(August 9, 1998 - February 16, 2012)
Who would ever have thought that two simple questions could so profoundly affect three lives? In May of 2002, Pam Davis was preparing the hound hauler to come to Greyfest. Noticing that she had two extra spaces in the vehicle, she called over to a kennel at JCKC, asking if they had any extra hounds to make the trip. Only one, the kennel master said, a brindle boy. "Hang on a minute, though," he said. Then, calling a friend at another kennel, he asked, "Hey, Hank, where's that black dog you like so much?" Twilite Bibee was on the truck headed to Greyfest.
At that event, I was walking around looking at the adoptables. Seeing Bibee and noticing her black coat with a white shamrock on the chest, I took her over to Mimi and said with a laugh, "Hey, honey, who's this dog look like?" At the time, Bibee seemed a dead ringer for our other greyhound, Magic, although we later realized there was very little resemblance. We laughed and Bibee hung around with us for a while. A somewhat nervous and sensitive dog, Bibee eventually stood between Mimi's legs for security. As Mimi looked down into Bibee's eyes, the die was cast. Bibee had found a new home. "Bob, get the checkbook," she said. I obeyed, albeit somewhat reluctantly as I really didn't want another dog at the time.
The first order of business of life with Bibee was to change her name. Even though John Parker had told us that Bibee was the name of a great courser, we didn't like it and decided she would be called "Baby" instead. Unfortunately, we never consulted Bibee about this and she stubbornly refused to answer to her new name regardless of how often we used it. Finally, after six months we gave in to the inevitable and realized that "Bibee" it would be.
For a dog that was so stubborn about her name, it is interesting that Bibee became the dog of a thousand nicknames. "Snout," "Ribby Bibee," "La Contessa Bibula," "Bibbalump," "The Amazing Mrs. Bibbs," and "Ish Kabibbel" were just some of the names that Bibee acquired like merit badges over the years. She also had a song that I created adapted from the theme of a Tim Burton movie.
Bibee had a beautiful coat, which she kept throughout her life. The black was always shiny and soft, leading Mimi to add yet another nickname, "The Velveteen Bibb." She also said that if Cruella DeVille had ever seen Bibee, she never would have been interested in Dalmatians.
Down through the years, Bibee brought joy to our lives. Comparing her to our other hounds who were so elegant and graceful, we noticed that Bibee was the most beastly, walking with a very heavy gait and using her long hard nose to get your attention if you weren't responding fast enough to her demands for treats. We used to be amazed at how she would run in her younger days, so stretched out and low to the ground that her chest would be wet from the morning dew when she came in. She was strongly food motivated, too, which made her easy to train.
Bibee was also a survivor, living through mast cell cancer when she was six years old. She survived a cat attack when an unfortunate feline jumped the fence into our yard when all three hounds were outside.
Perhaps Bibee's greatest gift was the ability to give comfort. After a tough day, it was typical of Bibee to come up to either of us and sit down, placing her head on our chest and gazing up into our eyes. It was quite consoling. Bibee's ability was not limited to humans alone, though. When our greyhound Bravo died, Magic was disconsolate and had lain on our bed. Bibee jumped up and, seeing Magic's mood, lay down next Magic and placed her paw around Magic's shoulder in an incredibly touching gesture.
Bibee grieved terribly when Magic passed away in October of 2011 and it was a grief that even the love of Mimi and Bob could not console. In January of 2012, Bibee's new adopted sister, a standard poodle named M.J., came to our home and brought joy back into Bibee's life. They bonded immediately, Bibee's appetite returned and she began to play with toys again.
Finally, on February 16, 2012, time became the one obstacle that Bibee could not overcome. Bibee suffered a very brief illness on that day and died that night in Mimi's and my arms. Bibee was 13-1/2 years old. She had been in our home for almost 10 years.
It's hard to describe how Bibee touched our lives. For Mimi, the bond with Bibee was very deep and intimate from day one. For our daughter Melanie, Bibee was a faithful and steady companion during Mel's teenage years. For me, who at first resisted having another dog in the house, Bibee truly became man's best friend.
Mimi and Bob Jones