Your Stories - Big G, Guinness & Willa

Welcome to our first installment of Your Stories.  After years of corresponding with you, talking with you, crying with you and sharing stories of laughter, we are giving you this space to share your stories with a broader audience.  To inspire a wider audience who are grieving, who are wondering how they move forward again.  And our first story is just that....

Thank you to MaryBeth Sibernagel for sharing her story of 16 years of Big Love and her family's new life with double the love.  


In September we lost the dog of our dreams — Gunnar, a nearly 16 year old English Lab. He was a specimen, we liked to say and a legend in our Chanhassen neighborhood. We weren’t certain that we’d get another dog in part because we couldn’t possibly replace the Big G and the kids were now grown and we’re in our mid 50’s. Our daughter Emma, however, had other plans. She worked us hard — “we neeeeed another dog”, she tirelessly insisted. Mind you, she attends school in Madison, WI and plans to stay there this sophomore summer.
Over Thanksgiving break, Emma rejoiced that it was Wednesday and the new rescues would post on Secondhandhounds! We rushed to the website — saw an 18 month old chocolate lab and quickly applied. I was half hoping we’d be passed over as a potential forever home. Later that same day, I heard from Anne M., a SSH foster mom — we chatted, l learned of that she’d renamed the chocolate lab and his new name was Guinness! I have a thing for strong life signs and that was a SIGN! Over 30 years ago I’d given up a one year old chocolate lab that I’d raised from a pup and his name was Guinness.
Guinness came to SSH from MO and had a friend with him — a 3 year old little yellow lab that had recently given birth to pups. She was timid and terrified and when we met Guinness at Anne’s home, she’d sneak into the room but never close enough to allow us to touch her. The two dogs had an undeniable bound, each caring for the other.
Today marks our 50th day with Guinness & Willa. The plan was to adopt him and foster her so I could find her the perfect local home. The plan was foiled within the first hour of their delivery to our home. They were heartbroken to watch their foster mom drive off (she’d had them for nine days) and literally sat at the front door looking for her for over an hour. Then they took to clinging and comforting each other. He was a lug and a lover from the start. A Marmaduke type pup who craved love and attention! She cowered, shook and literally feel asleep sitting up hiding behind the Christmas tree.
To say we are madly in love with our rescues is a understatement! We power walk twice daily, snuggle on the couch and big fat comfy chair (now theirs) and sleep in our king size bed as we humans cling to the sides. Our goal is to spoil them (within reason) especially the little mama, and give them the dream dog life they deserve. They’ve had the hardest past and now it’s time for a cushy future!


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