I am pleased to be sending you the first installment of our own "Happy Ending" with Artemis (The Coonhound Formerly Known As Libby). She is wonderful. I have known and loved many dogs in my life, but I have never been around a dog that is so calm and well behaved as she is. It's really pretty remarkable. The first time we took her to the vet, the doctor did a blood test to make sure she didn't have a thyroid problem! She's fine, it's just how she is. LOL.

We have 3 kids, 2 of which are babies (2 1/2 and 8 months), and she is as calm and patient as she can be. She's not a licker or all over them, which is actually a good thing according to dog psychology as I understand it. They're all on the floor with her all the time, and she usually just lays there in her little couch and watches them (or sleeps). Both babies pull on her tail, or try to feel on her back and face, and she either lets them or simply walks away. On a couple of occasions, only when she has been completely asleep, she has stood up and barked as if to say, "Hey, I'm sleeping here!" and huffed out of the room. Nothing threatening or aggressive, just speaking her mind. (Pretty amusing, really.) She has a funny personality like that. She won't make a sound for days, but if she has something to say she'll let you know. She usually has a good point.

The first example of this that we experienced has to do with the story of her new name. I feel obliged to tell this story because it is so strange. Not to mention, everyone we meet wants to know how in the world we came up with the name Artemis. It's a funny story, and completely true. I had first heard the name years ago because I am Lynyrd Skynyrd fan (Artemis Pile - drums). I always thought it was a cool name, but I thought it was a guy's name. The only other time I'd ever even seen the word was on my wife's favorite bottle of wine. It's a wine called Stag's Leap, but the specific "blend" is called Artemis. As we were in the adoption process with Coonhound Rescue this summer, we went on vacation with my family. My Dad bought my wife a bottle of this particular wine while we were on our trip, and we began talking about the name. I had no idea of the name's origin, so I googled it and found some interesting information. Artemis is a Greek goddess (female), which was coincidental because we had just moved to Tarpon Springs (largest per capita Greek population outside of Greece). Artemis is the goddess of the hunt, and most say also of the moon. Pretty relatable themes for a hound dog. We still didn't know what we thought of the name, but after our trip the name Artemis started popping up everywhere. It was just one of those weird things. Artemis is not a very common word to see, and pretty hard to find even if you're looking.

We recognized the strangeness of this, and flip-flopped on the name several times, but we finally decided against it. My wife thought it didn't sound sweet enough for her. I agreed, so we finally decided to call her Miss Gypsy. (With her history, we figured she'd earned a title like that.) When we brought her home, we actually called her Gypsy for about the first 24 hours. The day after we brought her home, my wife commented to me that after being around this dog for a little while that she actually kind of felt like an Artemis. I don't know what that means, exactly, but I had had the same exact thought the night before. I told her this, and as we were discussing it, the dog pops up from where she was laying down and trots over to where I was standing. Keep in mind, this dog had hardly moved since she got there. She was a little timid, was pretty much keeping to herself, and had not made a single sound. Well, she trots over to me like she knows I'm talking about her. So I asked her, "What? Do you like that name - Artemis? Is that what you want to be called - Artemis??" And she looks me straight in the eye, lowers her head (as if for emphasis) and let's out this deep, loud "WOOOFF!!" I couldn't believe it. I looked at my wife and said, "Please tell me that you just saw that." She said, "Yeah. That was the weirdest thing I've ever seen." Needless to say, we had a big laugh and quickly renamed the dog. She's been Artemis ever since. From the first moment, she's responded to it like it has always been her name. (Maybe it had, who knows?)

Other than being calm and well-behaved, she seems very intuitive. She sleeps at the foot of my son's crib every night (the 8 month old). Even when they all had to spend the night at my in-law's house because we were out of town, she slept next to his bed. When some one comes to the door, she quietly stands guard. She is great on the leash, and a joy to walk around the neighborhood. She is an attraction everywhere we go, and is always well-mannered with people who come up to say hello. We've hit a few speed-bumps with going to the bathroom in the house, but those have quickly become very few and far between. She doesn't like the crate, but she's coming along with that as well.

Otherwise, she is amazing. My wife and I can't believe that it's only been about 2 months since she came home. It seems like she's been with us so much longer than that. Already, I don't think any of us can imagine our family without her. We all love her very much.

A big thank you to you, Cathy and Derick Anness who fostered her, and Coonhound Rescue.
Tommy Shannon

Page last updated on 31 October 2008