Dellaney is the girl that most of my dog stories are about. Dellany could jump high enough to touch the top of the arcadia doors, could open every door in the house - including the arcadia doors - and jumped straight up in the air and landed on the dining room table once as we petted her and she got more and more excited. We adopted her from the Humane Society and she was 3 years old. Her name was Daisy but we changed it to Dellaney June, Dellany because my late husband, Dean, really liked Dana Dellaney, the actress, and his mother's middle name was June. When we first brought her to the vet, they were used to our previous dog who was very calm and super sweet, a shephard/golden retriever mix with more of the retriever personality. After checking her out, they came out with eyes wide saying, "what have you done??" As we sat in the exam room, we asked the vet what he thought she was mixed with and he shook his head and said, "I don't know, but she is a shephard, and she is VERY smart". And as if on cue, Dellaney jumped up, opened the door and walked out into the waiting room! She had the energy but was smart enough to know how to control herself.|
One day, within a year after we adopted her, I made a pan of toasted coconut bars in a 9 x 13 inch pan. I left it on the kitchen island to cool and took a walk. At the same time, Dean was taking a nap. When I came home, Dellany had gotten up on the counter (front paws only) and licked out the entire center of the pan! The first of many thing she got into when we weren't looking.
Another time, I had a bag of Werther candies on the dining room table, the soft kind covered in chocolate. When I came home from work, the empty bag was on the floor and all the candy was gone, wrappers and all.
She also liked to go in my purse and eat the Tums, paper and all.
I tried to bring Dellaney to "Doggie Day Care" and she didn't like it at all. She wouldn't play with the other dogs and spent her time trying to figure out a way to get out - which she did and, more than once, ended up in "time out". One of those times, she jumped the half wall in the play area while the owners were out walking some of the other dogs, opened the door to the lobby and was found there by the owners when they came back. Every time I brought her in, at about 4:00, she would jump up on a platform by a window and stare out because she knew I was coming to get her after work, about 4:30.
We saw her energy level and decided she needed a playmate since our cocker spaniel wouldn't play with her. We finally found KD and Dellaney found a best friend (the link to KD's site is below). Dellaney loved KD. I didn't want to leave them home alone so I would take them both to the vet. If they needed to take KD in the back to do something, Dellaney would lose her mind and jump at the door of the exam room and try to get out until KD finally came back.
Dellaney loved to run and would occasionally escape. At first, I would chase her and it was a challenge. Then I figured out she had a very long invisible leash and if she didn't eventually see me come around the corner, she would turn around and I would see her zooming around the corner, running at me like a train with a little gleam in her eye, and just as she came up on me, she would swerve and go around me. She thought that was fun. Eventually, I figured out she liked to ride in the car more than anything, so when she would escape, I would just jump in the car and drive up the street (she always headed to the park at the end of the block first), open the car door and she would jump in. I would tell everyone that watched her or came to the house to do the car thing and not chase her and it was a good thing. I had a woman cleaning my house for awhile and, sure enough, Dellaney escaped and she knew to get in her car, drive up the street, open the door and Dellaney jumped right in.
She also rushed the door and barked ferociously. Because of her barking and bolting, we finally got a security door and had to argue with the salesman to do a somewhat custom design and put the heavy screen up past the middle because Dellaney would go right through it. She was a very good protector.
On another occasion, one evening I was sitting in the den and heard this loud, very high pitched squeal. Dellaney was standing on the couch and when I came over to her, she had brought a baby rabbit into the house. She hadn't hurt it and was just standing over it, all happy. We called the humane society and asked what to do and they said to just leave the rabbit under a tree in a quiet place in the backyard and it would eventually hop away. We were concerned because it was sooooo small but they said it was ok. So we did and the little thing just layed there, but the next morning was gone - baby rabbits can play dead very, very well.
Dellaney didn't like men and would lunge at them if I was walking her. If any strange man came to the house, she would stalk them, and taking any opportunity she saw to sneak up behind and get closer and closer to nipping them from behind. She would do this multiple times each time, getting closer and closer, until I could calm her down or sometimes getting close enough that I would have to lock her in the bedroom. I finally figured out that if the man could get one pet in on her head, she was fine. It was just the challenge of getting that pet in!
Another time, I was watching TV with the arcadia door open to just the screen and thought I heard something outside. When I went out on the patio, Dellaney had the boy who cleaned up the back yard, his dad and his friend pinned up against one of the pillars. She was jumping around them and, like when a stange man was in the house, when she saw an opportunity, she would dart in to see if she could nip, getting closer and closer. Each time she darted the dad would swing the bucket at her and she would back off.
And another time Dellaney found a rattlesnake in the back yard, and true to form, she started jumping around it giving warning barks to let everyone know. KD, being more aggresive ran in and grabbed the snake with her mouth and whipped it around. After KD dropped it, the snake attacked Tatum the cocker spaniel, who was also more aggressive. So, 2 out of the three dogs were bitten, but the brainiac Dellaney wasn't. (The dogs ended up being fine = sore for awhile and KD with permanent scars from the bites, but fine)
I would take Dellaney hiking - 5 miles on a challenging trail, 6:30 in the morning in the Arizona heat. She was young and in great shape. Oddly enough, she refused to drink much water on the trail but drank it all up when we got back to the car. You would think this would tire her out, but by the time we got home - about 15 minutes - she would zoom in the house, jump on the bed and wake up Dean - as if Dellaney had just woke up and wanted to go for a walk! After awhile, I quit hiking and after several years, tried this trail again. I was not in very good shape any more and debated taking Dellaney with me, who also had not been out hiking. I decided not to and got to the trail later than I intended - 7:30 instead of 6:30. I barely made it out of the desert and if I had had a cell phone with me, would have called 911. Between the heat and my being out of shape, I was not prepared. How I finally got out was a mind over matter. I often think of this time and thanked God I did not take her - I don't know if she would have survived.
I have so many stories of Dellaney. She was the smartest dog I ever had - I called her my "mensa" dog. She liked other animals (remember the rabbit above) and when we first got her, we had a cat. She would nuzzle her nose into the cats fur and the cat wouldn't know what to think or do.
I never had to worry about her weight. She ate when she was hungry and nothing on the planet would make her eat if she wasn't. I would feed her on the bed so the other dogs wouldn't eat her food if she wasn't hungry so she could come back to it when she was (the other dogs couldn't jump on the bed).
As Dellaney got older, she still had an attitude of youth. No one could believe she was 13 years old. The office manager at the vet looked at her and said "you could so lie about your age". Then she started to get arthritis and slowed down. Eventually, the vet thinks the arthritis started pinching nerves in her spine and she could no longer get up. Loosing Dellaney was so difficult. Her eyes, ears, and attitude was still that of a much younger dog but her bones weren't.
I have always been the kind of person to be able to get another pet very soon after loosing one and I still have a yellow lab, Holly, at home. I never really understood it when people would say they didn't want another pet so soon after. My heart is so broken, I finally understand.
Well, Dellaney is with her best friend KD now and I am sure they are having fun. There were only 2 dogs I ever saw Dellaney play with her entire life and one of those was KD; KD can show her the ropes at Rainbow's bridge and introduce her to new friends. I know she is in good hands, even if I wish those hands were still mine.
I loved/love Dellaney sooooo, soooo much. But now she can get up and run like she so loved to do. and be with her best friend KD whose link is below.