Sunday, October 21, 2007

Look what the snow brought in!

The view from my desk window right now.

Sweet Libbie wagging her tail, as usual.


Yes, it is snowing here today. But the bigger (and more fun) news is that Libbie is here! I picked her up from the prison yesterday (after participating in a second "go home" class) and she's fitting in to our family really well. She oozes happiness, obeys as well as anyone could expect from an 8-month old dog, and gets along swimmingly with our two little girls. She's about 30 pounds and is a border collie/black lab mix. We're thrilled that she plays with toys (poor Pip never did) - she fetched her big rubber bone from her crate yesterday and brought it out to chew on while we were watching football. She also likes to play with her Kong - she tosses it up in the air and lets it bounce around unpredictably (as Kongs do) and then picks it up and tosses it again. She also has a thing for socks and slippers. She hasn't brought us any dirty socks yet (although she did play with her handler's socks while in prison) but yesterday she brought me my slippers. She surprised us with one slipper and a while later brought the other one to me, also. I guess that's the "retriever" in her.

Libbie got rave reviews from both of her prison handlers. She started out in a Denver men's facility and then was moved down to the women's facility in Cañon City. Both of her handlers kept great journals about what they did with her every day and both commented on how having Libbie around brightened their days. They were amazed by how smart and responsive she is and by how good her manners are. She never jumps on anyone and is very good at using the potty outside. About halfway through Libbie's training her handlers were able to start working with her "off leash," taking her for runs and working through all of her commands without her leash. Being "off leash" is a big deal because with all of the other dogs and people around, it can be tough for a puppy to concentrate on her handler and being on leash helps the dog focus.

The only part of bringing Libbie home that has been tough is that it has made me realize just how damaged sweet Pip is. Pip is a great dog who obeys very well, but she doesn't have happiness written all over her body the way that a dog should. She was so mistreated and so neglected that it's affected her personality - hopefully not permanently - more than we could deal with. She's back up on the Prison Trained K9 website with a description written by yours truly. When I returned her I also gave them a description of how she acts in the "real world" and they copied a significant portion of it for her description on the web. Hopefully that will help her get adopted out to the right person. She deserves the best after the tough first four years of her life. Four years! That's almost as long as Brynn's been alive. Looking at it from that perspective really affects me and makes me want the very best for her. And it makes me want to strangle people who buy puppies from pet stores, where most of the puppies have been "bred" in puppy mills. No dog deserves that kind of life. Adopt, adopt, adopt! Boycott pet stores that sell puppies, please!!

As for our family, we're feeling pretty blessed to have such a happy new addition to our family. We hope you can meet her soon! In the meantime...here's a short video of Libbie working on a few basic commands with me.

1 comment:

Michael said...

your doggy puts ours to shame in the "tricks" department... but we've already informed Daisy that her cousin Libby is very talented so she's going to be working very hard to turn as many tricks as she can before March as possible.