Our Little Liga Dog

Well, she is gone. Hers was a neat story. Joe and I had seen two Belgian Sheepdogs before. The first was when John was about 7 months old, the day Princess Diana and our old dog, Randy died, in Harpers Ferry, WV. The owner was so proud and carried around pictures of that dog’s parents. We had always had Shetland Sheepdogs up to that point. Joe always liked German Shepherds. This dog was sort of a mix between the two. The next time we saw a “Turvueren” was at a state park in Branson, Missouri. We were spending this night there on our way home from a trip to Arizona and New Mexico. Joe was trying to get the camper ready to go and I was pestering these people with this dog and petting that dog. The time came a few years later (when MaryEllen was a baby) that we really wanted another dog. The same day Joe and I both mentioned that we would like one of those dogs that we saw. Out came the handy dandy Encyclopedia of the Dog. We learned that there are 4 types of Belgian Shepherds and they are the Groenendael which is all black and long haired, the Laekenois which has curly fur, he Malinois which is short haird, and the Tervueren which is long haired, but a mix of colors. We decided to look for either a Groenendael or a Tervueren. We prayed to St. Anthony and I searched the internet high and low for rescues. We visited animal shelters that were around. One of the clubs for these dogs listed a treasurer as being a woman in Warrenton, VA. Since we were in Front Royal at the time I sent an e-mail to her. She replied that we could either fill out an application to rescue a dog, or she happened to be looking for a home for a Tervueren that was 9 years old, but still in excellent shape. Joe and I discussed this and his concern was her age. This breeder/treasurer sent me pictures and said the owner had a small daughter that the dog was really good with. Well, we decided to accept the offer. Oh yes, the dog was an obedience champion. That suited me just fine.

The owner was in Holland with the dog and we found out that he was flying in with her and would be there just after we returned from our yearly retreat to Ohio. When we got back home there was a message in my in-box that said, “Liga is Here!” We called and went right over to get her. She was in this house that now had 4 children, Joe and I, two breeders, one of the breeder’s husband, a large Tervueren that was Liga’s father, a large Maine Coon cat, and Liga. With all that comotion (and there was plenty of comotion) Liga came right up to me. I saw the breeders face and she was looking at us as if to say, “This is your dog.” We brought her home. She was brushed everyday and treated like a queen dog. After all, she has a passport. Not even I have a passport.

The following Saturday the breeder and Liga’s former owner came out to see Liga and the place. This man was so happy that Liga had found a good home that he brought us flower bulbs from Holland and some treats for Liga. He worked for the state department and was going to Afghanistan where it would be too dangerous for the dog. That was why he was giving her away. He did return to the US a few months later and called to see if he could come by. When he came out, Liga was running between the two of us, all excited as if to say to me, “John’s here” and as if to say to him, “Kristen’s here.” That was the last time we saw him. I think he just wanted to check to make sure she was happy. She had been happy here, in Tennessee, too. She loved people and even enjoyed the cats. Just yesterday she was walking to the pumpkin patch with me, an Fluffy the cat joined us. I was thinking how neat it was that they got along so well. She really liked Shabby cat too. She was getting older and most certainly having problems, but still happily going on her merry way.

One of my favorite memories of Liga was a trip to the vet. Liga was so playful, and even though she was on a short leash, she managed to get a mouthful of hair from a cat that ran by her. (Why does a veterinarian’s office have a cat running around anyway?)

Anyway, that is our Liga story. Joe went out on the tractor this evening to go get her and bury her. He did not want me to see her and I knew it was bad when he had his bandana over his mouth and nose while on the tractor with her in the raised front bucket loader. Then we told most of the children. Kevin is very sensitive and loves animals. He was visibly shaken, but he’ll be OK. MaryEllen said, “But I don’t want Liga to be dead. I like her. I like to brush her.” I think that is quite a tribute to a loyal dog coming from a 4 year old.


4 Responses to “Our Little Liga Dog”

  1. mary lou Says:

    my condolences… what a nice dog.
    so sorry for your loss

    Lve, Mary Lou

  2. Ruth Says:

    I’m so sorry, Kristen. God bless you.

  3. Madelyn Says:

    So sorry for your loss

  4. bukmacher Says:

    Ciekawy post, dodalem twoj blog do ulubionych, bede tu teraz wpadal czesciej, pozdrawiam

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