Lisa Brooks came to Oxford from Grenada, Mississippi to attend Ole Miss and like many other Rebels, decided to stay and call Oxford home. She and her two Beagle-Lab furry family members, Rebel and Minnie, are our Homeward Bound Pet Family of the Month for May!
Lisa’s work place planted the seed for adopting a pet when a co-worker found a puppy and encouraged Lisa to add a dog to her household. By the time she made up her mind to take the puppy, the little one had already been placed in a home – but the seed was there and when Lisa saw the ‘Free Puppies’ entry on a friend’s Facebook page, she brought Rebel home. Minnie, from the same litter, had been adopted by another friend but was a little too aggressive with the family’s chickens so she later joined her brother at Lisa’s. The pair came from a Beagle litter fathered by a chocolate Labrador, but Lisa has since confirmed, through canine DNA testing, their heritage also includes a Treeing Walker Coonhound which has an appearance similar to the Beagle, but with longer legs. Minnie is marked by the tell-tail Beagle marking of a tipped tail and they both display the typical loyal and endearing personalities of the Lab and Beagle.
The brother and sister team might not have attended Ole Miss, but they do have a formal education – they have graduated from special accredited training courses offered by a local pet store. Minnie is a certified therapy dog through the local chapter of Love on a Leash. Therapy dogs volunteer with their handler to bring comfort and joy to those in need. Dressed in a vest and sometimes sporting a bandana, Minnie makes frequent visits to a nursing home where she’s a favorite of the residents. Rebel is a bit of a jumper which doesn’t make him an ideal nursing home ambassador, but his enthusiasm makes him a perfect fit for another important job as part of Cedar Winds Dog Club’s participation in the Pet-a-Pup program at the Ole Miss Library during finals preparation week. The program provides an active break from studying for students missing their own pets. Rebel has also participated in an Oxford Learning Center program where he was paired with a young student for some special bonding.
Lisa, an avid scrapbooker, has documented all the many Minnie and Rebel adventures in their very own scrapbooks. Despite their specialized training and their very impressive roles in the Oxford community, at home the inseparable pair spend their down time doing normal doggie stuff —- stealing Lisa’s socks, playing tug of war and hanging out at their personal swimming pools where they just sit and watch the bugs attracted by the water … daydreaming of their next important job.