Libby’s Story

story1Libby’s Story, by Melissa Dudley, founder of LHSC.

Liberty a/k/a “Libby” was my soul dog and inspiration for Libby’s Haven for Senior Canines. Libby was a 12 year old Coonhound/Doberman and here’s her story as I know it… It began in May of 1990, when she and approximately 90 other dogs and other animals were seized from a home in Hartland, Vermont, where they were housed in cramped and unsanitary conditions. The owners were charged with neglect/cruelty and it took over a year and a half for their cases to make it through the court system. In the meantime, the dogs were distributed to various humane societies in Vermont and New Hampshire. I met Liberty several months after her arrival at the New Hampshire Humane Society while searching for a “younger” dog. Her charm, and that of the eight other middle aged dogs and seniors that came from Hartland, began my serious commitment to animal welfare. I began weekly visits to walk and spend time with these special dogs who were available for foster care but often overlooked because of their age.

story2Liberty began with weekend visits to my house – I’d pick her up on Saturday afternoons after adoption hours and the shelter manager, who lived nearby, would pick her up Monday mornings to begin another week of hoping for that loving retirement home. Liberty began to get depressed. So, after a week-long holiday visit, in January of 1992, sweet Libby came to live with me permanently, where she joined 3 other dogs, cats, rabbits and a horse. Libby was the light of my life for the five years that she lived with me; many thought she would only last a year or two when I adopted her. But once away from shelter life, she blossomed. That’s not to say we didn’t have our issues, like separation anxiety, but over time that worked itself out.

As you can see from her picture, Liberty still had the spunk for a good game of fetch. Her very favorite thing was to go for a ride in the front seat of the truck. Sadly, on July 15, 1997, the ravages of old age/arthritis made it necessary to ease Liberty’s pain and send her over the Rainbow Bridge to a pain-free place to romp. We sent her peacefully in her favorite place, the front seat of the truck. She is greatly missed. It was only this past year (2003) that the other friends she joined in 1992 went to meet her at the Rainbow Bridge. The joys of unconditional love that come from sharing your life, heart and home with a senior dog are beyond words. I urge you to consider this and adopt a senior – they will light up your life!