She was a bachelor’s Valentine’s Day gift to himself and she was named for the Tom Jones ballad “Delilah.” Almost delicate in form and figure, this butterscotch beauty is as sweet as the colour of her sleek, shining coat.
Dave’s first experience with the bully breed was in 2010 when he helped a friend adopt a pit bull, and once connected to HugABull online, he found himself “hooked” on the breed. His second experience was up close and personal, when he offered to transport an adopted bully to her forever home. But the third time was the charm.
Laid off from his camp security job and searching for something meaningful to do, he agreed to foster a 4-month-old pup who had popped up in the shelter. Despite the fact that she was all angles and awkwardness, uncertain and untrained, for Dave, it was love at first sight.
Soon Dave was back at work with a four-legged sidekick beside him. The pair quickly became an overnight sensation when Delilah was invited into some of the places they visited for “informal pit bull puppy therapy sessions.” It was a win-win situation for everyone: Delilah was being socialized with people and they were learning about a bully’s particular brand of love.
In mid-May 2011, with potential adopters looming, Dave made the quick decision to make Delilah his. Officially. Although she was house-trained and walked well on a leash, he brought her to doggy daycare to perfect her socialization skills. Then he began fostering again.
“I felt it was my job to help to teach the dogs about family,” Dave explains. “To show them they are loved and could count on humans to protect them, while Delilah helped them to trust other dogs.” And this dream team has already fostered 14 dogs in the last 3 1⁄2 years.
Gentle and polite, Delilah is an ideal “spokesdog” for the bully breed, performing tricks, attending pet events and fundraisers, and walking in the Pride Parade, as Dave delights in “proving all the haters of the breed wrong by her example.” She is such a HugABull poster child that she was chosen to be the face of the organization’s 2015 calendar!
But, for Dave, it’s Delilah’s gentleness that makes her so special. At one particular event, a woman approached him, asking, “Did you hear about a girl being bitten by a pit bull a while ago?” As he nodded, she said, “That was my daughter. Can you help me show her that all pit bulls aren’t bad?” No sooner had he agreed than she led a shy 8-year-old over, who first asked Delilah’s name, then asked if she could pet her.
“Suddenly, Delilah turned, sat on the girl’s lap, and gave her a big kiss! Then she allowed herself to be petted, hugged and scratched while the young girl smiled the entire time. As I looked over at the group around us with tears running down my cheeks, they were tearing up too.”
“And this is why I do what I do.”
Written by Nomi Berger