Okay, her name’s really Libby, but the song from “The Sound of Music” still applies. She’s a darling. She’s a demon. She’s a lamb. Before adopting this terrier, we were warned these were scrappy, feisty, willful little dogs. My husband Randy and I chuckled. How hard can she be? (Warning: this is not for the squeamish).
The Night of the Big Surprise —
Randy and I came home around midnight a few weeks ago, back from a lovely evening with friends. Nothing seemed amiss. Libby greeted us at the door, tail wagging, happy to see us.
Then the clues began.
First was a small pile of doggie “up-chuck” in the pantry. I guess she had some tummy trouble, I said to myself, cleaning up. Then I spotted another pile in the entry hall and a bigger one in the living room. An uneasy feeling started.
My husband called me into his office. To my horror, on the floor lay an entire, empty box of chocolates he had received as a gift that day. Libby had hopped onto his chair and knocked it to the floor. She’d eaten every bite… including foils and wrappers.
I’ve heard chocolate can be lethal for dogs. I looked at her, relieved she seemed fine, her tail wagging.
But we were far from done.
Coming into the bedroom, Randy was about to stretch out when he reached under his pillow. That’s where Libby had left her worst pile of “indigestion.” The blood-curdling yell my husband let out reminded me of the “horse-head” scene in the Godfather.
That night, I pulled off sheets and comforter, wondering if the pound had a late-night drop off. Thank God, Libby was okay, although more than happy to get into her crate. I’m not sure if that was because she was feeling funny or knew we were about to kill her.
The Afternoon of The Fall —
All I know is I left my husband and dog alone for one day last week while I saw a New York matinee with my friend Lisa.
Little did I realize that while I chuckled at the antics onstage, an epic battle between man and beast was waging back home.
Randy had made the mistake of leaving our front door open a millisecond too long while he fetched a UPS package. To his shock, Libby went zooming past him, hooked a right and disappeared into our neighbor’s yard.
Assuming Libby was visiting her canine boyfriend “Roscoe,” Randy got into his car, driving to the neighbor’s. To his embarrassment, he called for Libby on their property to no avail.
He drove home and got out. Just then a small, furry white streak sped by, nose to the ground, heading toward the back.
With no time to lose, Randy followed Libby around the house, tripped, and landed in a pile of poo. He lay there, calling for the dog who watched calmly before trotting off into the woods.
To my husband’s credit, rather than finding the nearest bazooka, he lumbered back inside to change clothes.
Two hours later, there was no sign of Libby. Still sore from his fall, Randy started to look again when he found her sitting in our driveway, as if to say, “What took you so long?”
And yes, I can see the smug smiles on you non-dog owners now.
Do you know the worst part? You’re right! Your lives are easier, less messy and quieter. You don’t fall in dog poo or worry if your pet’s about to eat a box of Godiva’s.
You’re not traumatized when your terrier goes into sudden, loud, heart attack-inducing barks each time she sees something threatening outside — like doves and chipmunks.
Randy and I have had pets for years and Libby needs patience and tolerance in ways we’ve never seen.
But here’s the rub. In a strange way, we also need Libby.
We’re almost empty nesters. Our kids are grown. It’s all adults now. How easy to become complacent, predictable, and even bored.
Not with Libby.
She chases her tail! She brings us her toys so she can fetch! She jumps! She leaps! She runs! She’s fluffy and funny and adorable! She’s happy all the time! And I have to admit, it’s hard not being caught up in her youthful buoyancy.
I understand people who hear these grisly tales and shudder. I would too if it wasn’t me.
But I keep thinking of that song from “The Sound of Music.” Libby is our Maria. She’s a flibbertijibbet. A will-o’-the wisp. A clown!
And I’d like to say a word on her behalf.
Libby makes me… laugh.
Do you have a challenging, but adorable pet? Comments are always welcome and if you like this, please share. Thank you!!