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by Beth Farwell

What could possibly be so interesting to these beautiful dogs?

Just a minute.

Why are there dogs in the special collections' room reading a book?

While a little unorthodox, one of these dogs has visited the library before. As a therapy dog, Sadie helped bring comfort to our students during finals week. This semester, Sadie and her sister were invited to present some wonderful rare books to you.

Sadie & LibbyThese precious dogs spent the afternoon looking at a couple of the Central Libraries Special Collections' bestiaries. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a bestiary is a "descriptive or anecdotal treatise on various real or mythical kinds of animals, especially a medieval work with a moralizing tone."

Animals have been used in stories to teach lessons throughout history. Peterborough bestiaryAesop's fables were told in ancient Greece, and Christian literature used animals to illustrate religious morals. Many of these bestiary tales continue to be used in modern literature. For example, the phoenix's burning itself to be born again found in Harry Potter is a tale derived from bestiaries.Peterborough bestiary

Baylor owns two beautiful bestiary facsimiles. The Oxford bestiary from the late 12th century, and the Peterborough bestiary from around 1300. Both are excellent examples with ornate, gilded illustrations. You are most welcome to visit for a closer look. Sadie and Libby may not be around, but you never know! For more information, please visit our webpage.

Libby & Sadie

Sadie and Libby are both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Sadie is 10 years old and Libby is 6.Sadie & LibbyThey are pets of Diana and Jon Engelhardt. Both girls were adopted as adult dogs. Sadie the tri-color (black and white) and Diana work together as a team with Angel Paws doing animal assisted therapy visits. Angel Paws is an affiliate of Pet Partners, Inc. Libby is planning on becoming an “Angel Paw” in the near future. The breed is known for being great companion dogs as they enjoy being with people, making new friends and bringing cheer to others.
Sadie is one of the dogs featured on the Angel Paws website click on the About Us tab at the top right of the home page for more information about Sadie.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog and are inspired to research more into the rich world of bestiaries.

Many, many thanks to Sadie, Libby, Diana and Jon Engelhardt for their time and patience! We had a wonderful afternoon with you in the library.

Our amazing photographer, Ben Johansen, was able to make magic once again for us! Thank you!
Thanks also to our two photo/puppy wranglers, Sarah Schmuck and Andrea Turner!