Who knew? We’ve never owned this kind of dog. She’s a Yorkie/Papillion mix with emphasis on Terrier. Apparently, these dogs were bred in England to go down badger, rabbit, and fox holes. This explains a lot. In fact, we’ve had Libby two months and here are 6 sentences I never thought I’d hear myself utter…
“Don’t hurt the snake!” – The other day I let Libby out on her backyard leash. I sat on the outdoor step, facing the sun. Ah… that felt good. Then I looked down to my right and jumped ten feet.
A snake lay next to me. Thank God, it was a little black snake with a yellow stripe down its back. Still, I’m not a snake person and if that reptile were bigger, they would’ve heard me in the next county. But this one was kind of cute.
Then Libby saw it.
Without hesitating, she charged over, stuffing her nose into the plants where the snake lay. I saw it move and the dog track it with its snout. Call me a softie, but I couldn’t bear the thought of that poor little reptile being violently shaken (probably to its untimely death) in the mouth of this little dog.
I tugged Libby back. “Leave that snake alone!” Thank God, the animal slithered away. But now Libby goes snuffling for it every time she goes out. I pray that snake takes the hint and moves to the next state.
“What’s the latest kill count?” – Don’t worry, I’m talking stuffed animals. And it was so sweet when family and friends brought over adorable little plush-toy offerings for Libby. Little did they know.
Every day I have to pick up body parts — white mounds of stuffing, plastic squeaky things (their “hearts” as Libby probably sees them) and torn limbs. Libby doesn’t play with toys. She vivisects them. She puts them in her mouth and shakes them like she’s trying to get a confession. If these were real bodies, it would look like a mob shake-down. Thank God, they’re not.
“Man the squirt gun!” – There’s no rhyme or reason. Some people Libby takes to right away, standing on hind legs, hoping they’ll pick her up. Others (usually large males) she takes longer to warm to, barking for what seems like hours. Sometimes she barks so hard, she propels herself backwards like a cannon recoiling. And yes, this situation is as charming as it sounds.
So we’ve devised the squirt gun method. A small hit of water is the only thing that shuts her up. In fact, sometimes it even speeds up the bonding process. Maybe she figures if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
“I’ve lost feeling in my lap.” – For all her scrappiness, Libby is one of the most affectionate animals I’ve had. She has to be close… always. She’s in my lap when I write (in fact, she’s in my lap now). She’s in my lap when I’m reading or lying in bed. Sometimes I have to put her down just to get feeling back in my abdomen. She always needs to touch, except for one exception, which leads me to my next strange utterance…
“Randy, don’t move.” – The only time Libby’s not glued to my side is when she’s glued to Randy’s side. This happens every night in bed. My husband’s bigger, warmer and a more sedate sleeper. My only fear is he’ll turn over, squishing dear little Libby. Sometimes I have to remind him he has a small canine plastered to his belly.
“Please stop following me.” – If I have to use the bathroom at 3:00 a.m. or get a glass of water, Libby jumps up from a sound sleep and trots behind me, bleary-eyed. I tell her not to, but like many dogs, she doesn’t know the meaning of those words. I feel guilty, but the programming’s inbred. Dogs are never off-duty. And Libby’s especially vigilant.
And that’s how life is now. We’re adjusting to this crazy, young canine.
Still, Libby has one major thing in her favor. We love her. And I have to say, I feel complete with a dog. They enhance life. They’re funny and innocent and joyful. Libby’s already given me companionship I would wait years to get from a human. With Libby it only took a few chew toys and her favorite kibble.
And yes, time will catch up to this tenacious terrier. Someday she’ll slow down and become creakier… someday.
But for now, she has youth’s bravado, barking at everything that dares enter her kingdom — mailmen, friends, neighbors, flocks of geese, bumblebees, hummingbirds, chipmunks, and now a traumatized snake.
I worry sometimes. Can impulsive, no-holds-barred Libby survive this world?
But maybe I have it backwards.
Can the world survive Libby?
Do you have a crazy pet? Comments are always welcome and if you like, please share. Thank you!