By Haley Watson, Correspondent
When entering a funeral home, most are accustom to the greetings of a funeral director or receptionist. But at Crotty Funeral Home, one might be greeted by a four-legged, golden-haired beauty named Libby.
Mother and daughter Debra and Jarrah Crotty, owner-operators of Crotty Funeral Home, along with their staff, want everyone to feel as comfortable as possible and treat everyone like family. Recently, they have welcomed their newest employee, Libby, an almost 4-month-old golden doodles in training to be a Facility Therapy Dog.
“When you come into our funeral home, you become a part of our family.” “We hope to make a difference.” said Jarrah.
Libby is a large puppy because she is a mix between a golden retriever and a poodle (golden doodle), and like all puppies she can be rather hyper. Jarrah works with her daily and has her enrolled in training classes to teach her to recognize when it is play time and when it is time to work.
“Once she has her vest on, she does calm down.” said Jarrah, “She’s at work.”
Libby and Jarrah are both going through extensive training in order for Libby to be a certified Facility Therapy Dog.
“When you have a therapy dog, you really have to learn to become a dog trainer too.” said Jarrah
She is currently attending Sit Mean Sit, a locally-owned central Texas dog training course. But this is only the first of many programs Libby will attend. Other training programs consist of regular training classes and boarding training. Following the completion of these courses, a trainer will be flown in from Colorado to administer the exams for her certifications to be a Facility Therapy Dog.
“There are lots of certifications she has to meet. They test them even in stressful situations. It’s a very thorough test.” explained Jarrah.
Libby should be completely certified at one-year of age. She and Jarrah will then attend nursing homes and events around Bell County. Jarrah explained that her main purpose for wanting Libby was to make a difference in the community. As far as she’s aware, Libby will be the first fully certified Facility Therapy Dog in Bell County and she hopes to put a smile on peoples’ faces.
“I would like for her to be here for children and just be able to comfort people.” Jarrah concluded, “One day, she’ll be the best.”
Libby will be available to attend a funeral at the request of the family. Otherwise, Jarrah hopes to have Libby sitting and simply welcoming people as they come in in the future. For now, Libby stays in the office mostly when funerals are in session. According to Jarrah, many people in the community stop by from time to time to visit Libby and she encourages anyone to stop by to meet this golden-haired girl.