Ruby (now Lilibet or Betty) came all the way from Texas to live with us in northern British Columbia. An amazing volunteer from the Rescue organization helped us coordinate her transport over 3000 miles. We were anxious that she’d be traumatized by her experience because we’d first seen her in a heartbreaking picture taken in a Texas kill shelter. She’d obviously been through a lot and had a long journey ahead of her to her new home. But when she arrived at an airport an hour away from our home (on a -25 Celsius day), she was all wiggles, kisses and cheerfulness. On the drive home we kept turning on the car light to check that she wasn’t panicking in the back seat. Her big brown coonie eyes looked speculative but not scared. We’ve since found that she’s a very brave little girl. Nothing scares her, and she’s extremely clever.
Late that first night in the driveway of her new home, we introduced her to our other Redbone Coonhound, Gordon. They greeted each other as though they were long lost family. They bonded instantly and are now inseparable. They cuddle, play fight, tug of war with toys, and run like greyhounds together on walks. They move in sync like twins. They bring so much joy to each other’s life. She and her much older Basset Hound sister, Cathy, are less fond; their habitual spats consist of yelling matches that aren’t too serious, just routine. Our house is full of bickering and playful hound sounds.
Lilibet is a nickname for Elizabeth. We often call her Lil’ Betty because she is small but pert. She was 40 lbs when rescued, but now she weighs 53 lbs. She is still very lean but has a darling chubby puppy belly because she eats gluttonously. At first Lilibet expressed some separation anxiety at first by gutting pillows and chewing on wicker and wood furniture if we left her. We opted not to crate her and let her work through her emotions, which she did in a few months.
She is extremely energetic and wakes up first in the morning and goes to sleep last at night. She is gleeful about chasing balls, and with every bounce of the ball she leaps up like her legs are made of rubber. (She is disinterested in bringing them back though.) She also loves plush toys that scream, and she’s an unapologetic counter surfer and occasionally eats poop to protest the ugly Canadian winter. We tell her happier days are ahead in spring.
As active as Lilibet is, she’s also a cuddle bunny. She loves to pile into bed with her whole family and sleep sideways and kick hard with her athletic hound legs. She likes to be with her people and her dog family at all times. She’s social, loving, and affectionate hound, and we feel so lucky to have her in our lives.
Heather Harper and Kanwar Nagra