I thought that adopting a dog was out of the question due to my busy schedule and planned return to college for the 2013 spring semester. But that was before I fell in love with a black Labrador-beagle mix a couple weeks before Black Friday. I immediately felt the need to take a picture of the dog that had gripped my heart in her paws.
Before I knew it, tears were flowing down my cheeks as memories of my first black Labrador flashed through my mind. I could vividly imagine spending time with Shadow, my first pet, under the towering tree in the front yard, kicking around the soccer ball.
My attention eventually returned to the dog that I knew was destined to be mine. The resemblance was incredible.
Looking into this dog's eyes, I could see the image of what my dog, who is now 14 years old and decaying, looked like in her youth. Her bright, vibrant eyes and playful personality caught my attention.
She jumped onto her back feet while resting her body weight against the plain, metal cage and continually kissed my hand. I regretted every time I left her and remained hopeful that no one would adopt her before I had the opportunity to discuss the decision with my parents.
I had been making jokes about a Black Friday sale at the Lycoming County SPCA the week before the official day arrived, although my boyfriend and I didn't plan on engaging in holiday chaos. However, we spontaneously decided to browse the selection on Black Friday 2012, regardless.
As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, my mind could only muster thoughts about the incredible dog that I'd first encountered two weeks earlier. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the sign on the door: "Black Friday Sale. 50 percent off all black animals."
Instead of visiting the cat room, I instantly made my journey to the back room where "Bella Swan," her temporary name while living at the SPCA, was. I had not discussed the process of adoption with my parents.
I decided that my desire to own this animal was as strong as a hurricane of love pulling me into her smooth, warm midnight fur.
I called my parents to obtain permission to raise "Bella" in their house until I could afford to move out. I knew I wanted to rename her as soon as possible. I wrestled with a few unique names and eventually decided on Delilah Moon. Because of her similarity to my first black Labrador, her middle name pays respect to the dog that created my bias towards Labradors.
Delilah Moon is the most determined dog I have ever known. Late at night when my mother and sister are taking up the entire couch, Delilah climbs up onto my mother and will take a nap on top of her. She uses my mom as a pillow. It doesn't matter that there is a lack of room because she wants to be included in the family dynamic.
The moment I return home from work or school, she greets me at the door with bright eyes. Her paws fumble across the hardwood floor but she's not worried about breaking any bones because her mother is home. She follows me to my bedroom and jumps on the end of the bed where I am greeted with gentle dog-kisses and an affectionate hug. She immediately grabs one of her toys and wiggles around the house like a worm. She prances around on her long, thin legs; excitement coursing through her body.
An experience that caught me by surprise was when she was sitting on the couch and put her entire body weight onto her back. She held her front legs and paws out as if she's a human waiting for a hug. She loves having her belly rubbed and will happily rest on her back as long as she is getting the affection she desires. While receiving this royal treatment, her face shines with the widest smile that I've ever seen on an animal.
Whenever I look into her eyes, I'm reminded that I belong in this world.
While checking out at PetSmart, I saw a row of magnets that caught my attention. Although I didn't not buy the one that asked "Who rescued whom?," it made me think about the question.
Before Delilah, I was spiraling into depression and found it difficult to want to live. Delilah's high energy and playful habits became my reason for existence.
Delilah Moon gives me a reason to live, laugh and love.
I rescued her from the SPCA, but she saved me, too.