Thursday, July 11, 2013

In Memory of our Libby Puppy

We moved into our house in June of 2000.  We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary the next month.  We were expecting our first child (born November 2000).  We were not looking for a dog to add to all our 1sts, but on August 25, 2000, we stopped at Walmart and someone had these adorable puppies in the back of their pick up truck, giving them away.
I gave her a pair of Thomas's underwear, so she would know her master's scent.

They said she was 3/4 lab and 1/4 chow.  Thomas watched them and this one was smart!  She went in a corner to pee, away from everyone, and away from where she was posing her cuteness.  I looked inside her mouth.  My Dad always said that good dogs, smart dogs, have black on the roof of their mouths.  Oh, we fell in love.  Our sweet Libby came home with us.
This is me with Libby, in our garage, on a scrap from our new bedroom carpet.
There was just a small dog pen at the house we bought.  Later that fall, Thomas (with help) built a larger fenced yard on our acreage for Libby to have as her own space.  The first night she slept in the dog pen, she found the little holes and escaped.  In the morning, we woke to her her whining under our bedroom window, clear on the other side of the house!  How did she know where we were?
Libby sat on my lap, and snuggled my growing stomach when she was so little and new.
The same morning, I put Libby back in her pen, but I accidentally locked myself out of the house.  We had no hide-a-key, or keyed entry.  I had to carry the puppy down to the neighbors in my pajamas, and ask to use the phone.  My brother came down and got me back in the house.  I can't remember if my parents had a key at the time, or he used his locksmithing skills.  He also helped me cover up the holes in the fence, so the puppy would not escape so easily the next time.
This is Ellie at age 1 year old with our Libby.
Libby was a wonderful dog!  She was so friendly, loving, gentle, and protective of her family.  You can see her licking Ellie in the above picture.  This was before we knew that Ellie was allergic to dogs.  When we found out that Ellie was allergic, Libby knew, too. She never tried to lick Ellie anymore.  She stayed a distance away from Ellie at all times, but she would follow her and lay at a distance watching the children play.  I knew she would never let anyone, or any animal near the kids.  She was the best babysitter (I watched them from the window in the kitchen while I did dishes).

This is Libby with Thomas and Ellie in June of 2002, we were expecting Wyatt at this time.
She was on the small side of large dogs, but I loved having her around.  I felt very safe with her here.
This is a little out of order, we rescued these kittens in  August of 2001.
These kittens were a challenge.  We rescued them from the local tennis courts.  Someone had dumped them off.  The yellow one, we named Butter, and the white and gray one was named Spider.  At first, Libby thought that she needed to kill them, tree them... they were not supposed to be in her territory.  I think that more than a year passed before we did not have to watch carefully.  Spider cat disappeared, but Butter is still with us.  The dog and cat eventually became the best of friends.  We often found them snuggled together, as you will see in the pictures to come.
This is a picture we took for Wyatt to send to his pen pals.  I couldn't find any old pictures with Wyatt and Libby, but this is a nice one.
Wyatt was kind of afraid of Libby when he was little.  He grew up with a sister allergic to dogs, so any dogs were a little bit scary for him.  He knew that Sister could not be around them, so the whole thing was a bit strange to him.  When the kids got older, I assigned them chores, Ellie had to feed and water the cat, Wyatt had to feed and water the dog.  That is when Libby really came to be his dog (still the family's, but he came to like to pet her, and love on her).  Wyatt got over his fear of dogs, with my help, and he really came to love Libby.

After we got the pony, we would check on Libby on our way back from putting the pony in her stall for the night.  If she needed food, or water, we would get her some. Whether she needed food or water, we would pet her and tell her what a good dog she was, how we loved her, and get her a treat.

Butter (the cat) is curled up on Libby's back.  I have pictures somewhere of Butter  kneading  Libby's back. Libby also learned to clean her face with her paws like a cat.

Our poor old girl in the snow that didn't want to quit this winter.
Thomas found tumors growing on Libby's throat this last year.  She got very thin this last winter.
Thomas made Libby come inside when the weather was really bad.  Butter curled up with his longtime friend.
When the snow was at it's worst, Thomas made Libby come and stay in the garage.  She was part Chow, so she used to love to play in the snow, and even lay in the snow.  Her winter coat would get so thick and warm.  She just really enjoyed the cold weather.  We used to say we'd brush a whole dog off of her once warm weather came and she was shedding.  Libby just didn't feel so well this winter.  I prayed that God let her live until the ground was not frozen and we could bury her on our land.
Two old friends.  The last week together.
Libby was with us until Monday, April 29, 2013.  Thomas knew she wasn't doing very well that weekend before. He considered having her put down, but then prayed that God give us however much time he wanted us to have with Libby.  He told Libby that it was okay for her to leave us.  She got up and barked off the neighbor's dogs one last time while Thomas was working in the front yard.

That Monday, Thomas came home early from work to do some work at the house.  As he drove up our gravel road, he saw Libby lift up her head from the ditch across from our driveway.  One of our neighbors came up to help Thomas with his project.  When the neighbor left, Thomas went over to check on Libby, she was still there.  Well, her body was there.  Whatever spirit a dog has, was gone.  

Thomas came in the house to tell us.  He said, that we all had to hurry, there was something he needed to show us.  I was expecting to see a snake, or some other animal.  The Wyatt and I were not expecting to see our dog dead.  Ellie had a feeling that Libby was dead.

Wyatt helped Thomas and I dig her grave.  The ground was so wet and muddy, the going was slow and difficult, but the ground was not frozen, like I prayed.  We got her body buried.  The same helpful neighbor's dog died a week later.  He made a really neat sign with his dog's name on it. Thomas asked him to make us one, too, and he did.

Libby was such a good dog.  We are thankful for the time God gave us with her. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry about Libby. What a great dog. Good to read your posts. Miss you guys. Melissa