time, all day and night. I knew he was going, and part of me knew he was ready to go, but I still fought!

    The last morning he was alive, I had fallen asleep after being up and down checking on him all night. My husband came in and told me that I needed to be with him, he wasn't doing well at all. As soon as I saw him, I knew it was over, but he was still fighting. Like you said about Deliilah Ashley, he was fighting FOR ME. I had told him he wasn't allowed to die - so he was trying. As I took him in my arms for the last time, I told him it was OK to go....I would hurt, but I would make it. Once those words were spoken, he literally took one last breath and left me.

    Thank you for sharing, Ashley! I would tell you it gets better, but you will always hurt for her off and on. I know I do. The most important thing is that you loved her, and were with her at the end. She knows that....

  52. Animals should always be blessed to have a person like you in their life. You are great. I still have tears in my eyes as I have been in your position more times than I like to think. But there comes a time that is hard for us to do the right thing for our loved pets. God bless you.

  53. Wow what a touching story I am still crying. You did the right thing by her. I feel your pain its a hard thing to do but something we have to do. You are a wonderful person and I admire what you do. She knew love in her final days.

  54. Wow what a touching story I am still crying. You did the right thing by her. I feel your pain its a hard thing to do but something we have to do. You are a wonderful person and I admire what you do. She knew love in her final days.

  55. Miss Ashley, thoughts and prayers coming your way. You showed Deliiah love and compassion in her last few days on earth. She was truly appreciative. She knew the moment she laid eyes on you!
    One should never give up hope. Miracles do happen. Delilah really did try! Don't beat yourself up! She came into your life for a reason! You are GOD's Angel for rescuing these dogs!!!

  56. BAWLING, the big, bad ugly cry.....It's so hard to let go, even when it's the "right" thing to do. I lost 2 of the best dogs 4, and 5 years ago and I still sob when I think about them both. I am dreading the day when the 2 I have now leave me....prayers for you and Delilah. ('''')('''')


  58. I just subscribed to be a monthly donor :-) I can no longer read your posts without helping in this way. You have touched lives, even as far away as I am here in MD. Losing a pet (child) is heartbreaking, no matter the circumstances. Delilah is no longer in pain and this is because of you. You ended her pain and suffering. I know how this must affect you. We bid farewell to one of our dogs, our Basset Hound, Alice, last month. Be happy that you were there to help her, make her happy, and see that there are still people that are capable of love in this world.

  59. She was loved and now will feel happy for all eternity. God bless you. R.I.P. dear Delihah.

  60. The tears rolled as I read this,, you put it so beautifully,,, they fight for us.. I lost my little Bill Monroe last year,, he is my profile picture,, I loved him much,,, and my little Willie Winkie two months before,,, I miss them every day.. every day... But I know I would not want them here without me...I want them to go first,,,Thank you for the beautiful post,, It is like an exhale from God into their sweet little bodies and an inhale when He takes them back... Bless you,, thanks for sharing Sweet Delilah with us....

  61. Such a beautiful story.I just lost my sweetheart Lola last Fall and I really miss her.It was a hard decision to make and she was really sick and I knew she wasn't gonna get any better.Delilah will always be with you and is much happier now.So is my little Lola.

  62. You are a blessing to these beautiful souls. Never forget that. God created you for this and you are fulfilling that destiny. Be strong.

  63. Oh my goodness Ashley. My heart goes out to you. My heart also has pain from losing a loved pet. I feel like the only thing sad about having and loving a dear pet. Is saying Goodbye.

    Deb Tampa Fl

  64. Scott from East Hampton, CtMay 10, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    A Poem for the Grieving . . .
    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn's rain.
    When you waken in the morning's hush,
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there in spirit, nor did my earthly soul die.
    For although our time together was brief,
    Your caring compassion and love gave me a period of joy, an ounce of belief.
    Near the end I saw a rainbow, a wooden bridge and heard your sweet voice,
    I have now crossed that bridge, that Rainbow Bridge, no regrets it was the Right Choice.
    You gave me the strength, faith and courage to believe in a better place…..with you.
    I wish I could have stayed longer and although it could not be,
    I still had the faith and trust in better places you had shown to me.
    I just wanted to let you know that I’m safe, I’m Ok and happy here, almost as much as with you,
    Most importantly I’m with other friends of yours, thank you.
    I Love You, we’ll Always be together and I’ll always being looking over you………………

  65. I am so sorry. This story reminds me of my gypsy's passing many years ago. He had congestive heart failure and I wanted to keep him a few more days. I took him home and it did not take me long to realize I was keeping him for me, not for him. Giving him a peaceful passing was a hard thing to do but it was the right thing just as it was the right thing for your dog. God bless.

  66. More tears... I'm so sorry for all the heartbreak recently. Thank you for showing these babies love. <3

  67. Thanks for sharing. We like your blog a lot.


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