Della is Home

I hinted at a special story buried in my long list of adoption photos last week. We’re feeling optimistic that our very special “going home” girl will stay home – so I will tell you her story if you promise to say a little prayer that our Della has truly found her forever people.


Della came to us two years ago. She must have belonged to someone, as she was previously spayed. But she was found stray, and no one claimed her from a Valley shelter. Fearful of humans, her chances were not good. Our team pulled her and she was transported to our care.

From the start, Della was distrustful, standoffish, and skittish when approached. We’ll never know if she became fearful as a stray – or became a stray because she had something to fear.


With tail tucked and head bowed, she was submissive but stubborn.


Still, she never struck out. She would just pull away, or lock up her legs and refuse to move until a treat was produced. That girl is no dummy.

She reigned over her coveted Yard 3 which she decided was her safe place. On warm days, her preference was to be there – alone – for as many hours as we would allow. When she thought no one was looking, you could catch glimpses of a different dog in there.


More typically, though, sadness was written all over her face. More than one volunteer made her their special project – including Rob of Rob & Dog, whose pictures are shared here.


She was even adopted. But she was soon returned because she just would not connect.


We don’t give up easily, but we were all becoming resigned to the thought that Della would be with us forever. Until last week.

A couple had come to meet another of our long term residents, wanting to help a dog that was truly in need. That pup turned out to be not a good match. As they waited in the yard for another candidate, Della – returning from her walk, pressed her nose against the fence, and sought their petting. What?! Joining them in the yard, she went to them. Della?? Who was this girl?

In her “going home” photo she did something we very rarely saw: she smiled.


For all of our time, patience, and efforts, it appears that Della was just waiting for her right people. She picked them out herself, and that won their hearts.


Tonight, Della is home. She has a safe corner and crate to seek safety when she wants it,


and the report is that she is adapting – if slowly. So say a little prayer that she continues to keep opening up her heart to the people who opened theirs to her. Because “Della is home” just makes our hearts happy.


Sepcial thanks to Rob Kessel for sharing his photos of Della.

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I am a nascent gardener, rescuer, and photographer, chronicling the journey of the dogs at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary near Sacramento, CA - and the Memorial Garden we have devoted to them.

22 thoughts on “Della is Home”

  1. That was like reading about Ray, even to the point where he chose me (the story around here is that he adopted me!). I do hope that those people are very patient. Ray has lived here for 3-1/2 years now and is still a “work in progress”, but he has come a long way and is an absolute delight to have around the house! 🙂

  2. Seems like Della’s prayers have been answered. Will say more for her that she has found who she was looking for. God Bless you Della and your new people. May the three of you have a wonderful, long, happy life.

  3. So glad it is continuing to continue…paws crossed that Della opens up and feels as much as home as her people want her to feel!

  4. Della’s story shows that love, patience and hope are powerful. I continue to keep her and her new family in my prayers. Thank you and Rob for telling her story so beautifully.

  5. So very happy for Della and her amazing new people! Indeed, I think Della’s prayers have been answered, and her new humans’ attention to her comfort, and to her need for a cosy retreat (that’s also snazzy!) suggest Della’s going to blossom with such caring and loving people

  6. What a special group of people your are at Homeward Bound. You never gave up on Della, and now three hearts are full of love thanks to your efforts. Prayers for Della and her new loving humans . . . a match made in Della’s heart.

  7. We will be keeping fingers and paws crossed. Could you post an update? I’d love to know this girl is finally home.

    Monty, Harlow, and Ramble

  8. My heart is happy just reading this. What wonderful souls. Dogs know. I’m convinced of it. She found what she needed in this wonderful couple. I’m so happy for all of you…and will hold good thoughts that the placement is permanent.

  9. Yet another blog of yours that needs a ‘Love’ button rather than a ‘Like’ button! Of course it brought tears of happiness to my eyes 🙂 I’m so happy for Della and her new ‘parents’. I wish them all the very best. Keep good thoughts for them! ❤

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