Saturday, April 17, 2010


As I look back over pictures taken from my very early childhood on, there seems to be a dog by my side in a large number of them. I used to think it was because my mother thought it made for good picture posing but as I have grown older and my doggies even follow me into the bathroom so not to lose sight of me, I can't help but wonder: is the tie that binds a leash?
Early last Sunday evening when our kids were loading their car to head back home following a visit of a couple of days, we were in the process of saying so long to our daughter and her family when an adorable ball of white fluff came bounding across the street to greet not only us but our daughter’s small dog as well. Holly Doggie appeared more inquisitive than threatening to the newcomer, but to be on the safe side, I scooped the little one into my arms where she wiggled her friendly protestations at our trying to see her name on her attached tags. The tags had been taped together with black electrician’s tape so while I held her, our daughter tried removing the well-stuck tape. Finally the tiny round black tag revealed the name of DAISY and a phone number but Daisy was holding still for none of it. At that minute I said, “Daisy and I have met before!” About 6 months ago I mistakenly thought she was one of our next-door neighbor’s little white poodles. That day I had gone to the home of our neighbor’s mom because our neighbor was working, but it wasn’t their dog, so I had taken Daisy to our vet where they would find the rightful owner by using the tag info.
The phone number on Daisy’s tag came up as no longer in service, so after our family left, I used the rabies tag issuer phone number and got their answering service. The woman said the animal clinic folks would not be in until 8 on Monday morning. By then I had shut Daisy in our guest bathroom, a perfectly safe place for her away from our two very inquisitive Yorkies, but she wasn’t happy there, so I knew it could turn into a very long night for all of us if I didn’t figure another way. I wondered about Daisy’s people: were they worried about her and frantically searching, as we would be if one of our dogs were gone from home? We live near a fairly busy street and that is always a concern when these little dogs get out on their own.
Then, the idea struck! Why not use the reverse white pages to see if a name would come up for the phone number? Perhaps that way I could find a new phone number and let Daisy’s owners know we had her. Daisy needed help and her persistent barking was accomplishing little in finding her owners; perhaps my fingers walking over the keyboard would have more success. Once the reverse pages loaded and I had filled in the numbers, I could scarcely believe my eyes at the name that showed on the screen. It was our across-the-street neighbors, a young family we see from time to time, but little enough that we would recognize Daisy as being their dog.
It didn’t take long for me to scoop that precious little bundle up in my arms again and walk across the street, relieved to see that their front door was open, a good sign they were home. I rang the doorbell and as the young man approached, I didn’t hear exactly what he exclaimed but it was obvious he was stunned that I was standing there holding their dog. I explained how I happened to have her and said their back gate was ajar, but I added, “This is the second time Daisy and I have spent time together.” I briefly told him of the first meeting. He thought it was the woman from up the street that first time because we had used her phone so her number that had showed up when we left the message about finding Daisy.
Sunday evening: It was enough to know that sweet Daisy was home and we and our Yorkies could have a relaxing evening after all; that is, after our two gave me their version of the third degree, the special doggie sniff-all-over test, saying, “We know you have been with that other dog and we want to know more about her!”
Last evening as I headed out to get the mail just before 5, there in Daisy’s front yard was a very cute rust-colored Pomeranian with a unique bark. I knew he didn’t belong there but judging from his seeming fear I was quite sure he wouldn’t let me near to catch him. If I tried, I was concerned he’d run towards that busy street and traffic would be heavier at that time on a Friday. When I returned from getting the mail, he was in the yard next-door to Daisy’s house and seemed compatible with a kitty that was nearby. I came inside and prayed for his safe-keeping, feeling I could do no more, until I saw him out there again this morning. We have had several days of rain and now I grew concerned and determined to gather him up and make sure he was safe. It was 8 a.m. and I knew our vet’s office would be opened until noon so I dressed faster than even I would have thought possible, hurried outside with van keys and my cell phone in my jeans pockets, having unlocked the van on my way out the door.
At first I didn’t see the little guy again but then, there he was cuddling close to a fence in that yard next-door to Daisy’s house. I wondered if he belonged there but at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning I hesitated to ring a doorbell so I tried talking to him. He answered me, using his smoker’s voice, and each time I moved, he did as well, obviously insisting he didn’t want me to try to catch him. Then, I heard the voice of a woman from the back yard calling, “Russell? Russell?” I said, “Ma’am, Ma’am?” No response. Again she called, “Russell? Russell?” So I spoke more loudly, saying, “Ma’am, does this rust-colored Pomeranian belong to you?” She said, “Yes, he does. Just a minute, I’ll be right there.” Pretty soon she appeared at the front door and I told her of the previous evening as well as this morning and why I had been so concerned. She thanked me as she said, “I’ll have to check my fence.”
And for the second time this week, I came home to receive the once-over twice; twice because with two dogs, each one has to do their own interrogation. I assured each one that I had neither touched nor held the little guy, that he was really cute, but that he was now safe at home.
So ends my week of lost paws. No black-and-white picture-prints of this week’s escapades, but thankful memories it ended so well.

P.S. Several hours after having posted this, I was surfing the web and I learned that April 11-17 is National Animal Control Appreciation Week. I smiled, thinking Daisy and Russell wanted to make the work of the Animal Control officers easier so they "called" on me to help instead! ;-0
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-17-2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Is a person ever satisfied with his/her given name or would it be better to refer to the new little person as Male #1, Female #3, etc., until each is old enough to legally choose a name for him/herself? What, if any, significance does the choice of name attach through the years?
I grew up knowing my mother didn’t like her name, but I was contented with mine. However, once I was enrolled in the city schools and junior high years, the school system took over and said my previous name of Marilyn would now officially become Sue because they used first names. Junior high years were hard years for me but I doubt being forced to be Sue at school while staying Marilyn at home evolved into two separate and distinct personalities. Sue Libby earned good grades, won a spelling bee, and even became a recognized member of the National Junior Honor Society.
I chose marriage immediately after high school so another name change was imminent although at the time I had no idea how much so. My intended and I went to the town clerk of my current residence and she pointed out that my paperwork was incorrectly filled out as Sue Marilyn Libby. Well, that was my name, what did she mean? She showed me that my birth certificate stated I was not who I always thought myself to be. The order of my first and middle names had been switched on that official form so legally I was Marilyn Sue Libby. Oh, if those city school officials had only known way back when I entered seventh grade, I could have stayed who I always had been! Learning about it at the particular moment was enough to be thankful for; we joked that my future was secure because we found out before marriage, not after, thus making the wedding documents completely correct.
Since my husband knew me originally from school, he called me Sue and through the fifty-two-plus years our journey together became John and Sue to our friends and his family, John and Marilyn to my family. Most of the time now, I do not often hear the name Marilyn spoken except at the doctor’s offices where legality reigns. While Marilyn is a name I treasure because I understand it is one Daddy picked out, it belongs more to the little girl than the woman I have become. Perhaps because most of the loved ones who consistently called me by that name have gone from my life, either by death or by distance or maybe due to the fact that deep down inside it hurts to be reminded that I’ll never be that little girl again, tears come to my eyes as I sit here typing these thoughts. Could it be…is it possible that there is more to a name than what we see printed on paper?

©Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 4-14-2010